Marvin R. Shanken interviews the man behind Hoyo de Monterrey and Punch.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Linda Evangelista, Autumn 95
(continued from page 4)
Blumenthal: Oh, I couldn't tell you that.
C.A.: In the millions?
Blumenthal: Many millions.
C.A.: So even after the embargo, you kept making cigars with Cuban tobacco?
Blumenthal: We used Cuban tobacco up until 1975 in our cigars.
C.A.: Were you in effect blending, stretching, so you could say that it had Cuban tobacco in it?
Blumenthal: Right. Our boxes all said Havana on them until the early part of the '70s, when the government decided we couldn't use the word Havana. We had to take Havana off, so we used the slogan, "For the man who misses his Havana." But by that point, we had found that Honduras and Nicaragua tobacco was similar to Havana anyway.
C.A.: Was Villazon largely responsible for establishing that good cigars could be made outside of Cuba?
Blumenthal: We were the first ones in Honduras. And, we were the first ones that made a strong, full-flavored cigar outside of Cuba.
C.A.: Would you say that outside of Cuba and Honduras, good cigars were not being made at that time?
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