Havana Corner: Managua and Rum

Reports from a trip to cigar country in Central America
Posted: January 9, 2007

Savona and I arrived in Managua and we ran into Jonathan Drew of Acid Cigars and Nestor Miranda of Miami Cigar & Co., both of whom were on the plane. It was obviously the cigar flight from Miami. Jonathan has a new 100,000-square-foot factory in the finishing stage at Estelí. Lots of people are talking about the good work he is doing in Nicaragua and not just flavored smokes. He's definitely on his way to making the real deal here in Nicaragua.

We hung out in Managua for the day smoking Padróns with a friend and talking about life as well as the new government in Nicaragua. Some people are concerned and wondering what is going to happen with the change. I will have a better idea later in the trip.

While Savona met with Alejandro Martinez-Cuenca of Joya de Nicaragua for a Q&A, the rest of us made a quick trip by helicopter to the makers of Flor de Caña rum. It's serious stuff and goes well with cigars. Check out my blog for Wine Spectator for tasting notes.

A sample of four-year-old rum straight from the barrel
Tomorrow we are going to check out the Padrón factory and visit the factory of Pepin Garcia, who makes cigars for Pete Johnson of Tatuaje. I really like his cigars. And they seem to be getting better and better. They are flavor-packed smokes with loads of character yet lots of finesse. Pete used to have his cigars made at Pepin's factory in Miami, but he has now moved some of the production to a new facility in Estelí.

We are also going to check out the tobacco fields around Estelí. So I will have more to report back later….

Click here to read James Suckling's first report from his Central America trip.

Check back this week for more from James Suckling in Central America.

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