Juan López Cigars
The Cuban cigar industry is one whose history is shrouded in mystery, fantasy and legend, and in no cases is this more true than in the history of Juan Lopez cigars. This is a brand less well-known than many others, but which commands fierce loyalty and lavish affection from those who are familiar with its wonderful cigars. It has been part of the Havana offering since the end of the 19th century, although the exact origins are subject to some debate. No matter what the truth of the matter, one thing is clear – the cigars produced today are of the highest quality, and deserve to be...READ MORE
Juan López Cigars
The Cuban cigar industry is one whose history is shrouded in mystery, fantasy and legend, and in no cases is this more true than in the history of Juan Lopez cigars. This is a brand less well-known than many others, but which commands fierce loyalty and lavish affection from those who are familiar with its wonderful cigars. It has been part of the Havana offering since the end of the 19th century, although the exact origins are subject to some debate. No matter what the truth of the matter, one thing is clear – the cigars produced today are of the highest quality, and deserve to be more recognised.
Some things are known of the history: Juan Lopez Diaz was a Spaniard who followed many of his contemporary countrymen to Cuba to seek their fortunes. A registration for his tobacco brand was confirmed in 1876, although 1870 is considered the date for calculating anniversaries by Habanos SA. Since then, La Flor de Juan López have produced Medium-to-Full Strength cigars, all hand-rolled using Tripa Larga (long filler tobacco) sourced from the prestigious Vuelta Abajo region.
Much of the romance surrounding Juan Lopez cigars comes from the fact that not much else is known of the brand history. The heirs of the founder disposed of his brand fewer that 20 years after his death, and business continued without any apparent major incident until the time of the Revolution. Following the nationalisation of the cigar industry by Castro’s government production continued and sales were maintained, until suddenly the brand dropped from favour in the 1970s. Slowly but surely the vitolario was slimmed down, until eventually we were left with what is on offer today – 2 cigars born in the 1990s, and a La Casa del Habano Edition.
Juan López Seleccion No. 1: A grand corona cigar of 46 ring gauge by 5 ⅝ inches in length which will smoke for about 40 minutes and bring rich flavours of wood, leather, earth and spice. This cigar, like the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure series, wore no bands until 2005.
Juan López Seleccion No. 2: The classic robusto size – 50 ring gauge by 4 ⅞ inches – this is the flagship smoke of the brand and popular with smokers everywhere. 40 minutes of powerful nutty, woody, spicy notes. This cigar also wore no bands until around 2005 before being dressed with the golden crown adopted as the symbol of Juan López.
Juan López Seleccion Especial: This mighty 52 ring gauge by 6 ¾ inch Fortunas was released in 2020 for sale only through LCDH franchises. The potency of the brand is well-suited to such large formats, and the magnificent white lacquered boxes make for a striking addition to a home humidor.
The decision to release such a large vitola to Regular Production was undoubtedly as a result of the success found with Juan López Regional Edition cigars. More than 18 have been produced so far, the majority of which were substantially thicker than the usual sticks produced, and were also spectacularly well-received.
Juan López Eminentes Exclusivo Suiza: Not only was this cigar a gargantuan 54 ring gauge by 6 ½ inches, it was also presented both in standard boxes of 10 and in an exquisite humidor of 50 cigars. Only 100 individually-numbered cases of this type were made, in Havana and using the finest woods, making them true collector’s dreams.
Juan López Punta 55 Exclusivo Francia: As the name may suggest, this cigar was 55 ring gauge. With a 5 ⅛ inch length, it used the Montesco vitola popular with so many other Limited Edition cigars and used continuously by Romeo y Julieta. A delicious cigar, full of rich chocolate notes.
Juan López is an aficionado’s brand. It has been in production for years, but strangely has little concrete history to cling to. It produces very few cigars, but is constantly called on by distributors who listen to the requests of their regular clients for territorial exclusives. The sizes it employs and the power and flavours of its blend are in direct correlation with the trends and demands of today’s market, but still it remains relatively under the radar.
Perhaps it is fitting that a brand whose past is clouded in mystery retains that mystery in the future. Maybe, in place of a definable brand story and identity, the appeal is in the fascination we have with the unknown. The idea that we are part of an exclusive club of true connoisseurs thanks to our knowledge of, and appreciation for, such a small brand is what draws so many smokers to Juan López cigars. Maybe it is as simple as delicious cigars attracting smokers on their own, with no need for further embellishment. Whatever your opinion, one thing is clear: Juan López cigars have survived for over 150 years and will survive for many more – their own quality and character will see to that.
Brand Founded: 1870
Strength: Medium-to Full
Construction: Handmade, Tripa Corta
Continuous Production Cigars: 3