Top 20 Brazilian cigars

Bahia is known for producing strong and aromatic tobacco for cigars, handmade and considered among the best in the world for good aroma and burning.

Tobacco is a plant native to the Americas. In the southern regions tobacco of Virginia and Burley varieties is produced for cigarettes and the state of Bahia is known for producing strong and aromatic tobacco for cigars, handmade and considered among the best in the world for good aroma and burning.

Brazilian cigars are typically medium to full-bodied cigars with a mild to medium strength, rich flavor, very aromatic, and with a natural sweetness. Below is a list of Brazilian cigar brands

Alonso Menendez
Alonso Menendez is one of the premium brands made by Menendez Amerino in the state of Bahia, northeast of Brazil. The company is the result of the collaboration between Cuban cigar maker Felix Menendez (who had been involved in the making of famous Cuban brands Montecristo and H. Upmann in the pre-Castro era) and Brazilian tobacco grower Mario Amerino. It is made with leaves grown in the famous region called Mata Fina. Website.
Angelina
Angelina cigars was created in 2002 by São Paulo businessman Marcelo Ceneviva. The brand has a regular series with six sizes, with highlights like Angelina Exclusivos where the tobacco passes through a third fermentation process making it richer and smoother. A little more body than the regular series is the series “cabinet.” Besides the series mentioned, the brand stands for launching limited editions regularly, where special shapes are created, like Angelina Gran Corona and Angelina Infinitus. Another difference is the availability of shapes in special editions. Remarkable are the Angelina Salomones e Angelina Perfecto.
AquariusAnother creation of Menendez & Amerino and this cigar is ideal for beginners because it has a very mild flavor.
Aristocratas
Handmade longfiller produced in Cruz das Almas.
Brasil Autênticos
The Brasil Autênticos cigars are produced by Chaba – Charutos da Bahia. The company was founded in 1998 by Fernando Fraga, a former official of the defunct Suerdieck, in partnership with Roberto Barradas. Available in eight sizes Brasil Autênticos cigars use in their blend mata norte e mata fina tobacco that give a rich flavor and full body. Chaba also produces cigars Don Pepe, for former Suerdieck.
Black & White
Caravelas
Cigars produced by Puros do Brasil in Bahia in a exclusive regime, where the crops are supervised directly by the producer. The only tobacco in Caravelas is Mata Fina grown in the Bahia region and this line features seven cigars in lengths ranging from 5 to 7 inches and ring gauges ranging from 43 to 60.
Damatta
Damatta is one of the few national brands that has its own plantation of tobacco. The blend is composed of Mata Fina tobacco and Sumatra, with whole leaves rolled by hand. One of the highlights that reflects the unconditional care about quality is that the leaves are aged for about four years, which provides low rates of nicotine and ammonia, without altering the aroma and flavor of the cigar. The quality obtained reflects the emphasis that this line of cigars has achieved in various tastings, invariably reaching for the top spots.
The regular line of cigars Damatta consists of five gauges, three of which, Corona, Robusto and Churchill, are packed in boxes of solid cedar, with 25 cigars. The Robusto and Corona are also offered in versions with seven and three units for travel or gift. The line is available with clear covers (Sumatra) and dark (Mata Fina). The Damatta also features two special gauges: Corona Gorda, which is called Damatta Graduates, and Toscanini.
Delectados
Cigars produced by Puros do Brasil in Bahia. Containing Mata Fina, and a little Mata Norte making the cigar more full-bodied, spicy, resembling dark chocolate and coffee roasted.
Dannemann
The oldest cigar factory in Brazil. One of the largest tobacco producers in Brazil and with factories in Germany and Switzerland. The cigars manufactured in São Felix – Bahia are excellent, especially the Artist Line.
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Dona Ero
Produzed by Josefina tobacco, these cigars are made in Cruz das Almas. They have the largest cigar sold in the market, the Gran Corona with 23.5 cm in length.
Dona Flor
Dona Flor – Another brand produced by Menendez & Amerino, named after the novel by Jorge Amado. One of the best cigars in the line is the Dona Flor Pirâmide with its distinctive shape.
Don Pepe
Launched and produced by former Suerdieck Don Pepe cigars in six shapes are currently produced by Chaba – Charutos da Bahia in Alagoinhas – Bahia
Don Porfírio
This brand, despite using tobacco from Bahia, is being produced in Boituva within the state of Sao Paulo.Responsible for the production is the Cuban Diógenes Puentes who worked long in the La Corona factory in Havana – Cuba.
Don Quixote
Gabriela
Menendez & Amerino, the largest manufacturer of cigars in Brazil, produces among others the brands Dona Flor, Alonso Menendez, Aquarius and Gabriela. Gabriela is named after the character in honor of the writer Jorge Amado, it is produced with selected tobaccos, which gives it a special blend. Furthermore, it is the only in the market that comes individually wrapped in cellophane. Middle ground between cigarettes and cigars, cigarillos are gaining more space between lovers who want to stop smoking cigarettes or are unwilling to pay the high prices of good cigars, becoming the segment of the tobacco industry that most grows today. Gabriela cigarillos are sold in boxes of 50 units in the original versions and chocolate flavor, the latter designed to serve a market that is becoming increasingly important: the feminine.
Josefina
Josefina Tabacos do Brasil was created by a woman in Cruz das Almas, in January 2001. The company name and brand of cigars is a tribute to the founder’s grandmother.
Josefina cigars have a pleasant taste and aroma, suitable for those who are beginners. Can be found in five shapes: Churchill (16.5 cm long and 2.0 cm in diameter), Torpedo (15.5 cm x 2.0 cm), Corona (13.5 cm x 1.7 cm) Corona Gorda (14.0 cm x 1.9 cm) and Robust (12.5 cm x 2.0), in boxes of 25. All formats are designed with Arapiraca tobacco and may have a clear cover (Sumatra) and dark hood (Arapiraca).
website
Le Cigar
Manufatura Tabaqueira LeCigar Ltda. is considered one of the best national brands and has only four formats, Lonsdale, Corona, Panatela and Robust and can be found in dark skin (mata fina) and clear cover (Sumatra).
Arend Becker is the companies master blender, and a man who has been raised with tobacco in his blood. His father is Johan Becker, an immigrant from Bremen in the 20´s who began a tobacco export business in Brazil. Becker started in 1964 with a traditional tobacco export company, Matas da Bahia Ltda, at Cruz da Almas. In the mid 80’s Arend and his father began making cigars for other companies, and in 1997 Arend created his own label. Le Cigar was born.
Today, Le Cigar is operated by Ricardo Becker, and the tradition of fine, quality cigars continues.
Le cigar offers a complete line of cigars and is a top recommendation for true cigar enthusiasts.
Leite e Alves
The origin of the Leite e Alves company is the continuation of the Imperial and old company of  São Domingos, founded in 1881.
The Premium line is composed of the following cigars: Robusto, Corona, Toro, Panetela, Churchill and Double Corona. It is characterized by the highest quality products that are rigorously selected from tabacco from the Bahian Recôncavo. By preserving entire leaves of the noblest species, these cigars offer the opportunity to fully appreciate the flavor of the tobacco in their most natural form.
Menendez
Made by the same manufacturer of Dona Flor, a cigar is made with pieces of leaf (medium fller), comes in packs of 16 units. Designed to be a good option for day to day.
Monte Pascoal
The Monte Pascoal from Tobacos Mata Fina Litda, launched in 2007, is owned by the Orsi Family Group. Orsi bought the Brazilian factory that once produced Caravelas cigars.
Monte Pascoal is constructed almost entirely from mata fina tobaccos with some mata norte mixed in the filler to provide power. It has a profile all its own, and one that’s sure to please cigar enthusiasts who are looking for something a little different.
MR Charutos
MR Charutos is the creation of Marcus Roberto D Santos, and are from the city of Cruz das Almas. A recommended cigar for those who want the experience  of a super premium cigar for a great price that won’t take a bite out of your wallet. MR Charutos are available in Corona, Robusto, Churchill, and Torpedo.  A fine line of Cigarillos are available as well.
Palomitas
Cigarillos from the famous Brazilian factory of Chaba Charutos da Bahia.
Quitéria
This cigar factory was founded by former employees of Suerdieck, descendants of earlier European immigrants who came to Brazil in 1920 to implement the tobacco crop.
The brand name is a tribute to Maria Quitéria, a patron of the Brazilian army.
Sandes
Produced in Cruz das Almas by Luis Carlos Sandes. The Sandes brand was launched with the goal of producing one of the best domestic cigars. They are available in Robusto, Corona, Corona Gordo, and Petit Robusto.  Produced under several brands, as the Sandes, the African and San Filippo.
Sandes produces  good handmade cigars and cigarillos, the type of long and short filler. In versions of light and dark skin. The cigars with clear skin are mild , pleasant and balanced, while the cigars with a dark skin are full-bodied.
Siboney
The name refers to one of three indigenous tribes that inhabited the island of Cuba for nearly 6000 years ago. Siboney cigars are produced by Erádio Perez, a Cuban living in Brazil, who developed a blend especially for the Brazilian fans, using tobacco imported from Cuba and Mexico. Available in 6 shapes, with covers of light and dark, Siboney stands out by being produced in the Cuban tradition. Another curious aspect is the fact that it is a cigar made in Brazil but using imported tobacco. The company Nativo Del Caribe that produces Siboney is located in Itatiba, São Paulo.
Terra de Vera Cruz
Cigar from Cruz das Almas. A great value for money.  Mata Fina of the best quality with option to cover with clear or dark Sumatra.

Brazil tobacco history

From the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples, tobacco became the most important non-food agricultural product on the planet. The use of tobacco products in all their forms (snuff, straw cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own, etc.), goes back to times well before the existence of the present-day cigarette manufacturers.

With its origins in the Andes, tobacco followed the migrations of the Indians throughout Central America, until it arrived in Brazil.

The first tobacco fields were farmed by colonists for their own consumption. Soon, however, many people appeared who were willing to buy the excess until finally, in Europe, demand grew and many businesspeople started to visualize the tremendous possibilities for profit that would come from the creation of a regular tobacco supply chain.

Initially, the production of tobacco in Brazil occupied small, concentrated areas between Salvador and Recife in the Recôncavo Baiano, an exceptionally fertile area along the coast of the state of Bahia. In the first half of the 17th century, during the Dutch occupation of Pernambuco, the tobacco produced in that area had an important role among the products offered by the West Indies Company. With the expulsion of the Dutch, the first regulatory legislation of tobacco production began to appear. In 1674, the colony’s monopoly was guaranteed through creation of the Tobacco Administration Board, the decisions of which established the rules regarding tobacco for all Portuguese colonies.

By the end of the 17th century, one piece of legislation attempted to regulate tobacco commerce based on controlling transported cargoes due to the vast size and diversity of the growing areas, creating special regulations and agencies such as the Tobacco Inspection Board. From this date on, legislation was finally stabilized and remained in force until after Brazilian independence. The end of the supervised freedom that Portugal imposed on Brazil during the colonial period gave significant impetus to tobacco farmers. It became possible to grow any species, anywhere. Further, the possibility of direct commerce with foreign countries was a great incentive. At that time, effectively beginning in 1850, the provinces that stood out in tobacco production were Minas Gerais, Bahia and, due to German immigration, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

In 1917 the Brazilian Tobacco Corporation was set up in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS). The company was established by the British company, British American Tobacco, and was the first step in the transformation of the city into a national centre for the tobacco industry. In 1920 the company changed its name to “Companhia Brasileira de Fumo em Folha” (Brazilian Tobacco Leaf Company) and in 1955 it was acquired by Souza Cruz.

Brazil cigar tobacco regions

Cruz das Almas is the main city of Mata Fina region in the Reconcavo Bahiano, in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The city of Cruz das Almas is 150 kilometers away from Salvador, the capital of the state. The Mata Fina region gets its name from the native vegetation (mata= vegetation and fina=thin). Mata Fina is a strip of land between the Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Rain Forest) and the Caatinga (very dry and sandy). The vegetation in this area is thin and tall, like the rain forest, but the treetops are small and bushy, like the caatinga. Tobacco was found growing naturally, sharing the land with this thin, tall and bushy vegetation. That is where the dark tobacco in Brazil gets its generic name, Tabaco Mata Fina.

Some towns stand out in the production of “puros” Bahia. Alagoinhas is the headquarters of Chaba; in Cachoeira are the plants of Paraguaçu and Talvis/Leite e Alves, in Cruz das Almas are Angelina, Damatta, Julien Bahia, Josefina, LeCigar, Sandes, San Salvador, Puros do Brazil, Tabacos Mata Fina, Tobajara, San Francisco; in San Felix you find Dannemann and in São Gonçalo dos Campos is Menendez & Amerino.

Pedro Alvares Cabral discovered Brazil in 1500. The country has been producing dark tobacco since its early days of colonization. Tobacco was growing naturally in this area, the natives used it and the Portuguese and Dutch realized the possibility of great profit in this beautiful, dark and flavorful tobacco. Brazil quickly became a leading exporter of dark tobacco and holds the number one position to this day. Brazil is one of the only countries where you can actually roll a puro. From that small region you have quality tobacco to use as filler, binder and wrapper. And once rolled, it will be a great cigar full of flavor, of a good strength and with great evolution.

It was not until the late 18th century when the production of cigars grew to considerable numbers. The bellies of the caravelas that were previously filled with tobacco now also carried handrolled cigars. Soon the European markets were flooded with Brazilian dark tobacco. By 1900, Brazil was producing 120 million cigars every Stalk cut Mata Fina drying in a barn year. The production of cigars fell drastically all the way through the 20th century while the production of dark tobacco continued to grow. The days of the great cigar rolling factories, like Suerdick, are gone and Cruz das Almas is blessed with small factories that did not cave into mass production. There are about eight factories in the region producing quality cigars and consuming about 2% of the dark tobacco grown there. But wait, where is the remainder 98% of this rich and tasty tobacco destined? Apparently, the Brazilians are the only ones that did not realize that the tobacco grown in the Mata Fina is gold. The exported tobacco has two destinations. Some of this tobacco is used by cigar makers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in long filler cigars. The majority of the exported Brazilian dark tobacco is used up by European companies that produce machine-made short filler cigars.

All of the dark tobacco planted in Bahia is of the Mata Fina kind. Even though we are talking about the same plant, the microclimates, treatment of the plant and harvesting techniques makes tobacco grown on the sides of the same road taste completely different. Each different tobacco used in a Brazilian cigar gets its name from its location rather than from the kind of plant.

The regions and the tobacco

Mata Fina
Mata Fina is the main region producing tobacco today. Its sandy and grainy soil gets an average of 120cm of rain a year. All of the Mata Fina grown in this region is sun grown. Wrappers are hand cut one-by-one and barn dried. The filler and binder leaves are harvested by stalk cutting (cutting the whole plant and hanging it to dry without removing the leaves form the stalk). While wrappers are grown by the big monopolies, binder and filler leaves are predominantly grown by small producers that harvest by stalk cutting, often drying the tobacco in improvised barns and even on their own porches. The tobacco from this area is of the finest quality allowing for a very smooth, sweet and aromatic, mediumbodied smoke.

Mata Norte
The rain is not so abundant in this region north of Cruz das Almas. The soil varies from sandy to clay-like. In this region, the tobacco is planted later than in other regions. All of the tobacco in this region is sun grown and stalk harvested. What makes it different from Mata Fina is that the leaves are left to dry in open air. The tobacco is exposed to sun, wind and rain. The leaves, being exposed to weather, are not suitable for wrappers. This drying method allows the Mata Norte to yield a very full-bodied smoke. It would be impossible to enjoy a cigar made with 100% Mata Norte. This tobacco is used to compose the cigar blend by lending its strength and all of its rich, nutty, roasted and bitter coffee notes.

Mata São Gonçalo
Around the small village of São Gonçalo, the tobacco planters are more careful when harvesting and this region is famous for its wrappers. The best wrappers come from this town located in the Mata Fina region. The farmers use cocoa mush as fertilizer and this gives the wrappers from this region a beautiful sheen. In general, this area and Mata Fina have very similar soil and tobacco flavor characteristics.

Mata Sul – Even though this region is blessed with good rain and very rich soil, most of the land in this southern part of the Mata Fina is sloped, making it hard to harvest. The tobacco planters must double their care when planting and harvesting tobacco in this area and this yields tobacco of good quality and of good, mild-bodied flavor. The tobacco production is this region has been drastically falling while workers make more money planting cocoa.

Caatinga
The Caatinga is very dry and the soil is very sandy. The farmers in this region have few natural or economic production resources. The tobacco in this region offers very little in taste and strength making it barely commercial. The production of tobacco in this area depends on landlords providing a piece of land and manure for farmers to produce. In return, the landlords get a share of the tobacco, which is of very poor quality and is difficult to sell. This is what cheap cigars are made of.

Other Regions
Sumatra is also grown in the Mata Fina region. Despite not being a native Brazilian tobacco, it yields a tasteless but very silky wrapper. All of the Sumatra is shade grown. In Sergipe, a state neighboring Bahia, Mata Fina is also grown in the Arapiraca region. The Arapiraca is of poor quality and taste offering a very metallic smoke that makes your nose itch. It is a very acidic tobacco widely used by cigar makers in the Caribbean and Central America to boost the strength of a particular cigar; but what it actually does, most often, is completely ruin the flavors of the other tobaccos in the blend.

But why is all this flavorful tobacco being exported? Well, since the colonial days, all of the dark tobacco plantations rest in the hands of European companies.

Tobacco is a commodity and sold quoted in US dollars. A kilo of Mata Fina wrapper can be as expensive as US$120, the most expensive tobacco in the world. Local cigar makers do not have the financial capacity to invest in this pricy tobacco and have to limit their production.

On the other hand, the Brazilian market is flooded with Cuban cigars. While Cuban cigars are exempt from import duties, Brazilian-made cigars pay about 95% tax! On the shelves of your average Brazilian retailer, you will notice that the price tag on a Brazilian and a Cuban cigar of the same size is very similar. Culturally, your average uneducated smoker will prefer an imported Cuban cigar to a Brazilian smoke. Whether the Cuban is short filler or counterfeit, it does not make much of a difference, this smoker enjoys smoking the label.

Still, Mata Fina is one of the finest tobaccos for cigars. There are many smokers around the world that enjoy the fine taste of Mata Fina. If you have never tried any Mata Fina, next time you visit your tobacconist make sure you ask for a fine Brazilian smoke.

Brazil cigar tobacco

Brazilian cigars are mostly produced in the state of Bahia on the eastern coast of Brazil. Here the region is very tropical and the soil fertile, which naturally makes a great tobacco growing environment. Brazil is the leading South American country for tobacco exports.

In the world of cigars, Brazil is mostly known for its dark tobacco, called Mata Fina tobacco. Mata Fina is a sun-grown tobacco which is typically made into wrappers and used for premium, long filler cigars by many cigar producers in the Caribbean and Central America.
This Brazilian wrapper is dark brown to black in color after fermentation, with a mild to medium strength, rich flavor, is very aromatic, and has a natural sweetness that yields excellent Oscuro and Maduro wrappers.
Like its name, Mata Fina tobacco is grown in a region also called Mata Fina. The Mata Fina Region is located in the Reconcavo Basin in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The region gets its name from the native thin vegetation that grows there (mata means “vegetation,” and fina, “thin”).

In this region tobacco was found naturally growing along with the thin vegetation that covers the land, which led to the name for Brazil’s dark tobacco, Mata Fina tobacco. Just about all of the dark tobacco planted in the Reconcavo Basin of Bahia is of the Mata Fina variety.

There are also other Mata Fina varieties that are grown in different regions of Bahia and because of the different microclimates, treatment of the plant, and harvesting techniques gives the tobacco a different taste.
For example, in addition to the Mata Fina region, other regions in the state of Bahia include: Mata Norte, Mata São Gonçalo, and Mata Sul, all of which grow a different variety of Mata Fina tobacco that produce different characteristics of tobacco because of the differerent microclimates and different growing techniques used in those regions.

Besides the native Mata Fina tobacco, the Reconcavo Basin of Bahia also grows other varieties of tobacco such as the Brazilian-Sumatra, which is a Sumatra tobacco seed originating from Indonesia and has thrived in Brazil.

Mata Fina tobacco is also also grown in the state of Sergipe, a state neighboring Bahia. In Sergipe, it is grown in the Arapiraca region of the state and the Mata Fina tobacco grown here again comes in different varieties.

As stated above, Brazil has become a major supplier of tobacco for cigar makers in other countries in the Caribbean and Central America. Particularly, its unique dark wrapper leaf that many cigar brands from other countries use on their cigars.

In addition to it’s dark wrapper leaf that it exports, Brazil produces many premium cigars with 100% Brazilian grown tobacoo (puros) in its cigar, that are great tasting and have gone unnoticed in many markets around the world.