Bad Dog Cigars’ tobacco comes from the rich farming district of Northern Nicaragua, an ideal region for growing tobacco; which became a sanctuary for Cuban cigar makers after the Cuban Revolution in 1959. The tobacco grown in this region is recognized by experts as superb and it is constantly deserving of awards and recognitions around the world.

Only once a year, tobacco is harvested; however, seedlings are planted a few weeks apart spreading the harvest over several months. It takes approximately 45-90 days for a tobacco plant to be ready for picking, as well as meticulous training and years of experience to recognize a leafs perfection. Finer cigars can take as long as 3-5 years before they reach consumers’ hands.

The journey of a tobacco leaf is rich, painstaking and demanding, for each phase requires dedication and knowledge.

Once the leaves are picked, they must be cured. This task requires patience, experience and accuracy because each tobacco leaf is cured individually.

First, the leaves are separated by type and size into three different groups. Each group is named based on the leaf’s location on the plant; ligero leaves are at the top, viso leaves are in the middle, and seco leaves are at the bottom. Selected leaves are stitched up in pairs at the stem and hung on long poles. Sauna like conditions forces the moisture of the leaves to dissipate, and the colors to change from rich green to yellow, and finally to brown.

Once the tobacco leaves are dry they are taken for fermentation. This process, also known as the sweating process, is monitored around the clock, and the leaves are periodically sprayed with water in order to maintain the ideal temperature. This fermentation process removes impurities like sap, ammonia, tar, and nicotine from the leaves. And to assure that all leaves are affected by it, the stacks of leaves are constantly re-stacked. The process may take approximately 45 days.

After the fermentation process, the leaves are moved onto the aging process where the leaves are stored for two and even three years. In this phase, each tobacco leaf is placed on a burlap creating layers of leaves, and each layer is stacked over another.

Once the aging phase is ended, the leaves are de-stemmed by hand. This labor is intense and requires precision and serenity. A mistake during this task could damage a leaf. The stem is then discarded and the tobacco leaves are stacked for a second fermentation.

The second fermentation process can last between 45 to 60 days based on the leaves classification. Once again, impurities are eliminated; the tobacco is ready to be aged one more time by being placed in open cedar boxes and left in curing houses for a period of two years.

Afterwards, the leaves are handpicked into bales, put into the rolling facility with a climate-control atmosphere, and aged until they are finally ready to be rolled into cigars. Only the finest leaves are transferred to the blending room where the cigar blender masters prepare the tobacco leaves for the roller and master roller teams. In this area, rollers work in pairs to handcraft the cigars, and the blender mixes enough tobacco for the daily production.

The cigar rollers form the cigars by taking a measured handful of long filler leaves and by giving them a desired shape; a binder leaf is then wrapped around the filler tobaccos to hold it together, and at last, it is pressed into a wooden mold. The press is turned by hand until the roller determines that there is enough pressure to properly form the cigar into the predetermined shape. After releasing the press, the cigar is removed from the mold and passed to the master roller.

The master roller, who is highly trained, carefully finishes forming the cigar and delicately puts on the wrapper leaf. Furthermore, the cigar is meticulously inspected to avoid imperfections and ready for another aging period.

Before a final aging phase, the finished cigars are classified by type, bundled into groups of fifty, and wrapped in special paper. Once divided into groups, the cigars are placed in temperature-controlled aging rooms. Ninety days is sufficient for the tobaccos to marry, but leaving them longer in the aging room improves their taste and aromas.  Some cigars are aged for three years or more in an effort to bring their taste to the level demanded by true cigar aficionados. 

When the final aging period is ended, the master cigar inspector dedicates precious time to see what the typical person does not see. The master inspector will look for flaws, and determines which cigar will reach consumers’ hands.

Once approved by the master cigar inspector, the cigars are banded, individually wrapped in cellophane tubes, and carefully packaged.

The journey from seed, to tobacco plant, to cigar, is intense and as we know, it takes years. That is why, in our opinion, cigars produced from the enriched soil of Nicaragua need to be savored and never rushed while being smoked.


Nicaraguan Cigars
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