Partagas Cigars: Dramatic History Behind the Brand

Partagas Cigars: Dramatic History Behind the Brand

Partagas  25 Series No. 1

TOBACCO DREAMS. MURDER. REVOLUTIONARY BRAND

One of the biggest cigar brands to originate from Cuba; Partagas cigars are recognised by millions worldwide for their immaculately presented, full flavoured habanos, filled with an intensity of aromas. Since the brand was formed in 1845, success has coincided. But along the way to global recognition and a loyal fan base, scandal and drama has erupted. Particularly for its founder, Don Jaime Partagas. This Cuban Cigars tale is the kind of the stuff Hollywood stories are made of.

A SPANISH TEENAGER WITH HAVANA DREAMS – Jaime Partagas – full name Don Jaime Partagas y Ravelo, was like many immigrants from Spain during the early nineteenth century, who travelled to Cuba hoping for a new life. Jaime was merely a teenager – 14 in 1831, when he arrived to the island with dreams of making his fortune. Born in a Mediterranean port near Barcelona called Arenys de Mar, Jaime had immediate ambitions to learn everything he could about tobacco. After years spent as a cigar supplier gaining insight from one of the biggest pioneers in the tobacco industry, Juan Conill y Pi, who was his first employer, he created his own factory in 1845. He called it Real Fabricas de Tobaco Partagas, which translates to Partagas Royal Tobacco Factory. Some suggest he used the word ‘royal’ to emphasise his status as a supplier to the aristocracy in Asia and across Europe. After his first factory, Jaime bought as many plantations as he could, in Cuba’s best tobacco growing region – Vuelta Abajo, Pinar del Rio. He is credited for establishing not only Partagas Cigars, but revolutionising the cigar industry itself. Jaime Partagas was the first factory owner to have someone read to his employees as they worked, and he is attributed as being the first to experiment with cigar fermentation and ageing methods to increase production and preserve quality.

Partagas Cigars - EGM CigarsTop Left: Partagas Salomones Cigar LCDH, Bottom Left: Partagas Lusitanias Cigar, Right: Jaime Partagas - photo by De Mcapdevila via Creative Commons Wikipedia.org

"drama is part of the intrigue"

SCANDAL, JEALOUSY AND MURDER – As a successful Cuban cigar brand owner, Jaime spent his fortune indulging one of his favourite life pleasures – women. When speaking to Darius Namdar – World Habanosommelier 2018, for our blog post: Best Cigars and Tea Pairings, Darius mentioned his interest on the fascinating history behind Havana brands. He noted how Jaime “got up to no good and made a lot of enemies” when building his Partagas empire, but the scandal and drama is part of the intrigue. It’s hard to find specific facts because legends and myths have passed through the decades, though some things appear factual. Jaime’s womanising ways made him a target for jealous men, and his many legal battles created tension throughout the industry. He was accused of trying to steal the Cabanas name – a well-known cigar brand, to launch his brand La Flor de Cabanas, and faced disputes with neighbouring land owners. In the mid to late 1860’s, Don Jaime was murdered on one of his plantations and died a month later.

Partagas Cigars History - EGM CigarsTop Left: Partagas Serie D No. 4 Cigar, Bottom Left: Partagas Lusitanias Cigar, Right: Partagas Salomones Cigar LCDH

"embodies high-quality and excellence"

RANGE OF PARTAGAS CIGARS – The brand itself always embodies high-quality and excellence, with a wide selection today of vitolas and cigar sizes to choose. The Partagas Serie D No. 4 Cigar is a favourite robusto for every cigar aficionado. A Habanos S.A elite, the cigar is 124mm in length by a thick 50 ring gauge and is bursting with delicious, earthy flavours. The Partagas Lusitanias Cigar meanwhile, is an extremely popular double corona which provides a smoker with an intense and rich, just under two-hour smoke. In 1990, La Casa Del Habano was founded – stores which specialise in everything Cuban cigar, including accessories and tobacco distributed by Habanos S.A. Their LCDH Editions cigars are released exclusively to their stores. One of which is the Partagas Salomones Cigar. Incredibly sought-after – partly due to its double perfecto format, the cigar measures at 184mm with a ring gauge of 57 and provides a delicious flavour of smoke.

FROM DON JAIME TO FIDEL CASTRO – When Don Jaime Partagas passed away, his business went to his son, who then sold to Jose Blances – a banker who was inexperienced with the cigar trade. He bought in partner Ramon Cifuentes Llano, who eventually took over entirely. Ramon Cifuentes and his son are known for helping to make Paratagas one of the best Havana cigar companies. In the late 1950’s when Ramon was in charge, Partagas was the second best selling. All was well until Fidel Castro came to power and seized various cigar factories in Cuba, putting them under control of the Cuban government. Eventually, Ramon left and took the Partagas name to the Dominican Republic, creating new cigars. The original Partagas brand in Cuba nevertheless, is still crafting exquisite, luxurious cigars distributed by Habanos S.A. They say that Cuban Partagas cigars are incomparable to ones made anywhere else. 

From their classic Serie D line, to their dramatic and strong history, Partagas lives on as one of the best cigar brands from Cuba and produces some of our most prominent Cuban cigars online. Why not uncover the history of the Bolivar brand, another whose cigars are full flavoured. Read our blog post: The Story Behind Bolivar Cigars.