Quai d’Orsay Cigars: Recent History Behind the Brand

Quai d’Orsay Cigars: Recent History Behind the Brand


Continuing our popular Behind the Brand series – blogposts where we look at the legacy of premium Cuban Cigars Online brands, we touch on the history of one of the youngest cigar brands on the market. Well-known for their Claro wrapper leaves and mild brown colours, Quai d’Orsay cigars produce some of the most desired Habanos on the market. That been said, here we explore the history of one of the newest Cuban Cigars brands, Quai d’Orsay Cigars. Our latest Behind the Brand editorials have covered:

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    BIRTH – Founded in 1973, the brand was created by Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co. – a company formed after the Cuban Cigars industry had been nationalised by the Castro government and was responsible for the production and distribution of the brand's Habanos until 1994. Quai d’Orsay was first introduced as a Regional brand, exclusively created for the French and Swiss market. As to satisfy the smoking habits of these markets, Quai D’Orsay Cigars were mild in flavours and aromas - soon became emblematic of French luxury and lifestyle.

    quai d orsay avenue paris EGM Cigars 1

    The Quai d'Orsay Avenue in Paris was the inspiration behind the name of the Cuban cigars brand


    NAME INSPIRATION – Despite the brand's young name, there are various theories surrounding the inspiration behind its name. One thing that is for sure is that the brand’s name is inspired by the Quai d’Orsay Avenue, part of the left bank of the Seine river in Paris. Overall, there are three dominant beliefs that circulate the inspiration behind the brand’s name. The first theory supports that the picturesque attitude of the Quai d'Orsay avenue is the true influence behind the brand's name. A second theory sees that the cigars brand drew inspiration from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its name which was located on the same street. While the last one suggests that the name was inspired by the headquarters of SEITA – a former French tobacco monopoly, based also on Quai d’Orsay Avenue. Regardless the inspiration behind the brand's name, Quai d’Orsay Cigars have been consistently a favourite amongst the French cigar smoking elite since day one.

    JOINING HABANOS S.A. – Although today Quai d’Orsay Cigars are part of Habanos S.A., the brand first started producing smokes independently – managed directly from Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co. and SIETA. Nevertheless, after the merge of Tabacalera with SIETA into the multinational tobacco company Altadis S.A. and judging by the brand's cigars packaging, Quai d’Orsay today is considered a member of Habanos S.A. like all Cuban Cigars brands.


    CORONAS HERITAGE – The brand’s Coronas Cigars have their own story to tell too. Back in the day, the Quai d’Orsay Coronas puros were manufactured using only two wrapper shades – the Claro and the Claro Claro wrapper leaves. For instance, the Quai d’Orsay Coronas Claro Cigar is characteristic of the brand’s popular Coronas Claro puros. Measuring at 142 mm by a ring gauge of 42, this long yet flavourful smokes is wrapped around a gorgeous tan coloured Claro leaf. Quai d’Orsay’s light shades have seen their glory days until the 1980s when darker wrappers started to make their first appearances. Soon after the tremendous impact of the darker wrapper on the French market, the brand’s once adored Corona Claro Claro cigar started to increasingly cease.

    THE NEW AGE – Until recently, the brand seems to have been gradually losing ground since throughout the year 2016 Quai d’Orsay produced only one regular vitola, the Corona Claro. Overall, the brand was doomed to fail. However, Habanos S.A. and the Quai d’Orsay’s distributor for France had other plans for the future of the brand. During the 19th Festival Del Habanos, Habanos S.A. announced that Quai d’Orsay will transform into a global cigars brands introducing two new sizes – the Quai d’Orsay No. 50 cigar and the Quai d’Orsay No. 54 Cigar. Coming in an Edmundo Grueso vitola, this fine Habano features a dark wrapper – atypical of the brand, and provides the smoker with a long-lasting smoking experience for over two hours. Light it up using the Ligne 2 S.T. Dupont Lighter and secure an even burn with one of the most luxurious looking lighters on the market.

    quai d orsay coronas claro cigars no. 54 cigar and quai d orsay EGM Cigars

    Left: Quai d'Orsay Coronas Claro Cigar, Right: Quai d'Orsay No. 54 Cigar

    Within its 46 years of existence, Quai d’Orsay Cigars have become some of the most desired Cuban Cigars for Sale Online. Having unexpectedly refreshed their production with darker tobacco leaves, we are looking forward to seeing what the brand has in store for us for the future. Read more of our recent posts and explore the Cuban Cigars industry in depth.