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Cigar Culture

What are Rothschild Cigars & How Did They Get Their Name?

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

Short and fat. Not exactly the most fashionable attributes when it comes to supermodels or NBA players, but once upon a time, it was the new, hot thing in cigars. The cigar was short, 4.5-inches long, with a large ring gauge, upwards of 50. It was originally made in the 1880s by the Hoyo de Monterrey factory in Cuba at the request of Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) a scion of the legendary German banking family.

WHAT IS A ROTHSCHILD CIGAR?

Leopold de Rothschild commissioned a cigar in an effort to get a full-flavored smoking experience without having to spend a lot of time. Cuban cigars in the 19th century were generally longer and thinner.

HOW DID ROTHSCHILD CIGARS GET THEIR NAME?

The new, short, stout cigar took the name of its patron and the shape is known to this day as a Rothschild, pronounced ROTH-shild. The shape is still made by many cigar makers, and the Nub, made by Oliva, while not technically a Rothschild, certainly embodies the idea of a short, fat, full-flavored smoke.

THE ROTHSCHILDS LOVED CIGARS

While the Rothschild family hails from Frankfurt, Germany, it established itself through the financial industry in other European cities, including Vienna, Austria; Paris, France; Naples, Italy; and, for our purposes, London, England. London hosted the Nathan Rothschild branch of the family. Leopold was Nathan’s grandson.

Arthur de Rothschild, Leopold’s uncle, lived in Paris and was known to favor H. Upmann and Henry Clay cigars, storing them in lead-lined, glass-doored cabinets. He reportedly smoked only one from each box and gave away the rest as gifts to friends and staff. Apparently, he sampled the first cigar from each box to make sure they were good.

The Rothschilds were also in the wine business, famously the Mouton Cadet de Rothschild and Chateau Mouton Rothschild labels. Zino Davidoff created a Mouton Cadet cigar, no longer made, to complement Baron Phillipe de Rothschild’s wines.

TODAY’S ROTHSCHILD CIGARS

Hoyo de Monterrey, non-Cuban, makes a Rothschild in Honduras that is a bit thinner, at a 50 ring gauge. It’s a medium-full cigar ($5.50) with a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers, along with Cuban-seed long fillers from the Dominican Republic. The cigar, essentially a short Robusto, is available in an Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, or a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper. The flavor is full of nuttiness, leather, wood, and spices, with a slight chocolatey finish.

The same shape is offered in Hoyo de Monterrey’s La Amistad line (about $7.50), made in Nicaragua by AJ Fernandez. It’s filled with tobaccos from four Nicaraguan growing regions, all wrapped in an Ecuador Habano leaf. Lots of dried fruit and rich spices are what you’ll get in the smoke here. In the La Amistad Black line, the wrapper is a dark-brown Ecuador Sumatra enveloping Nicaraguan and Mexican fillers that deliver a full flavor profile with a lot of pepper.

The La Aroma de Cuba Rothschild is a Nicaraguan Robusto, 5 x 50, $5, that is solidly medium in strength with strong notes of cedar, earthiness, brown sugar and nuts. There’s a cool spice running through the smoking experience all the way to the finish. All this comes inside a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.

The Rocky Patel 20th Anniversary Maduro Rothschild, 4.5 x 50, $10+, is a peppery, medium-full Honduran cigar filled with Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. There are notes of cayenne, coffee, hickory, and leather with lots of spice in a Honduran Maduro wrapper.

Shop more of the best Rothschild cigars from our vast inventory of top-rated brands. You’ll find the best Rothschild cigars from Arturo Fuente, My Father, Padrón, Punch, Oliva, and more.  

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