The 2023 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show was the second one for Don Doroteo Cigars, but this would be the first year the company would introduce its core line. A year earlier, the company brought a cigar to market called El Legado. The cigar was rolled in 2008 and had been sitting in the La Aurora factory’s aging room. This year Don Doroteo introduced its core line, the Salt of the Earth. It’s a cigar line that is highlighted by the use of Andullo tobacco.
Don Doroteo Cigars was founded by Juan Lugo. The company name pays homage to Lugo’s grandfather. Doroteo Fermin Delgado. Back in 1936, at the age of 16, Doroteo decided to follow in his late father’s footsteps by growing tobacco in the heart of Santiago, Dominican Republic. One of the factories Doroteo grew tobacco for was La Aurora. In 2022, Juan Lugo reignited the partnership with La Aurora as he obtained the El Legado blend, and would work with that factory to produce the Salt of the Earth line.
Notable about Don Doroteo Cigars is they are very interested in sharing Dominican culture and heritage. A big part of the Dominican tobacco industry dating back to the Taino Indians 500 years ago is Andullo Tobacco. Andullo tobacco undergoes a very different curing process than traditional cigar tobacco leaves. This involves putting tobacco leaves in palm seed pods. The pods are then wrapped in rope and, in this case, fermented for two years, causing the Andullo tobacco to compress into a thick bar, almost looking like a roll of salami. Once it has hardened, it typically is carved off. It is more common as a pipe or chewing tobacco, but it has been used in some cigar blends. Lugo decided, given the importance of this tobacco to Dominican culture, he would incorporate this into his core line. The company even brought some of the Andullo pods to the Trade Show and was offering some of the tobacco to visitors to the booth to smoke in a pipe.
The Salt of the Earth consists of two blends: Piedra Viva (Living Stone) and Pierre Angular (Corner Stone). Piedra Viva utilizes an Ecuadorian-grown Cameroon seed wrapper, while Piedra Angular uses a Dominican-grown Corojo wrapper. Both blends incorporate a Nicaragua binder and a combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco in the blend. The Dominican tobaccos include Andullo tobacco. Owner Juan Lugo said the blend only has about 5% Andullo tobacco in it.
Five sizes are planned for each blend: Toro (5 3/4 x 54), Robusto (5 x 50), Corona (5 1/2 x 42), Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52), and Churchill (7 x 47). Each is presented in 10-count boxes. Lugo said expect pricing to be in the $14.00 to $16.00 range per cigar.
Interview with Juan Lugo, Don Doroteo Cigars
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Photo Credits: Cigar Coop