The Ultimate Guide to The Dominican Republic : Cigar News Articles
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Cigar News and Information From The Dominican Republic

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Turning The Corner on Quality and Production ......
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Cigar smoking has certainly become more popular in the past few years.  Whatever the reasons for it, many cigar manufacturers were caught off guard. You can be sure they are and were very pleased by it all, but like any industry faced with a sudden surge in new demand ~ problems had followed.
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Inside

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About Cigar Cutters
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Are all cigar cutters the
  same ~ The great debate on which is best
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About Humidors and Storing Your Cigars
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What is the best way to
  keep cigars? A discussion about aging and storgage 
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Turning The Corner
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A discussion about the
cigar industry in general and the Dominican Republic Problems with quality over the last few years
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Take a Real Cigar Factory Tour Here
   
One of the problems had been the surge in new companies created to cash in on the new demand.  Even well known people in the entertainment industry started coming out with their own brands or lines of cigars.  This past proliferation of new manufacturers has effected both the consumer and the industry directly.
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With respect to the consumer, cigar smokers have seen quality decline.  The reason for this is a simple one.  Most experienced manufacturers will age tobacco up to 2 years prior to rolling.  In addition, many will also age cigars for one year or longer after it has been rolled.  This is so the tobacco can mature and the flavors fully intergrate before it is presented to the customer.  With a pressure to meet new demand, some older and experienced companies have in fact rushed the aging process in order to get cigars out into the market place faster.  In addition, new companies more concerened about turning a quick profit ~ and less concerened about the time honored tradition of aging ~ have also forgone this process.  The result has often been "green" cigars coming into the market, or in the least, a cigar from your favorite manufacturer that is not of the same quality you were used to.
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This abundance of new folks coming into the business has effected the established companies also, but not in a way you may think.  I am referring to personnel, not profits.  Cigars are surely one of the true hand made and hand crafted products available to the consumer today.  As a result, cigar manufacturering is dependant upon quality and experienced craftsmen or rollers to create the product you have come to enjoy.  So, what happened? Well, for one thing a bidding war ensued for master or experienced rollers. Considering that it can take up to two years or more to train a good cigar roller, any cigar rollers that defect to a new company for more money (and who can blame them), means a two year wait to replace that person in your factory.  If you are a cigar company, you obviously have two choices ~ put less experienced rollers in your factory or cut back production.

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For those companies that have decided to stay with quality, and not volume, the result has been either higher prices or difficulty in finding your favorite cigar at any price.  Needless to say, with all of these problems, the cigar industry is starting to turn the corner.  Many of the start up companies have fallen by the wayside.....and the established firms are slowly starting to develop the next generation of well trained rollers.  For the time being, we know you may be having some difficulty finding your favorite cigar line, but hang in there......and think about the companies that decided to stay with quality.