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24 Cigars That Prove The Best Come From Latin America

romeoyjulieta_usa / Instagram

Cigars, scotch, and fine wine share one thing in common: it’s all subjective! In the case of cigars, some connoisseurs say that nothing out of Cuba could be good, although there is a good number of challengers from all across the Americas. And here is a list of some cigars worth trying right now whether or not they’re allowed to be here.

1. Opus X

cigars
CREDIT: ffopusx / Instagram

A powerful and bold statement from the Fuente family, who started cigar making in the early 20th century. It was said that Dominican tobacco was good enough for filler and binder, but never for the delicate wrapper which is the only part the smoker tastes directly. The myth was dispelled with the Opus X line more than 20 years ago, with it still being one of the most sought-after smokes in the world.

2. Padron

CREDIT: padroncigars / Instagram

Nicaragua has come into its own as a major player in the premium cigar market, and there’s no better representative than Padron. Commanding prices well in excess of $25, they had become the benchmark for anything Central American especially with their Anniversary line, the one preferred by smokers celebrating something special or simply kicking back and chilling.

3. Cohiba

CREDIT: cohiba_habana / Instagram

Considered the personal blend for the deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, the cigars really took off in the 90s when they began being mass produced for the international market. Of course, they were banned in the U.S. because of the embargo of the early 1960s. A very well-made blend, with delicate floral nuances, it is one of the most counterfeited cigars in the world.

4. Montecristo

CREDIT: montecristo_usa / Instagram

For many years it has been the standard by which all Cuban cigars are measured. A powerful, well-balanced, torpedo, it has been enjoyed since the early part of the 20th century by smokers who favor its medium body and fuller flavor. By the way, torpedoes are cigars with a tapered tip.

5. Davidoff

CREDIT: davidoff_cigars / Instagram

This line was originally produced in Cuba until the early 90s when it shipped production over to the Dominican Republic. Some of the original Cuban Davidoffs are sold for a hefty premium at auction houses in Great Britain. The newer Dominican lines are extremely well made, mild in their body, and represent some of the best things in life.

6. Don Pepin

CREDIT: vansendion / Instagram

A Cuban émigré, Don Pepin fled the island for Spain then came to the US in the 90s where his blends became an instant hit. Cigars often reflect the personality of their Creator, and the blends made by Jose “Pepin” Garcia have become legends in a very short span of time. Worthy of trying are his Cuban Classic and My Father lines, made in Nicaragua.

7. La Flor Dominicana

CREDIT: lfdcigars / Instagram

Created by Litto Gomez Diez, an affable Uruguayan with a huge smile, he rocked the cigar world when he created the Ligero blends. The blend is made from the strongest leaves in the tobacco plant while still maintaining a delicate balance in the overall product. His LFD blends often times have been awarded with cigar of the year honors.

8. Macanudo

CREDIT: macanudocigars / Instagram

Seasoned cigar smokers snub at the mention of this venerable brand, but the truth is more than 90% of cigar smokers in the US started off with a Mac, as they’re called. It has always been one of the strongest sellers in the country with popular line extensions such as Maduro – darker wrapper leaf. This brand is known for its tasty smoothness, typical of the Dominican Republic.

9. Liga Privada

CREDIT: all_about_cigars / Instagram

Jonathan Drew is known for creating wacky cigars with wacky, infused, flavors. But just when you thought it was all gimmicks, he creates Liga Privada No. 9, an intense powerhouse of a smoke. Using the most powerful leaves in the tobacco plant, with just the right fermentation, Jonathan surprised the cigar world with his Nicaraguan creation.

10. H. Upmann

CREDIT: hupmann_usa / Instagram

This Cuban classic dates back to the 19th century and has been present in discerning aficionados’ humidors since way back then. One of its most popular lines is Magnum 46, a Corona Gorda size that offers a good 60 minutes of enjoyment, preferably alongside a strong drink, or maybe just even iced tea. It’s that good!

11. Oliva Serie V

CREDIT: olivacigars / Instagram

A Nicaraguan work of art in the blending, the Serie V has several times been named cigar of the year by the most popular magazine in the industry. Bold, tasty and just plain wonderful, it has endured the test of time although being released only within the past 20 years. One can spend hours just gazing into the thick plumes of smoke out of this beauty.

12. Tatuaje

CREDIT: tatuajecigars / Instagram

The brainchild of Pete Johnson, a true lover of the leaf, who had a dream about creating his very own personal cigar. Almost by chance he met Don Pepin Garcia, it was a match made in heaven. Garcia blended a cigar to Johnson’s exacting standard and thus Tatuaje was born. Although it has many line extensions, each of them features the trademark power and balance.

13. Rocky Patel

CREDIT: rockypatelcigar / Instagram

Either you love them or hate them, but Rocky’s cigars are all over the place. He’s perhaps the most hard-working man in the cigar world, traveling almost nonstop throughout the country and his cigar factories in Central America to make sure you’re getting a top-notch product spanning the entire price range. Worthy of mention are his Decade lines.

14. Ashton

CREDIT: ashtoncigar / Instagram

Blended in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, the cigars are owned by the Levin family in the United States. Their blends used tobaccos from many different countries and are also made in different factories. One of the distinctive features of their line is the initial spice that segs into a balanced and very satisfying finish.

15. Partagas

CREDIT: partagas_cigars / Instagram

Stemming from the mid part of the XIX century, in Cuba, this has been one of the most revered brands of all times. Like all of the major players in the Cuban cigar world, it was also seized by the revolutionary government of Castro in the late 50s toppling its original owners. Today, it remains one of the best-selling brands in the Cuban cigar portfolio, with the Partagas Serie D#4, or PSD4 being king.

16. Alec Bradley

CREDIT: alecbradleycigar / Instagram

A true cigar lover from the U.S., Alan Rubin set out to leave his mark in the industry with his Alec Bradley product, named after his two sons. One of his blends was awarded cigar of the year honors a few years ago. He isn’t shy to declare his one and only goal as a cigar maker: to give the cigar smoker an unforgettable experience. To think, he didn’t know anything about cigars before 1996.

17. Romeo Y Julieta

CREDIT: romeoyjulieta_usa / Instagram

Also, one of the oldest brands in the original Cuban portfolio, dating back to the mid-19th century. It is preferred all around the world and releases special editions every now and then dedicated to a specific region of the world such as Asia-Pacific, Spain and even Mexico. They’re offering spans many different sizes and levels of strength, all of them perfectly balanced.

18. Punch

CREDIT: punchcigars / Instagram

Another Cuban gem created over 150 years ago, it has gained considerable traction in Europe, most notably in Great Britain and Germany. As is the case in many of the Cuban cigarss, they have a wide variety of sizes and taste profiles fit for almost any cigar smoker, from the typical noob that doesn’t know where to cut and light it, all the way to the most discerning aficionado.

19. Bolivar

CREDIT: cigarcities / Instagram

Although it’s not one of the most commercialized products in the Cuban portfolio, well-educated smokers flock to the few remaining offerings in the Bolivar portfolio. It is considered one of the strongest exemplars of Cuban cigars, made mostly with different primings of tobacco leaves from the traditional Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba.

20. Gurkha

CREDIT: gurkhacigars / Instagram

Despite being one of the most sold cigars in the U.S., people just can’t seem to get to grips with this brand; either it’s love or loathe, nothing in between. One of Gurkha’s most famous cigars – a cognac infused rarity – is sold for well over $1000, although most of its lines sell for around $5 to $10 a piece. No matter what, they’re worth giving a try.

21. Acid

CREDIT: experienceacid / Instagram

Created by Jonathan Drew, mentioned previously, these cigars orbit around the biker crowd, so prominently featured in their packaging and advertising. Cigar purists would rather scoff these blends, with their aromatic botanical infusions, but they become a hit with the younger generations, always willing to try something new, something different.

22. Room 101

CREDIT: caribarawak2 / Instagram

Innovation and pure marketing have become strongholds in the newer version of cigar brands, and none more brilliant than Room 101. Whether the name refers to the infamous L.A. road where owner Matt Booth makes his home, or the tortuous punish room in Orwell’s book, expect a good smoke, chock full of flavor and power. It has many line extensions, all good!

23. Hoyo De Monterrey

CREDIT: hoyocigars / Instagram

One of the oldest and most legendary brands in the Cuban portfolio, Hoyo was considered for years a milder blend, until half a century ago when the blenders began experimenting with different leaf combinations to create a bolder taste profile. One of its best sellers is the “Epicure” line extension, also featured in some special releases worldwide.

24. Behike

Save the best for last! One of the newer extensions of the Cohiba line, Behike was created to cater to the most discerning aficionados in 2010. It has definitely left a mark in the industry. Behike is the top of the line product of Cuban cigarmaking, with only the best rollers, or torcedores, entrusted with their production. And speaking of price, each cigar can easily be sold for 60 bucks and more, and that, if you can get your hands on one!

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Here's What These '90s Latinx Stars Looked Like Then And Now

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Here’s What These ’90s Latinx Stars Looked Like Then And Now

DenMoviez Entertainment / YouTube / @Shay / Pinterest / Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in Clueless (1995); "Digital Image"; IMDB; 8 March 2018

The ’90s are back. Some Latinx celebs have embraced this new trend and others are leaving their ’90s looks far, far in the past. While there are differences politically, we can all agree that these stars made out ’90s the decade to remember. Here are just a few Latinx celebs that rocked it in the ’90s and are killing the game today.

Then: Jennifer Lopez

CREDIT: @LikeKnives / Pinterest

Playing the starring role in “Selena” really made her career and seemed to fitting at the same time. She’s beauty and she’s grace. We all remember not once questioning the rumor that she had her signature booty insured for $1 billion.

Now: Jennifer Lopez

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

She is more than just an entertainer now. The singer, actor, and businesswoman has created an empire that is something to behold. That Puerto Rican booty hasn’t quit for 20 years. ?

Then: Tatyana M. Ali

CREDIT: @Shay / Pinterest

Tatyana M. Ali is half Panamanian and half Trinidadian and was all over our TV screens as Ashley Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. What’s more 90’s than that product placement, am I right?

Now: Tatyana M. Ali

CREDIT: @tatyanaali / Instagram

Since “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, Ali has stayed in front of the camera, even working on “Young and the Restless” from 2007 to 2013.

Then: John Leguizamo

CREDIT: Cybalt, “Digital Image”, The Red List; 8 March 2018

Who can forget Leguizamo as Tybalt on “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet”? You couldn’t make it through high school English class without seeing this movie and secretly l o v i n g  it. Tybalt was the fierce fire to Romeo’s weepy teen angst and you loved/hated him.

Now: John Leguizamo

CREDIT: @johnleguizamo / Instagram

Leguizamo uses his platform on Instagram to lend his voice to the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, to Dreamers and his still-standing fiery sense of humor. He has even created his own broadway show “Latin History for Morons” and he is on a mission to teach people.

Then: Stacey Dash

CREDIT: Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in Clueless (1995); “Digital Image”; IMDB; 8 March 2018

The Afro-Latina actor captured our hearts as Dionne in “Clueless”. She was all of us and everything we aspired to be in the ’90s. Yes, she was terrified to drive on the highway at 15 years old, which is relatable af, and held her boyfriend Murray to a gold standard.

Now: Stacey Dash

CREDIT: @realstaceyldash / Instagram

Dash has become a big voice among conservative media and politics. The “Clueless” star was a regular contributor for Fox News but was fired early last year. She is currently running for Congress to represent California’s 44th district.

Then: Guillermo Diaz

CREDIT: DenMoviez Entertainment / YouTube

We remember Guillermo Diaz as the tie-dye clad stoner pal Scarface in “Half Baked”. He kept us laughing as he went on an epic journey with Dave Chappelle in the stoner comedy classic.

Now: Guillermo Diaz

CREDIT: @guillermodiazreal / Instagram

Now, Diaz plays a somehow endearing killer, traumatized by the government’s secret assassination team on the hit show, “Scandal”. In real life, he’s a stand up guy that is a big advocate for this LGBTQ community and women’s rights.

Then: Mario Lopez

CREDIT: AC Slater; ‘Digital Image’; PopSugar; 8 March 2018

Lopez played one of the only Latinos on mainstream TV and even had a “coming out” moment as Chicano. As A.C. Slater in “Saved By the Bell”, he loved sports and dance and gave us all an identity we could relate to.

Now: Mario Lopez

CREDIT: @mariolopezextra / Instagram

Lopez is one of the most high-profile hosts of Extra. Not only does he get to frame the narrative, Lopez brings celebrities to a sense of comfort to make for some really fun interviews.

Then: Zoe Saldana

CREDIT: Center Stage; ‘Digital Image’; FanPop; 8 March 2018

I remember watching Zoe Saldana as Eva in “Center Stage” struggle to be accepted by her superiors at the ballet academy. Her New Yorican/Dominican sass didn’t fit with *cough* white *cough* etiquette. Watching her take the main stage at the end of “Center Stage” made us all want to become gum-chewing, sailor’s mouth ballerinas.

Now: Zoe Saldana

CREDIT: @zoesaldana / Instagram

Saldana has made me go from wishing I was a ballerina to a Nav’i person. Who doesn’t want to live in that beautiful world with nature and fun at every turn?

Then: Shakira

CREDIT: Magia (1991)

Lil’ Baby Shakira circa 1991 is giving me life right now. Everything about her is just screaming ’90s from her hair to her gloves to her skirt. She was super fashionable and we all wanted to dress just like her.

Now: Shakira

CREDIT: @shakira / Instagram

The Colombian pop star is truly living her best life. She is married to a professional soccer player, has children, and continues to win awards for her incredible music. She couldn’t be more perfect.

Then: Mike Vitar

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Vitar played Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez on “The Sandlot” and was one of the few brown kids on the team. It was an icon role for all of us wanting to make it to the big leagues…and outrun the neighborhood mastiff.

Now: Mike Vitar

CREDIT: Mike Vitar; ‘Digital Image’; TMZ; 8 March 2018

Vitar ended up becoming a firefighter after leaving acting behind in the ’90s. Vitar did make headlines as a firefighter in 2017 after a grad student filed a lawsuit against him and four other men after a near fatal attack on Halloween 2015 that left the grad student with permanent brain damage. Vitar took a six-month unpaid leave when the lawsuit was filed.

Then: Lauren Vélez

CREDIT: @mrdennisscott / Instagram

Lauren Vélez masterfully portrayed the insightful Detective Nina Moreno on the police drama “New York Undercover”.

Now: Lauren Vélez

CREDIT: @lalunavelez / Instagram

She’s now widely known as the driven police lieutenant Maria LaGuerta on Showtime’s “Dexter”Oh, and in her day to day, she looks flawless as ever performing her civic duties as a juror.

Then: Wilson Cruz

CREDIT: The Bedford Falls Company

Cruz played Ricky Velasquez on “My So-Called Life” and gave gay Latinos representation like never before. The role was filled with all the angst and confusion one would expect from a Latino coming to terms with their sexuality.

Now: Wilson Cruz

CREDIT: wcruz73 / Instagram

Cruz has used his fame to really push for his political ideals. The actor was a vocal part of the 2016 campaign year. Professionally, Cruz has made some major waves lately when cast in “Star Trek: Discovery”.

Then: Ricky Martin

CREDIT: RickyMartinVEVO / YouTube

Martin was breaking all of our hearts when he was fresh to the English-language music scene. The singer was the man all women wanted and all men wanted to be.

Now: Ricky Martin

CREDIT: ricky_martin / Instagram

The singer who was once living la vida loca is now a proud father and husband. Long gone are the days of partying and dancing the night away infavor of nights in with the familia.