N.B. THIS POST (THREAD) IS FOR CIGAR SMOKERS ONLY.
Cigar smokers know that there are only a handful of countries with the appropriate microclimates to support quality tobacco and cigar production and that one of these countries is the Dominican Republic.
For example, Arturo Fuentes are world-reknown as is the stellar Opus X (and probably over-rated due to limited supply).
So what is the shock?
THE SHOCK IS THAT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC YOU CANNOT BUY DOMINICAN CIGARS.
Of course, the latter statement is not absolutely true but it is relatively true. If you were to assign a number between 1 and 10 for the ubiquity of Dominican cigars in First World cities it would be an 8. Whereas in the D.R. it would be a 2. Alas, tobacco grown and cigars rolled here are destined for markets abroad.
In Santo Domingo, I have found a single cigar shop where one can find quality cigars, Cuban and Dominican, as well as some excellent product rolled on site. It is La Leyenda del Cigarro, S.R.L. on Calle El Conde, No. 161, Esq. Hostos. Their business card cites two other locations but I have not visited them. No, this is NOT stealth spam -- just a recommendation from a forum member. If you know of other serious tobacconists in other parts of the country, as well as the capital, I'm sure many would like to know . . .
The specifics. The ambiance of this shop is pleasant and timeless. Lavish woodwork, orange ceilings, paintings of famous historical cigar smokers, two comfortable and facing couches with pillows, a coffee table, and a crystal ashtray.
I feel very relaxed smoking here. Generally, I smoke one-half of my cigar here, then proceed to La Cafetera for coffee traditional and al refresco and cigar friendly if you sit at the outside table.
At the former shop I have found a superior Cuban Romeo y Julieta #1 tubo. However, the corona is not my preferred size. Next in line will be the Robusto! I was not, however, impressed by the various toros: Robaina, Upmann, Montecristo.
My greatest surprise was/is a rolled-on-site maduro robusto. The roller has a very sensitive touch. Excellent construction, even burn, no bad draws, and bold with character. It is so nearly indistinguishable from the Dominican La Gloria Cubana Wavell that I purchase in the U.S. to bring here such that I'm going to make this my regular cigar. It is $RD 150 per stick, an excellent price.
Prices? As you know, a good cigar, in U.S. dollars, averages $15.00 - $25.00 apiece and up. If you look hard and buy on the Internet, you may find a good quality budget cigar for +/- $5.00.
The prices at this shop are good, meaning "normal." An average Cuban is $RD 500. That is a "normal," not inflated, and therefore a "good" price.
The selection of cigars rolled on site is large, 20 or more, many sizes, only one maduro.
What's your cigar story? Recommendation?