Connecticut Tobacco Making Comeback, Cigar Aficionado Notes

March 12, 2012
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Did you know Connecticut has an industry that is making a comeback?  Then how come nobody is talking about it, particularly politicians who will use any excuse to mug for a camera heralding good economic news.   Could it be the industry on the rebound is too politically incorrect for our elected officials?

Tobacco comeback

In the February issue of Cigar Aficionado, author Gregory Mottola has written a superb piece headlined “Connecticut’s Comeback: The Hot New Thing In the Humidor Is A Wrapper Leaf Dating Back More Than 110 Years.”  The photography by Sarina Finkelstein augments the piece well.   Mottola writes about the Connecticut River Valley’s ripe climate for Connecticut Shade, used to wrap many cigars, especially cigars made by General Cigar Co.   General manufactures numerous cigars, using Connecticut Shade, including Macanudo Cafe and Macanudo Gold Label.

In the piece, General’s marketing director, Bill Chilian, said “Connecticut Shade cigars do so well because the tobacco is synonymous with quality, consistency and nuanced flavor from a taste perspective.”    Other cigar companies are also purchasing Connecticut Shade because of its quality and how it blends so well with other tobacco, according to the story.

Storm Clouds

Despite the good news, there are some storm clouds on the horizon.  Because the cost of doing business in Connecticut is high, some companies are now importing Connecticut seed to Ecuador, to grow the tobacco.  But cigar makers acknowledge, even though the tobacco in Ecuador originates from Connecticut seed, there is a difference, due in part to the unique climate of the Connecticut River Valley.

Where’s the publicity?

In general, the economic news for Connecticut’s tobacco industry is on the upswing, but one has to wonder if the silence from officialdom is the result of the topic not being politically correct.  Or maybe officials are just too busy these days, attempting to further deregulate marijuana, by legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes.

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