Cigars come in various sizes, shapes, and flavors. They often bear unique names, which have interesting backstories.

History of Cigar Names

(Freeimages / Borbás Krisztián)

Here are some prominent cigar brands and how their names came to be:

  • Gurkha – The name of this brand came from the town of Gurkha in Nepal. The term Gurkha was used by the British to refer to the fearsome soldiers of Nepal, considered the bravest of the brave. The Nepalese fighters were later enlisted by the British to fight in different parts of the world, protecting and expanding the British empire. The British started calling the Nepalese soldiers’ cigars Gurkhas. The name was later used by Kaizad Hansotia when he started manufacturing and selling cigars in the 1980s. The company now makes some of the most expensive cigars in the world.
  • Brick House – When Julius Caesar Newman launched his cigar manufacturing company, he decided to name it after his family’s house in his Hungarian village, the only one made of brick. Newman immigrated to American in the late 1800s.
  • Davidoff – This famous luxury brand of cigars can be traced to Europe, Cuba, and South America. It produces high-end cigars and accessories. It was founded by Zino Davidoff, who was born to Jewish parents in Kiev in 1906. The family migrated to Switzerland in 1911 before moving to South America in 1924. The Davidoff brand is known worldwide as the King of Cigars.
  • H. Upmann – Herman Upmann and his brother moved from Germany to Havana in Cuba to establish a bank and a cigar company in 1844. The brothers were the first to sell cigars in cedar boxes. Their bank closed in the 1920s, but the cigar company lived on. It continues to produce quality cigars in Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
  • Cohiba – The most counterfeited cigar in the world due to its exceptional quality, the Cohiba was first created for Fidel Castro in 1966 at the El Laguito factory in Havana, Cuba. The cigars, which were exclusively crafted for Castro and other high-level Cuban government officials, were also given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. The term cohiba comes from the Taino tobacco leaves, which the natives rolled together and smoked.
  • Montecristo – “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas provided beloved reading material at the cigar factory founded by Alonso Menendez in 1935. The book was read aloud to the people who hand-rolled the cigars.
  • Rocky Patel – Rakesh “Rocky” Patel used his own name when he re-launched his Indian Tabac company that manufactured quality cigars.

What’s in a name? The next time you smoke one of these popular cigars, you’ll know.