4 Cigar Brands to Visit in the United States

As a cigar enthusiast, there's nothing cooler than visiting a brand and meeting the people behind cigars we love. But you don't have to write for Cigar Aficionado or front the money for a trip to Nicaragua to visit your favorite brands. More and more brands are opening US stores, headquarters, and cigar lounges where you can talk to experts in the brand and even meet the master blenders themselves. These four unique cigar brand locations need to be on the itinerary for your next road trip. BURN by Rocky Patel Rocky Patel cigars have been a mainstay at cigar lounges for decades now thanks to their high bang-for-buck and classy, modern looks. Rocky Patel got his start brokering deals over cigars as a Hollywood attorney for Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities, so he knows just what businessmen and other lounge-goers like. So it's no surprise that Rocky decided to open a line of cigar lounges in cities across the US. BURN started in 2010 with a location in Naples Florida, just a few miles south of RP headquarters. It boasts the largest collection of Scotch and bourbon in the state as well as live music every night, food and décor inspired by India, Cuba, and the Mediterranean, and a chance to meet Rocky himself. Oh, and every Rocky Patel cigar available in the world right there in the humidor at reasonable prices, with the option to rent a private locker for regulars. The Naples BURN turned out to be so popular that Rocky Patel opened four more BURN lounges around the county back in 2018, in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Oklahoma City. So there are plenty of locations to fit into any road trip. You might not get to see Rocky there unless you're very lucky, but you can be sure that the tobacconists and bartenders are experts on all things Rocky Patel. My Father Miami My Father has to be the biggest success story of the past decade. The brand exploded onto the scene after years of stellar contract-blending by co-founder Jose “Pepin” Garcia. The father-son duo of Jose and Jaime Garcia have since earned two Cigar of the Year titles and a wealth of other accolades. When people think of modern, potent Nicaraguan blends, they think My Father. For a long time, people could walk into Don Pepin's El Rey de Los Habanos factory on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, Miami, see the famous sticks being rolled by a few dozen rollers, and even meet the legend himself. Nowadays, Jose Garcia spends most of his time on the family's farms in Nicaragua and the original factory is closed. But Jaime Garcia, the man behind many of My Father's most popular blends including the original My Father (in honor of Jose Garcia), is still based in Miami from the new My Father headquarters. And the "My Father" office is very much open to visitors. You'll now have to drive out to near the Miami International Airport but it's well worth the trip. You can still see the famous cigars being rolled, but now you can also sit back and smoke one yourself in the comfortable lounge and pick up a box to take home from the store. And you may well meet Jaime Garcia himself. Padron Miami If the Garcias are the leading family of the new wave of blenders, Padron is the established royalty of the cigar world. Their ultra-aged Nicaraguan puros have won over millions of smokers' hearts and earned the family three out of the first six Cigar of the Year titles. Heck, they've never placed out of the top 10 in CA's annual list. The Padron brand has always been about honoring tradition, history, and the company's roots. Padron first achieved international recognition in 1994 for the 1964 Anniversary Series 30th, celebrating the brand's thirtieth anniversary. Almost every release since then has been named after some momentous event in the family's history. What better way to celebrate this legendary brand's dedication to its roots than by visiting their home in Miami? The Padrons have been rolling cigars in Little Havana since Jose Orlando Padron opened up his shop in 1964, using savings he built up as a carpenter using a hammer given to him by his friend Raul Fernandez. And if you visit their headquarters, you'll get to see that hammer in person – and not just on the band of the Family Reserve. Seriously, the hammer's right there in a glass case along with other mementos from Jose Orlando Padron's life. And while the patriarch sadly passed away in 2017, odds are that the person behind the counter at the HQ is a member of the Padron family. Do not miss this opportunity to pick their brains to find the perfect blend, or to hear stories about the man who changed the cigar industry forever. Nat Sherman Townhouse NYC Visiting the Nat Sherman Townhouse on the East Side of Manhattan is like traveling back in time. Even the facade looks like something out of a black-and-white photograph from the 19th century – complete with the Nat Sherman clock flanked by cigar-store Indians that millions of smokers worldwide know from the company's cigarette boxes. And once you step inside... well, if you thought that their all-natural cigarettes (the best in the world) and premium cigars were classy, you'll be blown away by the townhouse. The two-story room that you step into is reminiscent of an old library, perhaps an Oxford (or, if you’re a newer smoker, Hogwarts). Paintings and old photographs line the walls of the second floor and there's even a grand piano to complete the scene. The walls of the first floor are filled with beautiful glass display cases and there are display tables every few feet filled with the best cigar cutters, lighters, cases, humidors, pipes, cigarettes, and pipe tobacco in the world. Friendly but intensely knowledgeable tobacconists will greet you from behind these tables and guide you through the centuries of cigar heritage in the building. It's the best place in the world to feel like a king and buy premium accessories and tobacco. And the tobacconists will be proud to show off the townhouse's giant walk-in humidor at the back of the first floor, with a bank-style vault at the back for the rare and ridiculously expensive cigars. They've got a good selection of premium brands, including Padron and Davidoff. But the real draw is the selection of Nat Sherman's own cigars. The company has been trying to buck their cigarette reputation ever since VP Michael Herklots joined the company in 2011. Michael Herklots was determined to make some of the world's best cigars, and he partnered with Manuel Quesada of MATASA to do it. His efforts paid off as the Nat Sherman Timeless made CA's Top 10 in 2012 and the company's cigar operations have been gaining steam ever since. Visiting the townhouse gives you the rare opportunity to try some of Nat Sherman's harder-to-find cigars, choosing the best stick for your tastes with the help of their experts. If you want a premium cigar experience in the heart of New York City, there's no better place than the Nat Sherman Townhouse. Those are just a few of the cigar hotspots to visit. Which ones have you been to? Did they live up to the hype?