The Byron 19th Century cigar blend is a resurrection of a Cuban brand lost to time. The cigar was originally created in the mid 19th century by two cousins who owned a humble cigar factory near Havana. At the time, demand for premium cigars in the United States and the United Kingdom was raging. During this era, it was common for factories to produce brands featuring Anglo-American names to appeal to these markets. So it wasn’t out of the norm for these cousins to create and name a cigar after the famed English poet, Lord Byron. What is out of the norm is that the brand was revived and is available today. More on that later.
The original Lord Byron cigars were a hit, so the cousins expanded their operation, and the brand enjoyed success for generations. Some of the details get a little murky, though the story goes that a grandson of one of the cousins, Ricardo Alfonzo, who was then the man in charge, experienced severe financial hardships with the brand and was forced to sell. Ninety years would pass before Ricardo Alfonzo's great-grandson Nelson Alfonso would resurrect the brand through his Selected Tobacco company. If Nelson's name sounds familiar, that's because he's done some gorgeous design work for the likes of Cohiba, Padrón, Romeo y Julieta, and more. Do you know those eye-catching bright yellow three-legged Montecristo ashtrays? He's the dude behind those. And that's just a tiny taste of his talents. But we digress.
Nelson Alfonso reclaimed the Byron brand in the late 1990s, recreated it, and relaunched the Byron 19th Century cigar using similar artwork featuring the poet. The cigars are released in limited quantity and sit in an aging room for one year prior to their release, much longer than the average cigar sitting time of two months.
The Byron 19th Century cigar features a chocolate brown oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a binder of unknown origin, and a filler blend that is part Nicaraguan and part unknown.
This cigar starts with pepper, spice, and cedar notes quickly joined by nutty notes and a bread flavor boarding on toast. Further down, the pepper and cedar are running the show, with the other flavors serving as fine supporting actors. It’s a chewy, complex smoke with all of these flavors continuing to the nub while cocoa and cream make cameos to balance out the pepper and spice.
Please enjoy Byron 19th Century cigars at your leisure.