Excalibur by Hoyo de Monterrey is a premium cigar that is made from the top ten percent of tobacco that passes through their Honduran and Nicaraguan factories. Full flavored and smooth, Excalibur Cigars offer a full aged cigar experience in true Cuban style.
Excalibur is most famously remembered as the name of King Arthur’s mythical sword. Excalibur is also a fitting name for the cigars produced by the makers of Hoyo de Monterrey. Excalibur started as an extension of one of the oldest cigar brands in the world and managed to become a distinguished individual entity.
Don José Gener created Hoyo de Monterrey in 1865 and named it in honor of the Vuelta Abajo region in Cuba. Don Gener’s goal was to produce cigars using quality tobacco and talented torcedors. This philosophy followed the brand throughout the various owners and became a part of Excalibur as well.
The Cuban embargo in 1962 created an interesting epidemic in the cigar market. Thousands of Cuban brands were discontinued because of the nationalization of the tobacco industry in 1960. Only 25 brands officially remained in production. Of those few some gained a non-Cuban parallel brand which was registered in America, Hoyo de Monterrey is one of them.
In 1964, Frank Llaneza, owner of Villazon & Co, acquired the rights to the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. Frank was the visionary mastermind that set up Hoyo de Monterrey to become one of the most prized brands in the United States.
One might wonder how a Tampa, Florida based company like Villazon & Co. was able to effortlessly mimic the Cuban essence and tradition in their non-Cuban cigars. First, Frank expanded Villazon & Co. by opening up a second factory in Danlí, Honduras. Frank followed the traditional native methods to cultivate tobacco using Cuban seeds.
The soil was also a key factor in the process. Jalapa, Honduras was considered the most fertile due to the high quality of the wild tobacco that grew there. The two elements that brought it all together was the expert blending and skilled torcedores who roll the cigars with the traditional Cuban triple cap.
Excalibur first came onto the cigar scene as a line of Hoyo de Monterrey in the 1970’s. The line continued to grow and eventually became a separate brand with various lines. Arguably the fan favorite, which is regarded as “the people’s choice cigar”, is the complex Excalibur Cameroon.
Another reason Excalibur grew so popular is that it was Villazon & Co.’s first international brand. Because of the Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey, they could not sell cigars under that name overseas, thus Excalibur flourished abroad.
The cigar brand gained immense popularity among American aficionados and cigar critics. Cigar Aficionado has repeatedly given the brand stellar ratings ranging from excellent to outstanding, which correlates to several 90+ rankings.
In 1996, General Cigar Co. bought Villazon & Co. This acquisition rounded out General’s portfolio and understood the importance of maintaining the brand’s virtue. In 2005, the Excalibur Quest was held and a box of the cigars was hidden in Chicago and aficionados were given clues and challenged to find the cigars to receive a $5,000 prize.
Despite being a large corporation they recognized the capability of the brand and maintained its integrity. In 2010, General made several cuts on various brands and lines but when it came to Excalibur they added two sizes.
Excalibur is a sought after brand similar to the fabled sword which it is named after. According to thousands of aficionados, the handmade cigars are worth the chase. Luckily, you don’t have to look much further because we offer Excalibur cigars here at Mike’s Cigars.