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Home » Cigar FAQ

Culebra Cigar Story

Submitted by Rob on December 14, 2008 – 12:41 pm2 Comments

Culebra cigars are a unique cigar that has been around since the 1800′s. “Culebra” means “snake” in spanish – and as you can tell the shape was given this name because it resembles 3 snakes intertwined.

The creation of the culebra cigar starts with 3 long Panatelas that are twisted together when the tobacco is extremely moist. The roll can only be done by very specialized workers and is therefore limited in the amount created and by the brand that can produce them.

Culebra’s are generally stored and sold in individual boxes.

Why was the Culebra’s Cigar Created?
There are no definitive answers as to why the culebra was created but many theories are circulating.

The most humorous of the stories involves the cigar rollers outsmarting the manufacturers. Manufacturers would set a limit on the cigars they could smoke and or take home (lets just use 3 for example). Rollers decided to take the three they were allowed and braided the cigars – essentially making 1 cigar that wouldn’t ever pass quality standards. Now, using the same number of 3, the rollers can take home a total of 9.

Story Number 2: Cigar manufactures allowed the rollers to smoke cigars. However it was a little unclear what the workers were specifically smoking. Were they smoking profits? Or the general cigars that didn’t meet quality standards? Now by braiding the cigars they could smoke and making the sticks look awkward, manufactures were able to keep inventory. Also – because it was an odd shape the cigar rollers would not be able to sell the sticks on the black market.

The final theory floating around is that the culebra shaped cigar was developed as a simple marketing ploy. Cigar sales may have been down, a brand uniqueness was wanted, or whatever the reason: This was a simple marketing tool. You have to admit the cigars always catch your eye and create great conversation. Culebra’s are unique and many people buy them strictly for collecting.

Can You Smoke the Culebra Cigars?
Yes, the culebra cigars were meant to be smoked. Untie the wraps, or bands, at the end of the braid and carefully pry the sticks apart. Share a stick with two other friends or put them in your humidor for safe storing.

However if you were to keep them together and smoke them all at once you might gain some bragging rights or funny store to share with your friends. Just make sure to take some pictures.

The culebra cigar should have no problems with the draw. However the ash might fall off at or just past the bends.

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  • [...] Panetela: Shaped like a longer, thinner corona, panetelas were more popular in years past than they are today. This format varies in length from 5 to 7 1/2 inches and has a ring gauge of 34 to 38. This shape is also used to create the Culebra. [...]

  • [...] Originally Posted by TTHunter What about this thing? Is it a gimick? Are you supposed to smoke it like that or is it actually 3 sticks? Culebra LTC Natural Culebras are supposedly smoked with all three at the same time or as individual smoke. It is somewhat gimmicky IMO. They have Cuban smoke that's made in that smoke as well. This might explain it a little better. Culebra Cigar Story – Cigar FAQ – [...]