Perdomo Cigars is a proud but humble cigar brand whose story sounds like something out of a movie. Building one of the largest and most prestigious brands of cigars isn’t an easy feat, but the Perdomos have been fighters from the beginning. Their story starts with Silvio Perdomo and his son, Nick Perdomo, who worked in Cuba for H. Upmann and Partag. . .
Perdomo Cigars is a proud but humble cigar brand whose story sounds like something out of a movie. Building one of the largest and most prestigious brands of cigars isn’t an easy feat, but the Perdomos have been fighters from the beginning. Their story starts with Silvio Perdomo and his son, Nick Perdomo, who worked in Cuba for H. Upmann and Partagas during the 1940s. When Castro came to power, Silvio was imprisoned by the regime, and Nick raised arms and fought against Castro as a guerrilla until he was wounded. Ultimately, the family made the difficult decision to leave their homeland to start a new life in the U.S. This move forced them to temporarily leave the industry they loved, but they would return one day in dramatic fashion.
Nick’s son, Nick Jr., was a proud American who wanted to serve his county as an air traffic controller, and his time in the U.S. Navy instilled in him the importance of attention to detail and efficiency. Equipped with the core values of hard work and dedication that he inherited from his father and grandfather, Nick Perdomo Jr. started a very small cigar company out of his garage.
Beginning with just three rollers, Perdomo launched his company, working day and night to package and roll while also working his full-time job to finance his vision. With some initial success, Nick expanded, but the high cost of producing cigars in the U.S. made it impossible to maintain an affordable and high-quality product. In 1997, as a result of the high costs and with the help of his father, Nick Sr., Perdomo moved production to Esteli, Nicaragua, just in time for the cigar boom of the 1990s.
Perdomo has never been afraid to pave his own path and ignore trends. In the mid-1990s, when the whole world was smoking round cigars, he released the Perdomo², one of the first box-pressed cigars on the market. The 90s were a great time if you liked to smoke mild cigars, however, Nick thought most mild cigars released were bland and lacked the complexity and smooth flavor that should be present in any cigar. While most popular cigar makers were using Connecticut wrappers and delicate Dominican fillers, Nick went the other way, utilizing Sumatra wrappers and Central American fillers to create more robust and spicier blends that would appeal to milder smokers as well as those interested in a more full-bodied experience.
Perdomo’s big and bold blends attracted seasoned smokers and cigar critics. One of the people who took notice of Perdomo’s hard work was Cano A. Ozgener, the head of CAO, one of the largest cigar brands in the market. CAO was in need of a new manufacturing partner, and Ozgener decided to team up with Perdomo. Together, they produced the CAO L’Anniversaire. The partnership was a great success that helped further Perdomo’s reputation for quality and expand the company’s operations. Today, Perdomo is one of the largest manufacturers of cigars in all of Nicaragua.
As Perdomo grew, so did his operation, and Nick came to the conclusion that it was important to control the process from start to finish, investing profits to buy land, employ the best farmers, and ultimately take full control of the cigar-making process—even going so far as to produce boxes and cellophane wrappers in-house.
Nick found having complete control enabled him to ensure the highest quality at the best price. He claims that each cigar goes through a rigorous, 3052-step process. From start to finish, each stage of the process is carefully watched by quality control supervisors to make sure proper care is taken of every cigar made. Every leaf is hand-checked to maintain consistency among blends, and the company utilizes a combination of traditional practices and technology to make sure every cigar has an even burn and a consistent draw.
Nick Perdomo Jr. places high value in proper training, ensuring his employees are able to roll cigars to the high standards he upholds. He understands mistakes happen and sometimes things aren’t perfect the first time—so if a cigar doesn’t pass the initial draw tests, the roller is given the opportunity to fix the cigar. However, employees whose cigars fail a second time are sent home for ten days without pay. The extensive training and high wages, combined with the opportunity to lose those wages, keeps rollers engaged and focused on producing a top-quality cigar for their customers. By the time a box of Perdomo Cigars is shipped out, each cigar has been inspected at least seventeen times.
Nick Perdomo’s obsession with quality and passion for cigars ensures that smokers receive a high-quality, smooth, complex, and rich experience at an affordable price. Perdomo strives to provide cigars that can be enjoyed by mild and full-bodied smokers alike.
The PERDOMO Way:
While there are similarities on how manufactures produce cigars, each manufacturer is slightly different. Perdomo prides itself on taking 3,054 steps to make a single cigar. Listed below are a few major steps along the path that every Perdomo cigar takes.
Hand Harvesting at Finca Natalie Farm:
Named after Nick and Janine's daughter, Finca Natalie is Perdomo's most prestigious farm. The farm is located in Esteli Nicaragua and harvests almost 39 million tobacco leaves a year. Finca Natalie has four curing barns on the property, that each hold just under 10 million leaves. Each leaf that is harvested at the property is harvested, inspected and hung for curing by hand.
Tobacco plants are sensitive when they are young. That is why young tobacco plants begin their life protected in a greenhouse. Both the ceiling and the walls are constructed out of special materials that filter out a portion of harmful UV rays, insects, airborne viruses and molds. The fine cloth walls maintain protection while allowing adequate airflow to allow the plants to grow strong.
After a certain amount of time, the plant is ready to be transplanted to the fields. Before they are transplanted, each plant is examined for posture, color and root structure development. Perdomo has high standards for these criteria and if the plant is not perfect, it is removed. This inspection process helps maintain quality and consistency in Perdomo cigar blends.
Water Filtration and Eco-Friendly Irrigation System:
Water is the lifeblood of the tobacco plant. Using a custom water filtration system Perdomo ensures that no potential contaminates reach their plants. Water is delivered to plants using a drip irrigation system. This system ensures that the pants receives the proper amount of nutrients while protecting the natural water resources on the farm.
Traditional Oxen Planting:
Perdomo farm rows are plowed by hand using Oxen to aerate the soil. Aerating the soil allows for strong roots to develop and absorb nutrients so the plant can produce large healthy leaves. By choosing to not use mechanical plows this also helps limit the carbon footprint of the farm.
Hand Stringing Tobacco:
During stringing each leaf is hand inspected for quality. Different primings of tobacco are color-coded when they are strung onto the Eucalyptus sticks in the Perdomo curing bars.
Throughout the curing process the tobacco leaves will slowly lose their chlorophyl. Perdomo spaces out the different primings according to the size the leaf. This allows the exact humidity and temperature of the barn to be preciously controlled. Over the next 45-60 days the natural curing process will take each individual leaf to the perfect color and texture.
After curing, Perdomo tobacco is then fermented in a Pilón for at least three years. Despite weighing around 3,000 pounds, each Pilón is deconstructed and reconstructed multiple times over this time. This rotation allows for the tobacco to ferment evenly and humidity and temperature to be preciously maintained. This attention to detail ensures every leaf ferments to the perfect aroma, color, flavor and texture.
Meticulous Inspection by Experts:
Tobacco legend Aristides Garcia and his staff of experts oversee the fermentation process. Each leaf is inspected by hand and held to Perdomo standards. These time-honored traditions ensure consistency in each of the cigar blends.
Additional Bourbon Barrel Aging:
Perdomo takes an additional step by aging their tobacco in bourbon barrels. The char in American white oak barrels help to caramelize the leaf's color and flavor. This produces a tobacco that is bursting with smooth taste and rich flavor.
Custom Wrapper Preparation:
Perdomo cigar wrappers go through a custom made system to prepare them for use. This system opens up the hands of tobacco up to absorb the humidity. This is a slow process to ensure that the wrappers are not damaged or bruised as they are humidified.
Perdomo uses nothing but long filler tobacco in their cigars. Each professional buncher is trainer to place the seco, viso and ligero leaves in the correct position. This uniformity ensures a consistent flavor, draw and burn in Perdomo Cigars.
Draw Testing Each Cigar:
Perdomo draw tests 100% of daily production. This attention to detail takes time but ensures every single cigar meets high standards.
Wrapped With Care:
Each Perdomo wrapper leaf is cut by hand using a traditional chaveta before application. After trimming, skilled rollers apply the wrapper by hand to the bunch that has passed draw testing. This is done on a stainless steel cutting board to ensure accuracy and cleanliness.
After the wrapper has been applied the finished cigar is hand inspected again. This ensures that the wrapper, cap, and weight is up to Perdomo standards. After inspection the cigar is sent to the aging room. Each cigar is inspected a total of 17 times before being sent out for distribution.
Complete Cigar Aging:
The finished cigars are aged for a minimum of six to eight months depending on the wrapper used. This is done in the highly-guarded Perdomo aging rooms under strict temperature and humidity standards. This additional aging allows for the flavors to marry together to create the perfect cigar.
Hand Banding Each Cigar:
Each Perdomo cigar is banded, wrapped in cellophane, and boxed by hand. This takes place after the cigars have been color sorted according to their brand.