Don Jaime Partagas Ravelo was a Spaniard who came to Cuba and worked in the tobacco business in the early 19th Century. The Partagas factory is said to have already been existing in 1827 as a ”chinchalito’ with this name.
In the year 1845, he built a large factory named Real Fabrica de Tabaco Partagas(Partagas Royal Tobacco Factory) located at 60 Industria Street Havana. This is the famous Partagas factory we all know today. It is the oldest cigar factory still in operation in Cuba. Legend has it that Don Jaime Partagas decided to name it with the ”Royal Factory” title because he had been the supplier of cigars to many top aristocrats in Europe and Arabia.
In the 1860s, Jaime Partagas created history again by being the first person to employ a lector to read out loud in the factory and personally supervised the first broadcasting. This made the task of rolling cigars less boring and provided education for the workers.
In 1864 or on the night of 17 June 1868 Jamie Partagas was shot on one of his plantations and died. The reason behind his murder has never been exactly clear, except legend has it that it was linked to revenge by a rival in one of his romantic affairs. His son Jose Partagas continued to run the business.
Sometime in the late 19th Century, the Partagas family sold the Factory. Since 1900 change a few hands until 1940, when the Cifuentes family become the sole owner of the Partagas Factory, and the company name was changed to ”Cifuentes y Cia”.
The Partagas Factory acquired the Bolivar and La Gloria Cubana brands from the heirs of Jose Fernandez Rocha in 1954. At the time of the Revolution, the Partagas Factory was the second largest exporting manufacturer of Havanas.
The Cifuentes family left Cuba in 1961. Production of the Partagas brand continued without interruption. Brands produced which remained after the Revolution were Partagas, Cifuentes, Ramon Allones, Bolivar, and La Gloria Cubana.
The Partagas brand is one of the best selling brands in the past 40 years, along with Montecristo, H. Upmann, Romeo y Julieta.
Characteristics of Partagas cigars:
Very heavy earthy and peppery flavors blended with robust tobacco taste used to be the hallmark of Partagas cigars. The style was unique and unmistakable.
Circa mid to late 1995, a change to a milder blend with a less robust tobacco taste and fainter earthy and peppery flavors was observed in many models.
Since 2001, many cigars are becoming stronger again, but not as strong as they used to be before 1995.