Culebra cigars have been around since the early part of the 19th century. It’s easy to see why they call it the Culebra—it has the shape of a snake or perhaps three snakes all tied together. In literal terms, it is three long, slender cigars (sometimes called Panatelas) which have been purposely twisted together. The tobacco inside must be moist enough to be easily twisted. They are created by way of a special roller and process.
They are obviously rare and come with their own urban legend. Supposedly, cigar companies used to allow their hand rollers to take home a few cigars a day to smoke on their own time. So the rollers outsmarted their bosses by taking the three or so they were given, and then braiding them together, figuring it wouldn’t pass the standard—and it couldn’t be sold. Hence, they would have more to take home.
Then again, another story is that the cigar manufacturers outsmarted the rollers and created the shapes themselves so that they couldn’t be sold “black market.” Still another story is that workers simply needed to tie them together in order to carry them. (It’s not like they carried around purses!) Whatever the case, what these cigars are today are unique shaped and very tasty cigars that deserve special consideration to connoisseurs. They are usually made from Legero leaves and are associated with high quality and with their unique and mysterious origins.
When you actually buy one of these cigars, you are actually supposed to separate the sticks and smoke them individually or share them with friends. So while you’re not actually puffing on a three-headed cigar, the culture behind the Culebra is fascinating. We know what you’re thinking…you want to smoke a three-headed snake, right? Well, technically, you can try to smoke them all at once, but it’s nothing special—nothing besides smoking three small cigars all at the same time. They each burn at the same rate, though they are actually created to be individually smoked.What is a Culebra Cigar? by David Sabot