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Contrary to the name, Dutch Masters is an American brand of natural wrapped machine-made cigars that has been selling tobacco products since 1911. It’s not just the outstanding quality of its products or the unique Dutch Masters flavors that the brand is known for, but also the interesting artistic packaging, which has been its identifying mark for over 110 years.
You might be wondering, what does a pack of cigars have to do with art? If the question has just popped in your head, you’re clearly not familiar with the Dutch Masters brand. Take a look at the Dutch Masters’ cigars packaging, and you’ll be surprised to see an actual oil painting on there.
This is a painting by the famous Dutch artist Rembrandt called “De Staalmeesters” (“The Sampling Officials,” also known as “Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild”). It was created in 1662, only seven years before Rembrandt’s death, during a time period when the artist was no longer as sought after as he used to be. So, he got an offer to create a portrait of drapers – guild members, whose job was to evaluate weavers’ products to see if they were of good enough quality to be used by guild members.
Being in a tight framework (it was required to do the portrait in a traditional style, and the men were to be depicted facing the viewer), Rembrandt still managed to demonstrate his skills as an artist, which made “The Sampling Officials” one of the painter’s last great works.
Speaking of the name “Dutch Masters,” it’s a term that refers to the most important and recognized Masters in Dutch Painting, including Johannes Vermeer, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Vincent van Gogh, and, of course, Rembrandt van Rijn. Ironically, there is nothing Dutch about the Dutch Masters cigars: all the production facilities are located in Puerto Rico, and the brand does not even use Dutch tobacco. It is Caribbean Basic Cuban seed that they use instead.
The Dutch Masters cigar brand was initially created by the G.H. Johnson Cigar Company in 1911. The latter was then merged with Consolidated Cigar Corporation in 1921, along with several other cigar companies.
From the very beginning, Dutch Masters cigars were machine-made cigars, thanks to new practices and innovations that had not been known before. Rembrandt’s painting has been used on the packaging since the brand’s creation in 1911, and the depiction of quality assurance officials may have been one of the reasons why this tobacco product started to become so popular in America.
Natural-wrapped Dutch Masters have never used cigar filters, and this must have played a big role in their success, too – eventually, it was discovered that cigar filters contain cancerogenic chemicals that are dangerous for humans.
Still, Dutch Masters did not become America’s top cigar brand overnight. After 1921, it gradually gained popularity among cigar smokers until the brand began sponsoring Ernie Kovacs, a very successful TV comedian in the 1950s. He was famous for his silent commercials and clever cinematography, and Dutch Masters was lucky to be working with such a talent.
As much as Ernie appreciated the cigar brand allowing him nearly complete creative freedom and smoked its cigars left and right on camera, he never smoked Dutch Masters privately. He was a dedicated Havana cigars consumer and did not ever want to quit his favorite cigars.
The relationship between Dutch Masters and Ernie Kovacs only lasted for 4 years, but it was enough for the cigar brand to become a household name in the 60s. This collaboration worked very well for the tobacco company and eventually led to “Dutch Masters” becoming a household name.
Ernie died in a car accident in 1962 at the age of 42. Dutch Masters made several attempts to create follow-up campaigns, specials, and commercials featuring Kovacs’s trademark silent comedy, but restrictions on advertising cigars on TV made it impossible for Dutch Masters to continue popularizing its products on television.
After the hedonistic hippie era was over, the flower people slowly began to get back to real life, discovering what cancer is and how it is linked to tobacco smoking. Like most cigar production businesses, Dutch Masters saw stagnation and then a decrease in sales.
Nevertheless, Dutch Masters managed to become one of the best-selling mass market cigars in the 1970s. At the time, its most popular cigars were Palmas which had a rich, creamy smoke with notes of vanilla. Their smell was very pleasant, nothing like the smell of regular cigars.
Luckily, the Dutch Masters brand made a comeback during the 1990s when they found a new audience by entering the hip-hop world – thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan, the LOX, and Mobb Deep. As Richard DiMeola, the executive vice-president of Consolidated Cigar Corporation, said, it was time for “a rebirth of the cigar.”
In 1999, the Consolidated Cigar Corporation became a subsidiary of SEITA, formerly France’s state-run tobacco monopoly and a private business today. Then it merged with Tabacalera – the Spanish equivalent of SEITA – to form Altadis, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies. 9 years later, Imperial Brands, a British multinational tobacco conglomerate based in Bristol, England, purchased Altadis, meaning Dutch Masters are now manufactured and sold by the Imperial Brands company.
All these endless merges and purchases have had no effect on the quality of the Dutch Masters products. Its cigars are still the same natural wrapped machine-made products that people fell in love with back in 1911. They are also quite affordable cigars, often appearing at gas stations and store counters. Being introduced to the rap world and being mentioned in numerous hip-hop songs of the 90s certainly helped Dutch Masters retain its status as the best-selling cigar brand in America.
Even 110 years later, Dutch Masters is still one of the leading machine-made cigar brands in the US. It is instantly recognized by its name and unique packaging. People are well aware of the quality of the brand’s products and appreciate the reasonable prices.
Throughout its history, Dutch Masters has come up with different tobacco products and created some of the most amazing flavors. There is no wonder why the brand remains one of the top sellers in the industry.
You can find Dutch Masters pretty much anywhere in the US. If the place sells tobacco products, you most certainly will find a few by this cigar brand. Isn’t it exciting to realize that your grandparents could also pop into a shop once in a while to get a pack of Dutch Masters?
Anyway, these are the Dutch Masters products currently available on the market:
- Cameroon Elite
- Creme de Menthe
- Honey Sports
- Honey Sports Cigarillos
- Vanilla Sports
- Corona De Luxe
- Tube Cigarillos
- White Grape
- 227 Benedict
The most popular products, however, are still Palmas, President Cigars, and Cigarillos.
The vanilla Palma has been America’s favorite natural wrapped cigar since 1911. Palmas come in an individual foil wrap which guaranteed the freshness of the cigar. The Palma does not feature a band; however, every single cigar is pre-punched for consumers’ convenience.
Cigar smokers love Dutch Masters Palmas for its inexpensiveness, availability at every gas station in the country, and, of course, for its mild vanilla smell and maple syrup notes. This is the perfect cigar for those who are into sweet flavors. The Palma contains Cuban seed tobacco and packs homogenized tobacco fillers and binders in natural Cameroon tobacco leaf wrappers.
This is another cigar by Dutch Masters that has gained so much popularity over the years. If size matters to you, the President cigar is 5.62 inches long with a 42-ring gauge of perfect construction. The filler and binder are homogenized tobacco leaves wrapped in a natural leaf wrapper with sweet and woody notes. The Cuban mix of tobacco provides honey, caramel, and even leathery flavors. Experienced cigar smokers enjoy smoking Dutch Masters President cigars as the fillers in them are distributed evenly, making sure that you receive a high-quality dose of nicotine.
You will sense the earthy and sweet undertones even before lighting a President cigar, which ensures the top quality of tobacco used. Even though tobacco is densely packed, each smoke inhalation is super easy to take, with all the flavors spreading evenly.
While many smokers prefer having a cigar at night after a hard-working day, many enjoy having the delicious Dutch Masters President cigar right in the afternoon while sipping their coffee, as it’s considered a mild one.
Generally, cigarillos, or minis, are perfect for a quick smoke during the day. With the Caribbean Basic Cuba seed fillers, homogenized tobacco leaf binders, and tobacco natural leaf wrappers, you’ll get to enjoy different Dutch Masters Cigarillos flavors, which pairs well with the sweet natural tobacco flavor.
The 4.5-inch Dutch Masters Cigarillos come in a box with thirty packs of two cigarillos each, wrapped in foil. The box is airtight with a ziplock, which ensures that the product reaches the consumer in perfect condition. Unlike other brands of cigars, the brand has made sure that its cigarillos do not dry out once you open the pack, and the Dutch Masters mini flavors stay in. This is the result of Altadis heavily investing in the brand.
You can easily take Dutch Masters Cigarillos anywhere you go and have one whenever you feel like it!
Dutch Masters tobacco products come in various flavors, including:
Now, the following are the top-six best-selling Dutch Masters flavors:
Dutch Masters has been America’s top natural-wrapped cigar brand for the past 110 years. With its trademark packaging, high quality of products, and a great variety of fantastic flavors, it has gained millions of dedicated customers all across the US.
Dutch Masters aromatic tobacco products provide an amazing, satisfying smoking experience, whether you like enjoying a solid smoke at night or want to light a mild cigarillo during the day. You’re also going to be pleasantly surprised by the Dutch Masters’ price range, despite the fact that it’s a top machine-made cigar brand.
Try these Puerto Rican cigars made with Caribbean Basin Cuban seed and enjoy the smoothness, mature flavors, and very comfortable burn. Whether you’re a long-time consumer or you’ve never tried a Dutch Masters cigar, you are very welcome to shop at Tobacco Stock – we have all sorts of the brand’s products currently available.