El Rey Del Mundo translates to “the King of the World”. It is a bold name which the brand presumably upheld as one of the most expensive and prestigious cigar brands in the world.
There is some variation on the exact origins of the El Rey Del Mundo cigars. There are speculators who believe Don Emilio Ohmstedt, a German business man and founder of Sancho Panza cigars, created the brand in 1848. The main debate centers on the acquisition of the brand by Antonio Allones.
There are rumors that Emilio’s death halted production and that Antonio re-established the brand in 1882. According to cigar expert, Min Ron Nee, author of An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars, the brand was sold to Antonio. Nee’s book discusses records showing Antonio had ownership of the brand as early as 1873.
The brand’s inception is a bit cloudy, and confusing. But there is no question as to how reputable the brand grew to be. It even had a factory in Havana named after it before the revolution.
In 1905, Antonio sold the brand to the Díaz Hermanos y Cía venture. The venture was owned by Cándido Vega Díaz and produced Don Cándido for Dunhill and Sancho Panza alongside the El Rey Del Mundo cigars. The venture would be renamed as Rey Del Mundo Cigar Company to represent its prestige.
After the Cuban Revolution, El Rey Del Mundo continued to be produced in Cuba, now in the Romeo y Julieta factory. The Cuban version continues to create distinguished cigars including exclusive Regional Edition lines.
Alternatively, Villazon & Company gained the rights to El Rey Del Mundo after the revolution and began producing cigars in Honduras. It was initiated by the unofficial Cigar-Hall-of-Famer, Frank Llaneza who was an executive at Villazon & Company. Frank is credited with being a leader the manufacturing of non-Cuban cigars in Honduras and acting as a catalyst for the cigar boom in the 90’s.
The brand is owned by JR Cigars, a department of Altadis USA. The production has shifted to Nicaragua and the cigars are handcrafted in the same facilities as Punch and other prestigious brands.
Originally, a mild and complex blend raised the El Rey Del Mundo cigar to the highest tier among cigar aficionados. Throughout the years palates changed and stronger blends became more popular. El Rey Del Mundo adapted and now the non-Cuban brand produces cigars with a variety of strength.
If the saying “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are” holds any truth, then El Rey Del Mundo continues to be in the highest ranks of cigars. Since its beginning, it has been associated with highly sought after cigars and even been one itself.
For any aficionado looking to taste tradition in a high-quality cigar brand, El Rey Del Mundo fits the description. If you smoke the King of the World what does that make you?