Dignity Cigars was founded in 2010 by Don Juan Gross with the slogan “Dignity Forever”. Their Costa Rican puros are cultivated in the richest soil under ideal climate conditions, grown in a pesticide-free environment using organic fertilization methods. Quality and taste is the end result of a combination of the seed, harvest, curing, fermentation, aging, rolling of the actual cigar and aging of the product after being handcrafted. The origin of our fine quality tobacco can be accredited to the world’s only existing pure ancestral, pre-embargo Cuban seeds of the 1940s and 1950s. The seed varieties were obtained from the Habanesis process developed in Cuba in 1907. This was the first standardized black tobacco seed and is the forefather to all modern Cuban tobaccos. Each true-to-type seed has been adapted in the high mountains of Costa Rica while retaining their genotypic and phenotypic characteristics.
Dignity products are offered through high-end hotels, boutique cigar lounges, private clubs and exclusive retailers and is one of the leading luxury boutique brands. Their unique blends are prime for the new cigar smoker and also the seasoned aficionado. They strive to create new and exciting blends as they continuously build the brand on quality, elegance and class.
Don Juan Gross Bio:
A native of Detroit, MI, Mr. Gross was an avid high school and college athlete, participating in such sports as basketball and cross-country racing. He attended Xavier University in New Orleans, LA on a basketball scholarship and studied mass communications and television production. Later, he moved to Los Angeles and studied film production, public relations and marketing. He spent his early years in the entertainment business working with the legendary, groundbreaking filmmaker Robert Townsend at Townsend Entertainment.
For many years, Don Juan enjoyed cigars in a casual way. His introduction to the production side of premium cigars came when he visited a cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua in 2007. It was there that he first experienced rollers putting together the wrappers, binders and fillers on a massive scale. Ultimately, he fell in love with the process after witnessing the art, passion and craftsmanship that went into each cigar rollers’ work.
He then went on a mission to create organic cigars, starting with the tobacco. While he was turned away many times, after two years he gained an introduction to John Vogel, former head of R&D for Consolidated Cigar Co. (now Altadis). And from there, the Dignity Brand was eventually formed.
The cigar has an evenly colored, oily and hearty sheen with a coffee-brown wrapper. There is a rich and powerful pre-light aroma. While it is solid to the touch, the Elite Reserva is very smooth with an unmistakable silky appearance.
1st quarter: Once lit, the draw was a bit of a fight and a little tight. Still, the Elite Reserva was able to allow plenty of dense smoke through to the palate. 2nd quarter: From the start, you will find a very unique and full aroma that hits your palate. It has good construction that provided an even burn and good texture. There are big consistent flavors that are clean with a bit of sweetness – you will enjoy the same along with some complexity in the aroma. 3rd quarter: There was a nice amount of sweet tones that developed along with a touch of spice through the nose. Its strength and flavor developed to a medium body while a big, intense aroma continued to fill the air. Only a minor touch-up was needed to get the cigar back on track. 4th quarter: In this last portion of the cigar, there was still a slightly tight draw; however, the Elite Reserva continued with its consistent flavors and aroma. An earthy, Costa Rican profile stayed full with a great slow burn. It eventually finished with some unique and intriguing characters that left a long and lingering taste of goodness.
Overall, the Elite Reserva is a very nice mild-body cigar with plenty of room to grow. The draw remained tight throughout the smoke and never softened. It has good construction and its great aroma and texture lasted right through the finish. It has an approachable, easy-going flavor and is a well-made cigar.
Myron Gooch Sr.
Reviewed at: Don Lupe Cigar Lounge Long Beach, CA.
Time Smoked: 2 hour 20 minutes.
Wrapper: Costa Rica.
Binder: Costa Rica.
Filler: Costa Rica.
Size: 6” x 55.