If you’ve smoked a fair number of Cuban cigars over the past 20 years, you’ve conceivably smoked a cigar rolled or blended by the great Hamlet Paredes!
For many, many years prior to making America his home, Hamlet – the man, not the Shakespearean play – was arguably Cuba’s finest cigar roller, so much so that Habanos dispatched him to various tobacconists worldwide, where he would custom roll shapes and sizes catering to the cigar-loving masses. It was a role that led to his legendary cult status as a craftsman who could create a cigar “free hand,” which is the expert process of hand rolling a ready-to-smoke cigar from scratch, without molds or presses.
In early 2015, Hamlet joined the Patel Family after he and his family migrated to the United States once Cuban immigration restrictions were finally, after 50-plus years, eased. Hamlet had seized the moment, crossed the border safely, and then reached out to Rocky Patel. The rest is history.
Today, Hamlet has cigar brands bearing his name made at Rocky’s Nicaraguan factories: Tabaquero, 25th Year and Liberation by Hamlet.