Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An historical note on the Rothschild cigar

Last week I got an email from a woman complaining about a spelling mistake on the Famous Smoke Shop website. I wasn't all that surprised since, with the gazillion words I write each week, there're sure to be a couple of misspelled words here and there. I've received similar messages in the past, and as always, fix the error immediately. The word in contention this time was "Rothschild." Somehow I shifted the "s" and spelled it "Rothchilds."
"The cigars are R-O-T-H-S-C-H-I-L-D. I would be very happy if you would please be more careful with the spelling of this name. The surname ROTHCHILDS is Irish Protestant and not connected with the cigars. Please consider other people and boost your sales by correctly spelling your merchandise for sale."
With thanks,
Fiona
Well, I didn't want to make any waves with all due respect to the Irish Protestants, so I thanked Fiona for the grammar lesson, and even though I figured her as a non-cigar smoker I felt obliged to give her a little history lesson on the origins of the Rothschild cigar. To be perfectly (and embarrassingly) honest, I told her the cigar was named by Zino Davidoff for Baron Philippe de Rothschild, until I realized that it was the Zino Mouton Cadet cigars that Zino made for him to compliment the Baron's Mouton Cadet wines. (I'm definitely working too hard.) The origin of the name actually goes back a lot further than that, so here's the emmis according to a passage I found in The Ultimate Cigar Book by Richard Carleton Hacker:
During the 1880's, London financier, Leopold de Rothschild instructed the famous Hoyo de Monterrey factory in Havana to make a short cigar with a large ring size so thathe could enjoy the richest flavor possible without have to take the time smoke a full-length cigar.
Although Mr. Hacker cites the "classic Rothschild" as being 4½ x 52, more often they're rolled to a 4½ x 49 or 50 ring. Even the current Honduran-made Hoyo de Monterrey Rothschild cigars are rolled to 4½ x 50, and interestingly enough, the name is spelled "Rothschilds" on the box.

Moreover, in the cigar industry the name has been spelled all kinds of different ways: "Rothschild," "Rothchild," "Rothchilds," "Rothschilde," "Rothschildes," "Rothchilde," etc. However it's spelled, it's done at the discretion of the manufacturer. Far be it from me to tell them how to spell it. But experienced cigar smokers all know the Rothschild cigar, regardless of how it's spelled.

~ Gary Korb

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Fiona needs to get a hobby!!

Online Cigars said...

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Anonymous said...

No matter how you spell it, it is a prefect size. Arturo Fuente has an example of this classic wrapped in a Madura leaf and it is absolutely one of the best going. Good size because smoking it is not a one-hour event.