White Owl cigars have a long history dating back to the late 19th century. It begins in 1887, when Ferdinand Cullman and his son, Joseph, began selling cigars in addition to their wine business in New York.
In 1906, the Cullman family founded United Cigar Manufacturers Company, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange that same year. Soon, Joseph Cullman Jr. became interested in growing tobacco and, in the fertile fields of Connecticut's Connecticut River Valley, he began to cultivate Havana seed, or Cuban seed, as it was also known. He obtained a lighter wrapper leaf than what was already being grown in the area, which was very popular with consumers and soon became very popular. As a result, the Cullmans became one of the largest growers of wrapper leaf in the state.
United Cigar Manufacturers grew rapidly in its first decade, and in 1917 changed its name to General Cigar Co. Inc., a company that introduced a radical transformation in both the image and structure of the tobacco industry in the United States and is, today, one of the largest tobacco companies in the world. General Cigar concentrated on the manufacture, sale and advertising of five major brands, including White Owl, which quickly became one of its best-known offerings.
The brand is known for producing machine-made cigars. For generations it has been prized for its tobaccos from five exotic countries, blended and carefully selected by experts. This diverse filler is rolled into a leaf binder and covered with a homogenized wrapper that adds a uniform tone to the tobacco blend.
Changes over time
In the early 1920s, White Owl introduced aluminum wrappers for individual cigars as a way to ensure product freshness and flavor. The market reacted favorably and, by 1930, they were the best-selling cigars in the country.
In 1944, White Owl took an unprecedented step that shook the tobacco industry: it produced the first cigarillo on the market by reducing the size of the popular panetela cigar. Today, almost 95% of the cigars sold on store shelves are in this format.
A few years later, White Owl introduced the homogenized tobacco leaf wrapper, capable of providing a more uniform and smoother smoke. Like many of the innovations brought by the brand, today, some of the best-selling cigars on the market, such as Swisher Sweet and Dutch Masters, use this type of leaf.
In line with many manufacturers in the late 1990s, White Owl released one or two flavored cigars to gauge their acceptance. Then, in the early part of this century, it introduced a line of apple, blackberry, grape, peach, pineapple, strawberry and watermelon flavored cigars, which became, again, one of the novelties delivered by the brand to the cigar world. During the following decade, more manufacturers decided to manufacture flavored cigars and sales tripled, now accounting for 40% of the cigarette market.
In the late 1990s, General Cigar was acquired by Swedish Match and in 2010, that Swedish company merged with Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG), creating a global company with leading market positions in cigars, pipe tobacco and fine cut tobacco.
Today, since moving from Pennsylvania in 1985, cigars are manufactured in Dothan, Alabama. The White Owl brand remains a prominent choice, with one of the broadest flavor offerings including grape, peach, mango and pineapple.
They are available in a wide variety of flavors in our store.