Ecuador

Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R

 

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $7.25  - $8:00

Available in 5 sizes:
Vitola 44 (Petit Corona) - 4.78 X 44 
Vitola 52 (Robusto) - 5 X 52
Vitola 54 (Toro)- 6.5X54
Vitola 56 (Doble) 
- 5.58 X56
Vitola 58 (Torpedo) - 5 1/4 X58 [pictured]

Q&A

Carlos Fuente, Jr.
President of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company

the release of the Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R in late 2009 went completely against the grain. the cigar market was in the midst of a surge in power and you launched acreamier, more balanced and nuanced cigar. What kind of smoker were you targeting with this brand?

Honestly, I don’t think that way. I just try to make a great cigar. Magnum R was something that I thought there was a need for in the market at that time. I just thought that, with the great tobaccos that we had, and with the experience that I’d had up to that point, Magnum R was a cigar that was important to introduce. It was different than anything else I had done. It was an accumulation of all of the teachings.

When you said you “thought there was a need” for Magnum R in the market at that time, what did you mean by that?

The market was going toward very, very young tobacco. Very strong. Like you should get a buzz after the first three puffs. The market went that way, but my teaching was always that a cigar needs to be balanced. It’s a cigar that doesn’t bite you, and it’s just enjoyable. So when I saw the market going to strong, strong, strong, I thought, “that’s not good for the business.” It’s not good for the retailer and it’s not good for the manufacturer.

I also think about farming; the plant gives you only so many leaves. Whether it’s 12, 14, or 16, depending on how you harvest and what you do, there are only so many of the leaves that really give you that strength. And those leaves have to be aged for many years for them to reach their optimal taste and sweetness, otherwise it’s “crudo” (raw).

There’s a reason why the old school cigars are blended a certain way. It’s part of our philosophy and our teaching, which was taught to me by my father and my grandfather, which was taught to them by the previous generation. That’s why I wanted to do Magnum R .

You also said that the Magnum R was unlike anything else you had done. How so?

The idea of that cigar was to have something balanced and flavorful, but different. With a little spice and everything that I find in another brand we make but not as “in your face.” You get all the flavors you’re looking for but when you finish that cigar, you want to smoke another one. It leaves you with that, “I w ant more.” I compare it to women. You know how when you’re young and you’re in love and you… you know what I mean? If, afterwards, you say “I don’t want to see you for a week,” that’s not good. But if you say, “let’s have a glass of wine and go for some more”… I think, in a cigar, that’s ideal.

I think we get it .
Now, on the surface, the biggest difference with Magnum R is that the wrapper is incredibly thin.
What is the reason for that?

It is very thin and delicate. It’s very fragile. It’s an Ecuador Habano that is grown for us by the Oliva family (Oliva Tobacco Co.).

The Oliva family, John and Angel Oliva… their family has been our backbone for generations. They grow that tobacco for us, but in order to get the proper balance for the Magnum R, we have to re-select the tobacco and try to find the leaves that are not as hearty, a little thinner. Not the heavier leaves like we use f or the Sun Grown or brands like that.

Now, keep in mind these are all judgment calls by humans as they go through all of the tobacco by hand, but that’s what we try to achieve. And I find that, for that blend, that works a little better.

 

Casa Cuba

 

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $9.84  - $11.25

Available in 4 sizes:
Doble Tres - 44 X 5 1/2
Doble Cinco - 5 X 50
Doble Seis  - 6 X50 [pictured]
Doble Cuatro - 4 1/2 X54

Q&A

Carlos Fuente, Jr.
President of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company

Fuente has owned the casa cuba brand for so many years. Why was the brand never really brought to market earlier?

Casa Cuba was a brand that my father bought way back during the early days of the embargo. The gentleman who owned the brand and a small factory, was very good friends with my grandfather. He was very old and his children were not interested in the business, so my father bought the brand. 

I have to tell you, it was one of my all-time favorite labels. It was an old-world label with beautiful illustrations. It represented the fusion of Cuba and America— Lady Liberty on one side and the goddess of the Siboney (native Cuban tribe) on the other. It represented a lot to me as a young man and that label was very important, so we saved it. It was particularly important in the ‘70s, when my grandfather always said, “When we go back to Cuba…” So that was a brand that I saved thinking that we would be back in Cuba someday making that brand. And time goes by; my grandfather passed away in 1973 and the situation in Cub a remains the same. 

So what changed? Why did you decide that now would be a good time t o release it? 

One day, a couple of years ago, I get to the factory and I see some boxes that were put together with cigars in them being prepared to be shipped. So I asked what these cigars were and why they were packaged. They told me they were shipping to our headquarters in Tampa so the sales team could see them because they were going to be distributed. I said “What the F is this?!” 

It turns out that my father had gotten one cigar maker for each of four sizes. And over the last year and a half he had this little private project that he had been working on and making cigars and setting them aside in the aging rooms. He did all this without me being aware and wanted to release the cigar for the 100th anniversary. I stopped it. I was not happy with the label or the packaging, and I thought it was not the right time. 

Now, so many people had tried the cigar and kept telling me how amazing it was, and how it was my father’s pet project, and how he’s 79 years old… I finally asked him, “Dad, why didn’t you tell me?” And he said, “Because all these years I’ve been letting you do this, but I want you to know that the old man is still the one that steers the horse and he still can blend.” And he made an amazing blend. 

What is different about your dad’s style of blending?

It’s the way that was taught to him by his father. It’s old-school blending, which favors complexity, balance, and flavor. It’s a cigar that, when you get to the end of it, you want to light another one. It fills you and satisfies you, but doesn’t hurt you. It’s enjoyable. He said he wanted to go back to blending and make that cigar because he saw everything going the other way and he wanted to do something different. We now joke around about his project, but he still doesn’t tell me the blend. When I ask him about it he just kind of smirks and laughs. And you know what? People really like it. And it is different than any other Fuente, but it’s still Fuente. 

It’s amazing that, after so many premium brands and sub-brands and lines, we could still continue to make so many different flavors that are all Fuente. It just proves again that my father, who is my hero, is the greatest. If I’ve accomplished anything in this life, it’s because my father has taught me. And he still outperforms me every day; there’s no question about it