Carlito Fuente

Ep. 0011: Carlito Fuente on plans for a new Arturo Fuente cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua

At 2018’s Puro Sabor festival in Estelí, Nicaragua, Carlito Fuente of Arturo Fuente cigars dropped a bomb of an announcement. The Fuente cigar family — known for its Dominican-made cigars — let the cat out of the bag about its plans to open a cigar factory in Estelí. The Fuentes don’t do anything halfway, which means that this one company is looking to change the landscape of Nicaraguan cigars.

What’s more, Carlito announced that the person running the Fuentes’ Nicaraguan operations from seed to cigar would be Félix Mesa. There’s a chance you’ve heard the name. Felix is the owner of El Galán Cigars, which has a small factory in Estelí, as well as a retail store near the CIgar Snob offices.

Félix isn’t a household name in the cigar world, so when people learned that the guy at the helm of what’s sure to be a massive operation would be a relative unknown, it generated even more questions.

On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I had a chance to sit with Carlito Fuente and get deeper into the story. Why Nicaragua? Why now? Why Félix Mesa? And what should smokers expect to see coming out of this expansion and into their humidors? This interview is the first time Carlito’s publicly gone into this level of detail on the issue.

Ep. 0009: Remembering Gilberto Oliva, Sr.

You might never have heard much about Gilberto Oliva, Sr., but the Oliva Cigars patriarch, who died in December 2017, was as consequential in the story of cigars — especially Nicaraguan cigars — as any of his peers.

In this special episode of the podcast, you'll hear from some of the people who knew Gilberto best, like his son José Oliva, Jorge Padrón (Padrón Cigars), Ernesto Pérez Carrillo (EPC Cigars), Carlito Fuente (Arturo Fuente Cigars), Nestor Plasencia (Plasencia Cigars) and Erik Calviño (Cigar Snob Magazine).

Ep. 0008: Remembering José Orlando Padrón

To bring you closer to the life of the late José Orlando Padrón — the Padrón Cigar family patriarch who died in December 2017 — we went to some of the family, friends, and cigar makers who knew him best.

In this special episode of the podcast, you'll hear from José Orlando's son Jorge, as well as Rocky Patel, Ernesto Pérez Carrillo, Jonathan Drew, Carlito Fuente, and José Oliva.

You'll also hear from tobacconists Craig Cass, Abe Dababneh, and Jorge Valdés.

FInally, Albert Hernández of The Bastards — the "secret society" of Padrón superfans — remembers laughing with his favorite cigar maker, and Fr. Willie García-Tuñón, S.J. tells the story of José Orlando's request for prayers that he leave this earth on a particular day.