You’re in for a treat with a fine Cuban brand you can enjoy legally. OK, OK, so calling Fonesca a “Cuban brand” may be a tad misleading, but technically, it’s the truth. Trust we checked it out, and our lawyers will support us on this. Here’s the skinny. Fonseca was originally made in Cuba, and still is (so it’s a Cuban brand, no?), but for over 50 years, the family that created them has been making them in Santiago, Dominican Republic, as well. Manolo Quesada's great-great-grandfather started brokering tobacco leaf in Cuba in the 1880s, and, four generations later, his Manufactures de Tobacos S. A. (MATASA) produces some of the finest cigars in the world, including Fonseca, Romeo y Julieta, Licenciados, Sosa, Casa Blanca, and Jose Benito, to name a few.
The highly respected Fonseca line consistently receives Cigar Aficionado ratings in the high 80s and low 90s. Originally, the 5-50 wrappers were Cameroon, but now they’re light Connecticut shade. The Fonseca 5-50 combines Mexican binders with Cuban-seed Dominican Piloto Cubano fillers in an extremely well-made cigar that offers a truly mild smoking experience. Check out the smooth, inviting wrapper on this Dominican beauty. Look for a smooth and easy draw, a cool burn, a long ash, and billows of smoke throughout your smoking experience. The cigar offers a dry, woody flavor, a nice creamy texture, and hints of coffee and spice that pick up as you get into the cigar. Note a very pleasant, woody aroma and a dry finish that doesn’t linger. Overall, this beautifully constructed cigar is a wonderful blend that results in a pleasant, mild smoking experience. The sweet and substantial flavor of a good port—made by adding brandy to red wine—complements the taste of this cigar beautifully. We suggest a Portuguese port, one that coincidentally carries the same name as our cigar here, Fonseca Port.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.