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 Fonseca was originally made in Cuba, and still is (so it’s a Cuban brand, no?), but for over 50 years, the family that created them has been making them in Santiago, Dominican Republic,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, Quesada Cigars (formerly known as Manufactura de Tabacos S.A., or 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 Viso Fuerte features a bold mixture of aged, high-priming Dominican and Cameroon long-fillers that are held together with a Habano binder and are cloaked with a Dominican Corojo wrapper. Medium to full in body, this smoke has a full-flavored bouquet that’s chewy on the palate with zesty hints of dark tobacco, cedar and coffee bean. Our panel recommends pairing it with a Highland Park 12 or your favorite single malt scotch.
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.