A Conversation with Rolando Reyes, Sr.
The creator of Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados cigars speaks to Cigar Aficionado.
From the Print Edition:
"24", Jan/Feb 2006
(continued from page 2)
Q: I know you're very fond of Ecuador Sumatra wrapper. What is it about that tobacco that's so special?
A: The taste is sweet, it burns well and it has a great aroma. And it has beautiful color.
Q: And how do you think the Nicaraguan corojo, that new wrapper leaf you're using, compares to Ecuador Sumatra?
A: I like it very much. I like it better than Sumatra. Each one has its own beauty.
Q: Is Sumatra thinner than corojo?
Q: Is the corojo stronger?
A: A bit. It depends on how you treat it. The strength comes from how you treat it.
Q: You mentioned treating tobacco. Can you talk about that?
A: I process it according to the quality of the cigars. Nothing chemical, it's just natural.
Q: Don't you dip your tobacco in something? A bethune?
A: I touch the tobacco up with a secret recipe.
Q: Do you still run your factory the way you used to? You are known for sleeping during the day, and looking over the work at night when everyone has gone home.
A: (Laughs.) I start at 10 at night, and I'm done at 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning. I am quality control. There is only one person who does quality control [in the factory], and that's me. I like to work at night, because there's no one to bother me, and I can concentrate better in detail on what's wrong with a cigar. When I'm working on something during the day, they'll call me for something else.
Q: You like being in the factory alone? No one bothering you?
A: You have to concentrate. I like to inspect every cigar.
Q: You personally check every cigar that's made in your factory?
A: One by one.
Q: But how many do you make a day?
A: We do 30,000 to 40,000 a day.
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