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A Conversation with Rolando Reyes, Sr.

The creator of Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados cigars speaks to Cigar Aficionado.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
"24", Jan/Feb 2006

(continued from page 1)

Q: What type of cigars did you roll at H. Upmann?
A: I started with parejos, then I went to [José] Gener, where I started learning how to roll the piramides and figurados.

Q: When you say "figurado," do you mean cigars that look like the Cuba Aliados Diademas you make now?
A: Yes. I'm the one who brought from Cuba the figurado.

Q: Let's talk about your figurados. I've always been intrigued by them, because they looked very much unlike any other cigar on the market. You make those shaped cigars without molds, right?
A: Yes.

Q: Is that the way they were done in Cuba?
A: It's done completely by hand.

Q: But wouldn't it be easier with a mold?
A: It is easier, but for me, it was very easy to work without the molds. For new people, the mold is very important.

Q: Is it very difficult to teach people to make that type of a cigar?
A: It's not easy.

Q: What was the reaction in the United States when you first started selling your diademas?
A: People would say, "I've never seen anything like that." They didn't know which end to put in their mouth. (Laughs.)

Q: I remember you once told me that you don't use tobacco from Honduras, even though you work in Honduras. Do you still not use it?
A: The government gives me free entry; I can use leaf from anywhere in the world.

Q: Don't you use something from Honduras?
A: No, nothing from Honduras. Never.

Q: Why don't you like Honduran tobacco?
A: I just don't like it. I never worked with it. I feel that it doesn't have what I'm looking for. There's really not that much tobacco grown in Honduras.

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