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An Interview With Manuel Quesada

The head of Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (Matasa), makers of Fonseca, Cubita and other cigars.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Alec Baldwin, May/June 2004

(continued from page 8)

Q: The wrapper on that is something unusual for you, right?

A: Yes, indeed. It's a Nicaraguan criollo seed that we are purchasing from Plasencia.

Q: Now, on the inside, is there stuff that you normally maybe haven't used in the past, too, or just more ligero from the Dominican?

A: A little more ligero, yeah. And the combination makes a different cigar altogether.

Q: Is it the strongest cigar you think you make?

A: Ah, that one and the [Fonseca] Reserve…different taste, but strength level, they're more or less in the same ballpark. And we also represent Joya de Nicaragua Antaño from Nicaragua, which is a very strong cigar.

Q: Tell about that relationship a little bit.

A: Brad [Weinfeld] decided to come back into the industry, and he decided to come back with us. Brad had a great relationship with Joya, which had been rebought by Alejandro Martinez, and he was looking for a distributor in the United States, so he came to Brad, and Brad came to me. Unfortunately, the old Joya de Nicaragua had been beaten so badly that it was a difficult proposition to get it off the ground. And then Brad, who came up with the name Antaño, said, "Let's do something a little different. Let's do something a little heavier in taste." And it's quite different. Unfortunately, it's a very limited production cigar.

Q: I want to talk to you about a difficult subject. The awful day in 2002, when you lost your brother, your nephew and—

A: And Julio.

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