Two of the most famous family-owned cigar companies in the world are joining together on a project honoring the departed leaders of each company.
Padrón Cigars Inc., which makes all of its cigars in Nicaragua, is going to be crafting a smoke to honor Carlos Fuente Sr., the longtime leader of Arturo Fuente Cigar Co., who died in 2016. Fuente, one of the largest cigar producers in the Dominican Republic, is making a cigar to honor José Orlando Padrón, who founded Padrón Cigars in 1964 and died in 2017.
The two cigars will be sold together, side by side, in a humidor-style box adorned with the images of each man. Each cigar will measure 7 inches long by 50-ring gauge, with the rest of the details left in the hands of their makers.
Sons of the departed patriarchs are blending the cigars. Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr., the chairman of Arturo Fuente, is making the cigar honoring José Orlando Padrón. Jorge Padrón, president of Padrón Cigars, will blend the cigar to commemorate Carlos Fuente Sr. Neither man knows the blend (or any other details) of the other cigar.
“I’m putting my father in his hands, and he’s putting his father in my hands,” Jorge Padrón says during a joint video call with Cigar Aficionado. “What better way to show how much we respect each other?”
“I would not consider doing this with anybody else,” says Fuente. “The love for our fathers is so great. There’s nothing that motivates us more.”
Padrón has won Cigar of the Year a record three times, and Fuente has won twice. The late patriarchs shared a drive for excellence, and other qualities. “They were both humble, salt of the earth,” says Jorge. “They never forgot where they came from.”
“My father, he worked hard,” says Fuente Jr. “He worked for the family. He was the ox.”
The men had few details on the new project, and stressed that neither knew what the other was doing, and had yet to smoke the other’s cigar. “Part of the deal is he has to trust me,” Padrón says. “And I have to trust him.”
The companies intend to release the cigars at the 2021 PCA trade show in Las Vegas, scheduled for next July.