The newest cigar coming from Arturo Fuente is a passion project with charity at its heart. Arturo Fuente Rare Pink is a line of shaped cigars (including one that’s a hybrid of a lancero and a figurado) made with Ecuadoran wrappers and a hint of Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler. A portion of the sales of each box sold in 2020 will go to the fight against breast cancer.
“The theme is pink,” said Carlos Fuente Jr. during a video call with Cigar Aficionado. “The boxes are so unique. It’s a gift for my daughter, and my mother, and my sister, and all the women in my life. I wanted to do something for my daughter.”
The cigar project was created to benefit breast cancer research, a project dear to Liana Fuente, Carlos Fuente Jr.’s daughter, who is deeply involved in the family business. Liana lost two family members to the disease, the second-most common cancer in the U.S. and one that kills more than 40,000 women a year in America.
“July 30th, 2019, we lost our grandmother, Lidia Diaz, to stage four breast cancer. My grandmother was the light of my eyes and the glue in our family,” Liana wrote on the American Cancer Society website. “My aunt, Nory, whom I loved with all my heart also lost the battle to cancer almost 15 years ago. I still feel like it was yesterday. I vowed to her, that very day, I would do my part to make a change.”
Inspired by Liana, Fuente Jr. decided to create a line of cigars around the color pink, the official color of breast cancer awareness, and in 2020 Fuente will donate $13 from the sale of every box of Pinks to The American Cancer Society—Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Liana was born on the 6th, and Fuente Jr.’s mother Anna was born on the 7th, and the two numbers combine for 13. “And 13 is my father’s number,” said Fuente Jr., referring to Carlos Fuente Sr., who died in 2016. “This is all done from the heart.”
While all the Arturo Fuente Rare Pinks are perfectos and are technically part of its Hemingway line of shaped cigars, the word Hemingway is played down on the packaging, said Fuente Jr., and the Rare Pinks have a different tobacco blend. Most Hemingways have Cameroon wrappers, but these new cigars are made with wrappers that are grown by Oliva Tobacco Co. in Ecuador, using a special seed from John Oliva Jr., said Fuente. The wrapper comes from the Oliva farm known as La Mecca, where Oliva first grew the wrappers for the Ashton Virgin Sun Grown. Fuente even revealed that the filler blend has a touch of tobaccos from Fuente’s farm in Estelí, Nicaragua.
“This is not a small production,” he said, saying that there will be 500 boxes of each size of Rare Pinks for 2020. Four sizes are coming out first, with two sizes coming out later. Suggested retail prices will range from $7.50 to $12 per cigar.
There’s a considerable amount of secrecy around Rare Pink, and Fuente was only sharing some of the details. “Some are Hemingway sizes,” he said, teasing that one will be like the Hemingway Work of Art, another like the Short Story. He teased one new size, a lancero figurado. The cigars have a theme reminiscent of stories, with one size dubbed Happy Ending. “Every story needs a happy ending,” said Fuente with a smile.
The cigars were supposed to be on sale already, but as with just about everything in 2020, they were delayed due to the pandemic.
Color has been a big part of the Arturo Fuente story for decades. Looking back at when the company first began making cigars in the Dominican Republic in 1980, it used the color green for its Montesino brand. Later, the Fuente Fuente OpusX (released in 1995) became known for its vibrant red cigar bands trimmed with ornate gold detailing. When that cigar turned 20, Fuente turned to blue to commemorate the anniversary.
The Rare Pinks are scheduled to ship on November 18, which is the 25th anniversary of the release of Fuente Fuente OpusX on November 18, 1995.