Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Price: $58.95 per box
The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown is a product of the J.C. Newman Cigar Company. The “Centro Fino” part of the name refers to the “fine center” of the tobacco plant which yields leaves for this cigar. The Cortez vitola was soft launched in early 2008 and comes packaged in glass tubes.
The cigars are crafted in the Dominican Republic by Tabacalera A. Fuente. The tobacco blend was created by Carlos Fuente, Sr., and Rich Dolak, vice president of operations for J.C. Newman. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Sun Grown leaf from the Oliva Tobacco Family’s (Not to be confused with the Oliva Family of Cigars) farm in the Quevado region of Ecuador, while the Binder and Filler are both comprised of tobacco from the Dominican Republic.
An interesting bit of information that was brought to my attention has been included below.
In 1895, Julius Cesar Newman hand rolled his first 500 cigars for the family grocer in Cleveland, Ohio. One hundred and thirty years and four generations later, J.C. Newman Cigar Company is America’s oldest family-owned premium cigar maker. Headquartered in historic 1910 cigar factory in Tampa’s Ybor City district, the Newman Family is partnered in making and distributing many of the world’s finest cigars.
After removing my Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown from its glass tube I quickly took notice to the very attractive wrapper leaf. The color was a consistent light brown with an oily sheen from head to foot while housing few dainty veins. The texture was mildly gritty, much like ultra fine sand paper, and when pinched felt packed with tobacco.
After quickly opening up the cap with my guillotine cutter, I found the draw to be excellent while producing a mild woody flavor that was interesting.
After a quick toasting and lighting session I had my Centro Fino Sungrown by Cuesta-Rey evenly lit and producing a generous supply of thick and flavorful smoke. The first few puffs produce a middle of the road finish, not dry but not creamy, with a mild to medium body. The initial flavors were roasted nuts and wood, which made an enjoyable combination.
As I smoke my way further into the first third, the body slowly builds while the finish becomes more creamy. The primary flavor has changed from roasted nuts to more of an oak with a mild butterscotch flavor in the background. This combination, as a whole, I found to be very unique and interesting.
The burn line was thin and even while the draw continued to please. Each puff produced a generous supply of smoke and generated a firm, compact, light colored ash. The resting smoke was light and produced a mild woody room aroma.
As I rounded the sixty minute mark I found myself into the second third of my Cuesta-Rey. The body slowly climbed the medium bodied scale but never became too much for delicate flavors. The finish became creamier as I smoked deeper into the cigar.
The primary flavor remained that of oak while the secondary flavors changed from back and forth from a natural Dominican tobacco flavor to a salted nuts. While I’m not a fan of salt flavors, the heavier oak flavor paired with the creaminess of the finish made it an enjoyable smoke.
The ash was light in color as well as firm and compacted. When reaching an inch in length it easily dropped with minimal hand movement. The draw was continued to produce loads of thick smoke which was easily passed through the sinus cavity.
After ninety or so minutes of puffing I found myself into the final third of my Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown. As the cigar comes closer to being a stub in the ashtray the body made a significant climb to the medium to medium-full range. The finish becomes a little less creamy but remains smooth and easy on the palate.
The flavors also take a turn and become much fuller as I get closer to the end of the stick. The primary flavor moves from an oak flavor to a heavy natural Dominican tobacco flavor. The secondary flavor transitioned to a salty roasted nut flavor and was easily washed out by the dominant primary flavor.
The only issue with the burn at this point, and it is minor at that, is that the cigar is getting fairly hot with each puff. This required that I slow down and take an additional minute, or so, between puffs to keep the smoke from becoming too hot.
Overall I was happy with this cigar. While Dominican cigars are not generally my cup of tea, I enjoyed this one and look forward to smoking more in the future. With a price point of $58.95 per box of ten, I think they are affordable for a tubo style cigar and provide a nice combination of flavors that would go very well in the morning – early afternoon with a nice cup of coffee.