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Picture the scene – you’ve been exploring one of the world’s beautiful cities all day and you return to your hotel room with feet aching but mind blown. After a relaxing bath you open the doors to your balcony and pour yourself a sundowner. As the sky turns seven shades of pink, your enjoyment is complete as you fire up a first class cigar – here are two of our absolute favourites:
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro
Boasting a clever name that is appropriate to its diminutive size, the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro is a 4 inch long figurado with a ring gauge of 42/49.
Despite its scale you’ll get a good 45 minutes of pleasure from this baby due to its well-cured tobaccos. And the Short Story contains only the highest quality blemish-free tobaccos.
The Fuentes’ Hemingway-series cigars are hand-rolled by the best torcedors in the industry who need all their skill to create this shape with its round head, tapered body and pinched foot.
We are not going to be shy here – this is one of the best cigars you’ll experience.
About the producer: Renowned for quality and consistency, Arturo Fuente make some of the best Dominican Cigars and primarily use Dominican tobacco in their blends. Run by father and son Carlos and Carlito Fuente, the company lives and breathes cigar making. With a history dating back to 1880s Cuba and starting with its namesake Arturo Fuente, production moved to the Dominican Republic in the 1980s.
The Fuentes actually left Cuba way before the revolution and after some years in Key West, Florida they moved to the cigar capital of the world of the time, Ybor City in Tampa. The first branded Fuente cigars appeared in 1912. Since the resurgence of interest in the cigar in the 1990s, Carlos Fuente, Jr. has been “the face” of Arturo Fuente cigars.
“We are a family business,” said Carlos Fuente, Jr. “Our factories and our plantations comprise our family ‘kitchen.’ By staying in the kitchen, we’re able to consistently produce outstanding tobacco leaves and rich flavored, perfectly balanced cigars that please cigar aficionados every time, everywhere. And because tobacco is in our blood, that is all my family and I ever aspired to achieve.
Equally good, but also different, is the rightly named Epic from world-renowned producer Montecristo. Previously only available from physical stores, you can now get your hands on these online. It comes in four sizes, Churchill (7×56), Toro (6×52), No. 2 (6×50) and Robusto (5×52).
The Epic starts off mild and smooth but don’t be fooled – before long you’re well into the medium range and enjoying the extremely full flavor.
Later on it ramps it up further and you’ll be left wanting more when it finally reaches the end of the ride.
About the producer: Boasting a fascinating history and a superb reputation, Montecristo cigars are some of the most popular smokes on the planet and represent the gold standard for premium cigars. These are of course hand-crafted – and again produced in the Dominican Republic.
The Cuban Montecristo (whose name was inspired by the Alexander Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo) originally appeared in 1935 produced by Alonso Menéndez.
Enjoying early success, Menéndez soon purchased a poorly-performing factory in Havana which became the company’s manufacturing base.
Due to intense marketing from the Alfred Dunhill company, the Montecristo brand became incredibly popular worldwide.
After Castro took power and nationalized the cigar industry, the company moved to the Canary Islands but ran into trademark disputes.
In the mid-1970s production moved to La Romana in The Dominican Republic where Montecristo cigars were produced for the U.S. market. The Cuban trade embargo did not recognize Cuba’s rights to the brand so Menéndez and his partner García could use the Montecristo name once more.
Today all of Montecristo cigars have a distinctive creaminess, plenty of rich flavor, and a wonderful aroma.