From George Rodriguez…
July 2, 2012
An e-mail from George Rodriguez:
This is going to be a very busy and interesting week, and I promise this will be an interesting email… (stick with me here, there’s a payoff at the end).
In addition to the 4th of July holiday coming, I have a shipment of very precious cargo arriving from Tabacalera Ventura in the Dominican Republic.
Within the shipment will be 5,000 cigars and 100 boxes of La Fortaleza.
Why should you care about this?
Because La Fortaleza is a very special cigar… First, it is a Dominican Puro. Meaning all of the tobaccos are grown and sourced locally from the DR.
What’s the big deal about that?
As you probably already know, we have great tobaccos for filler and binder in the DR, however, it is notoriously difficult to grow fine wrapper leaf in the DR.
Just ask Carlito Fuente. He tried and tried when everyone told him it was impossible. He finally succeeded and the Opus X was born.
Similar to winemakers in France, there are formulas and processes that produce the finest products from earth. The manner in which these products are painstakingly made is often a tightly held secret passed down from father to son and in the case of La Fortaleza…
There are only 3 men on earth who know its secret .
To tell you the truth, I don’t even know all of the intricacies of exactly how the tobaccos are grown, fermented and then blended to perfection.
But I do know that Rodrigo smokers like you appreciate a full bodied, full flavored experience at a price you can afford to smoke everyday.
More about the cigar…
Quite simply, the wrapper itself is a work of art. It’s an “oscuro” leaf and unlike other cigars made for the masses this leaf is “naturally fermented”.
So what does that mean to you?
You see, the process in which oscuro cigars are made requires additional fermentation time (even more than the usual 3-4 years that most of the tobaccos used for Rodrigo typically require).
In addition to the fermentation time many mass produced oscuros are also forcefully “cooked” to accelerate the ripening of the leaf and to obtain a darker color faster.
In addition to the “cooking” process the tobacco used for wrapper leaf can also undergo other processes to make sure that all of the cigars have all have a uniform dark color.
This is all done as a compromise to get a product out the door faster and cheaper.
Wrapper leaf for the Rodrigo La Fortaleza does NOT go through any additional “artificial” processing.
Our natural oscuro wrapper not only is rare because of its origin in the DR but because it achieves its color, flavor and complexity exclusively as a byproduct of time, moisture and pressure within the “paca” (or bale) which breaks down the ammonias and brings out quality that you can taste, smell and see in the smoke it produces.
You cannot rush this process and it takes years of experience to evaluate the leaf as it goes through its metamorphosis.
Thankfully you will be able to experience this work of art for yourself, and at a price that will leave you scratching your head because you won’t believe the quality we’re able to put into this cigar for the price. Especially when compared to other Dominican Puros on the market today.
There are four traditional vitolas that you will want to enjoy. Each of them have a marked difference in the way they smoke and they each have their own subtle flavor characteristics:
- “Absoluto” is a potent corona measuring 5 ⅛ x 43
- “Forte” is a balanced full body robusto extra 5 ½ x 50
- “Elegante” is a complex churchill 6 ¾ x 48
In addition to these vitolas we made one more size, just for fun…
This special cigar has been pre-released to a handful of tobacconists around the northeast and smokers have practically devoured several large 55 count cabinet boxes within days.
The “Cinco 5” is a large ring gauge version of La Fortaleza. Coming in at 6 x 56, it packs A LOT of extremely rich tobacco and it produces some very interesting complex flavors. And with its size it provides a very nice extended smoking time with a nice
kick to it.
WARNING: It is recommended that you do NOT make the “Cinco 5” your morning coffee companion!
So I guess you’re wondering why I call it the “Cinco 5”?
You see, when we were working on the prototype of this vitola I presented it to my good friend Jim Robinson, owner of the world famous Leaf & Bean located in the heart of Pittsburgh.
When I told Jim that it was a 56 ring gauge he quickly disagreed and said: “George, there’s no way this is a 56, it feels like a 55!”.
Now, I try not to openly argue, with anyone, especially with my customers, and especially when it comes to splitting hairs about a 1/64th of an inch discrepancy in ring gauge! Besides, “the customer is always right!”
So right then and there I decided to call it the “Fifty Five” in honor of Jim’s astute observation.
And you know what inevitably happens whenever I try to communicate something back to the factory… I almost always say some sort of Spanglish derivation… and thus the “Cinco 5” was born!
Ok… I rambled on much longer than I expected but I can’t wait for you to get these cigars in your humidors and tell me what you think about them.
Thanks for sticking with me and reading this entire long email.
As promised – here’s the payoff: 20% off discount code for La Fortaleza box purchases for a limited time on ClassicSmokes.com.
Just enter the three letter name of the shop owner that inadvertently helped me name the “Cinco 5”. (this way I know you read the story
Smoke well… live rich…
PS I’ll let you know when the cigars are ready to go out the door. I’m going to do a Rodrigo members only sale before they hit the shops for the first few days only. So stay tuned!!!