ARTURO FUENTE HEMINGWAY
cigar story as told by Carlos Fuente Jr.
My grandfather always made Cuban Perfecto Cigars. Perfecto cigars were very, very, popular during the 1920's 30's and 40's. I remember when I was growing up in the factory, we made a lot of cigars that were Perfecto shaped. We made Perfectos by hand and as time went by there were less and less cigar makers rolling Perfectos, because these cigar makers were older, they retired, they passed away. It took a real master to make a true Cuban Perfecto cigar. The Perfectos my grandfather used to make were called Arturo Fuente Fancy Tales, Tales T-A-L-E-S. I think the last time they were made was back in the 1960's, or early 1970's and that was it. We stopped making Cuban Perfectos for many years.
Ever since I was a child I was always fascinated with that shape, the old world, and the really difficult art of the craft that the Cuban Perfecto cigar represents. So, when we first came here to the Dominican Republic in 1980, I thought we should start making those shapes again. But at that time nobody was making shaped cigars. I mean, it was a thing of the past, it was lost. There was no one making Perfecto shapes. But I wanted to really bring back the old world, just to keep the art, the tradition, the craft alive. I remember telling my father, dad, we should start making some of those shaped cigars again, the Fancy Tales. My father was the only one that knew how to make those shaped cigars because he had been taught by my grandfather. He told me on one of the trips back to Ybor City he was going to try to find some of the old molds, but he didn't know where they were. He was sure he had kept them around, but he didn't know where, It was important to find the original molds because no one could make those molds, the gentleman that had made them for us, passed away. He never shared the secret of making the perfecto molds, he didn't pass it on and as a matter of fact, nobody wanted to make those cigars. There was no demand for that cigar. It was something that was lost. That's why it was important that we find the original molds and as fate would have it, my father found them in our Ybor City factory. He then started practicing making the Cuban Perfecto shape. At first he just made a few for himself, working on the blend and so forth. After he was satisfied with the blend and the shape my father taught our master roller to make it, to make it for him. We used to make, maybe twenty cigars a day just for ourselves to smoke and enjoy. That first cigar is what is known today as the Hemingway Signature 6" x 47. The Signature was introduced in 1983 and that was the only shape available until around 1988 when we introduced the Classic and the Masterpiece. About that same time my father wanted to develop something totally different, unseen in cigars. So we started fooling around with a very short cigar, which was only for our own personal use. That cigar became the Short Story.
Today we make all these cigars and also a few very limited shapes such as the Work of Art, Best Seller, Untold Story or the Between the lines as well as others. These cigars are extremely difficult to make so our production is very small. We accumulate the limited production of these cigars in the aging rooms and usually release them around the holidays, something special for our fellow cigar smokers to enjoy.
The Hemingway cigars have a very warm place in my heart and in my memories. It is very pleasing for me to remember watching these cigars being made by my grandfather, and to think that these cigars are now made in our factory in the Dominican Republic. That is very fulfilling. I hope that you enjoy the Hemingway cigars and what they mean to myself and our family.
Carlos Fuente Jr
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