Angel LaMadrid Cuesta founded Cuesta Rey cigars in 1884. He was born in Asturias, Spain in 1858, but eventually made his way to Havana in 1873. After attending school for a few years, Cuesta began apprenticing as a cigar maker. Cuesta rolled cigars in Florida, as well as New York for a few years until he opened his own factory, which would become Cuesta Rey cigars. He joined forces with Peregrino Rey to form Cuesta Rey cigars, located in West Tampa.
During this time period, there weren’t many cigar factories in the United States, and the Cuesta Rey factory was one of the largest. It was also the only factory in the United States that had the exclusive cigar distribution rights to the Spanish royalty. King Alfonso XIII and Angel Cuesta were actually quite fond of each other and Cuesta helped him organize various clubs in Spanish cities. Being a generous man, Cuesta was the director of the Tampa Children’s Home as well as the Florida Fair. When Cuesta died in 1936 at the age of 77, cigar factories closed for a day to commemorate the loss of a true pioneer.
Only a few years after his death, Cuesta’s son, Angel Cuesta sold Cuesta Rey to J.C. Newman Cigars. Now Cuesta Rey cigars are produced in the Dominican Republic, and they are currently offered in three different lines. The Cuesta Rey Sun Grown is a medium-full bodied cigar that utilizes an Ecuadorian Centro Fino wrapper to enhance the flavor. Sun Grown tobacco is not grown with any protection from the sunlight which allows it to have a stronger leaf.
The Cuesta Rey Centenario Collection uses fine Dominican tobacco for a binder, and a smooth Connecticut wrapper to round out this cigar. Each one of the Cuesta Rey Centenario Collection cigars are carefully aged inside a special cedar lined humidor for a minimum of 120 days.
The Cuesta Rey Cabinet Selection was introduced in 1958, and the #95 was one of the first cigars to use an African Cameroon Wrapper. After J.C. Newman took over Cuesta Rey, the Cabinet Selection expanded to six sizes. Only the finest tobacco is used for the Cabinet Selection. Pick up a box of these, or any other Cuesta Rey cigars, and you too will appreciate the legacy of Angel Cuesta.