cigar review

Cuesta-Rey: Centenario Pyramid No.9

The next cigar I will be trying as part of my cigar challenge is from the brand Cuesta-Rey. I will be smoking the Centenario Pyramid No.9.

I sometimes struggle to pronounce certain cigar brand names, luckily we have these pronunciation tools 🙏

I had to search high and low for this cigar… but managed to get my hands on one, unlike some of my previous escapades (Bances, Bauza, Casa Blanca, V Centennial and Cuba Aliados).

The stats

Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 52
Strength: Medium
Shape: Parejo
Origin: Dominican Republic

Cuesta-Rey Centenario Pyramid No.9

Background

Cuesta-Rey (originally ‘La flor de Cuesta-Rey’, as displayed on the cigar boxes) was founded in the US in 1884 by a young Spanish immigrant, Angel La Madrid Cuesta, who opened his first cigar factory and soon earned a reputation as one of the greatest handmade cigar craftsmen of his day. He later joined forces with Peregrino Rey, an apprentice cigar maker, to make the world-renowned Cuesta Rey premium quality cigars. They set up the company in Tampa, Florida to make ‘clear Havana’ cigars (cigars made in the United States using imported Cuban tobacco). Both men had previously been in Cuba where they learnt the tricks of their trade.

Angel La Madrid Cuesta (Source: jaberni-coleccionismo-vitolas.com)
Peregrino Rey (Source: jaberni-coleccionismo-vitolas.com)
Illustration featured on the ‘La flor de Cuesta-Rey’ cigar box

Cuesta-Rey cigars were once the official cigar of 19th century Spanish King Alfonso XIII, and Cuesta was honoured with the title, ‘Tobacco Purveyor for the Spanish King and Court’.

Spanish King Alfonso XIII
Spanish King Alfonso XIII being handed some Cuesta cigars (Source: JC Newman)
Cigar rollers being read to at the Cuesta-Rey Cigar Company in Tampa, Florida 1929
(Source: Wikipedia)

The early cigars from this factory were packaged in these fascinating tin canisters…

In 1958, Cuesta’s son Karl sold the company to the J.C. Newman Cigar Co. and since the 1980s the cigars themselves have been produced in the Dominican Republic by Tabacalera A. Fuente.

Home of Cuesta Rey cigars (Source: Cigar Journal)
 Eric Newman of J.C. Newman Cigar Co. talks about the sale of Cuesta-Rey
A bit more about the history of the J.C Newman Cigar Company

It looks like there are three different lines created under the Cuesta-Rey cigar brand –

* Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino
* Cuesta-Rey Centenario
* Cuesta-Rey Cabinent Selection

This is what the JC Newman website says about the Centenario cigars…

‘Meticulously hand rolled in the Dominican Republic by the prestigious Tabacalera A. Fuente, the Centenario is wrapped in a light Connecticut Shade Natural or dark Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro to provide a smooth and creamy taste. Filled with Cuban seed filler, each cigar is aged inside a specially designed cedar holding room for up to five years. After five levels of quality control and over a century of expert artistry, those that pass all criteria are adorned with the Cuesta-Rey Centenario band.

My experience

Cuesta-Rey Centenario Pyramid No.9

This torpedo Cuestra-Rey cigar looks the perfect shape and size, with a light tan wrapper. The cigar band is striking, well designed and reminds me of those from the Arturo Fuente family.

Immediately after cutting the cap and lighting up, I was taken aback by the thick plumes of smoke that were seeping out from the foot of the cigar, after the first couple of draws.

Using my new moleskin cigar journal from Boutique Smokes, I was able to identify some earth and wood flavours, there was also a strong aroma of musk and cedar. This stayed throughout the entire experience, and though it may sound weird, I would describe this cigar as being a ‘consistent’ mild/medium smoke.

Towards the last third of the cigar, my tongue started to fill a tad bitter. The lovely thick grey-white ash build up looked great – even if it did burn a little uneven.

My rating: 7 out of 10 – I really liked the Pyramid No. 9, a great mild moderate smoke!

Next up, a Davidoff cigar…

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