PCA 2023: Fuerte y Libre

Fuerte y Libre made its debut at PCA 2023 and Gregory Free, the company’s founder, makes his debut on halfwheel. Free talked about the company’s various brands including two new cigars.

For more coverage of the PCA 2023 Convention & Trade Show, please visit: halfwheel.com

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What Makes a Good Cigar?

Cigars are man-made products made from raw tobacco, and the best cigars require significant time, effort and a keen eye for quality to be crafted well. It’s said that more than 200 pairs of hands touch a cigar before it makes its way into your humidor. And that’s a fair estimate. It’s also true that no other consumable product is as natural as a premium, handmade cigar. No dyes are used to alter color; no preservatives are added to extend the shelf life; and no chemicals or ripening accelerants are utilized to create flavor or color.

As such, they have a unique ability to showcase the many nuances of the tobacco plant. A rich, smooth cigar, for example, can deliver a myriad of flavors, including cocoa, nutmeg and roasted coffee. On the other hand, a full-bodied cigar can be a robust, complex blend of ligero tobaccos, which tend to be the strongest leaves on the plant. This strength can be offset with lower-priming leaves called visos and secos, which add nuanced flavors such as toasted oak and dark baking spices to the mix.

A great cigar also relies on superior construction and a well-balanced blend of ingredients. That’s why cigars like Davidoff’s Yamasa receive high marks in our blind tastings. A smooth, supple smoke with a delicate balance of earthy terroir and a hint of vanilla in the finish is the hallmark of a fine cigar.

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