Cigar Aficionado
April 2001

"The Cuevas Hermanos factory is one of the best examples of the boutique manufacturer's art... Its cigar making skills are excellent."

Enjoy a night on the town...
Dinner, and
a good cigar

Café Cito is the one place in Puerto Plata where you can combine dinner and drinks with a real cigar experience.
Whether you're a beginner or an aficionado, you can ask all the questions you want, pick a cigar or two to try, enjoy your smoke with a cognac or quality sipping rum. Are your traveling companions non-smokers? Café Cito's open air terrace and the evening breezes ensure a pleasant atmosphere for everybody. You'll discover a wide selection of fine hand rolled cigars of all sizes, and that our prices are anywhere from from 30% to 50% below other stores in town.

Reserve your evening now
and we'll give you a
US$7.00 Cigar Sampler Credit

Click below to reserve for "Dinner and Cigars" and we will give you up to US$7.00 worth of cigars at our retail prices(one or two cigars) for you to try during or after dinner. Other than your meal, no additional purchase is required


Cigar Aficionado
ratings of cigars made at Cuevas Hermanos

EDITION BRAND RATING
Winter 1994 Vueltabajo Robusto 87
Autumn 1995 Vueltabajo Churchill 83
April 1998 La Perla Habana Figurado 89
June 1998 Carlos Torano Corona
La Perla Habana Corona Peterson Corona
Yamuri Corona
87
85
85
84
August 1998 La Perla Habana Lonsdale 88
February 1999 Vueltabajo Churchill 87
April 1999  Carlos Torano Torpedo 87
August 1999 La Perla Habana Lonsdale 87

 

AVAILABLE AT
Cuevas & Hermanos
Cigar Factory Outlets

NEAR PLAYA DORADA
at Cafe Cito
on the highway
1/4 mi west of
Playa Dorada Main Gate
Tel. 586-7923

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Reprinted from The Puerto Plata Report
Our quest for the 'right' cigar

After a year of legwork we discovered 
an ideal combination of quality, price and consistency from a small, Cuban family-run factory hidden away in the Cibao Valley

At Cafe Cito, we have always enjoyed introducing customers to such discoveries as the Dominican Republic's premium sipping  rums, some of which are close to cognac in their smoothness and flavor. Likewise, we have always wanted  to be able to offer a good 'discovery cigar'; one we could recommend with confidence and sell for a reasonable price. But for the longest time we were reluctant to recommend any particular brand, aware that:

  • Almost all of the famous brand name cigars sold in tourist shops – Cohiba, Davidoff, etc. - are knockoffs or counterfeits: you pay for the name but you don’t get the real thing.
  • Much of the product available is simply unknown to the buyer and sold at prices that don’t necessarily speak for the quality, and with no way to try before you buy.
  • There is nothing worse than buying for a cigar-loving friend back home, only to find out too late that you have bought him a box of junk.

We concluded that there must exist in the Dominican Republic a cottage industry of highly talented cigar makers who can make an excellent cigar and whose prices reflect the fact that they are not well known. After all, there are dozens of cigar manufacturers in the Dominican Republic. Many have come from Cuba, others have been professionally trained in factories located near Puerto Plata that produce some of the world’s most famous cigars. So we set out to try to find one of these unknown talents.

As for the quality of the ‘smoke,’ our criteria was simple: the cigar would have to be a comfortable smoke, meaning an easy draw, a good burn and a flavor that wouldn’t knock the bejeezus out of your taste buds. In short, we were looking for a decent cigar at a decent price that would be both satisfying for the beginner and respectable to the connaisseur – something you take home to father-in-law and he actually thanks you for it.

The final criterion for us was consistency in product. One problem with cottage industries is that a well-meaning beginner might put out a good product one day, yet prove unable to keep up with his own success. We wanted a source that could provide reasonable assurance that next month, next year, we could buy the same cigar we enjoyed before.

As it turns out we didn’t have to go out looking for this because it ended up coming to us. One Sunday a regular client of Café Cito, Robert Daoust, showed up for a leisurely afternoon lunch with an associate of his, Don Luis Cuevas. 

Robert is a Canadian businessman who over the last few years has developed his own brand name, ‘Don Roberto,’ and started a distributorship out of Montreal that today spans the country. While operating on a much larger scale than us, he had the same objectives; a good smoke, a good price, consistent quality. Several years ago and after a few false starts, he found what he was looking for in Don Luis, a virtual walking cigar encyclopedia who heralds from the famed tobacco region of Pinar Del Rio, in Cuba, where his family’s tobacco plantation traditions go back three generations.

"The first thing I remember as a kid is tobacco," says Don Luis. "I don’t know anything else. When we were kids my mother used to roll us little baby cigars before anybody even knew about cancer and all that."

Don Luis has been producing cigars in the Cibao region of the Dominican Republic for the last twenty years. He found his niche in the anonymous side of the business, that of running a factory and making cigars for other people who have their own brand names and distributorships in different parts the world. Along the way he also developed his own line under the name Cuevas Hermanos.

Some very respectable brand names come out of the Cuevas Hermanos cigar factory, brands that are well known throughout Europe, North America and The United Kingdom. During a visit to Luis’ factory, we leafed through a couple of issues of Cigar Aficionado Magazine. In each issue, they publish a rating of different cigar brands in a single category or size. In this rating system, anything from 90 to 100 is considered outstanding, 80 to 89 is considered very good to excellent. Below seventy means not recommended. In the issues we looked at, we found at least a half dozen of the brands produced at the Cuevas factory; many scored in the high 80’s – excellent. 

"We have been coming out on those lists ever since 1994," he says. 

Considering that cigars that rate in the 90’s are either impossible to find or tremendously expensive, Don Luis’ high-eighties ratings convinced us that indeed he had a product that promises consistently high quality. 

All this of course was merely confirmation of what our own experience had told us when smoking his cigars. Over a year of Don Luis' occasional visits to Café Cito, we had tried a variety of his cigars and also gave several dozen away to our cigar-smoking clients. Everyone agreed that Don Luis’ cigars were very well made, burn evenly and draw nicely. Even people who weren’t veteran cigar smokers found themselves, not with a half-smoked cigar in the ashtray, but puffing away right to the very end. 

And so we have decided not only to make Cuevas Hermanos the Café Cito house brand, we have also arranged with Don Luis to provide us with enough stock to sell by the box. In addition to the traditional boxes of 25, he has provided us with a sampler five-pack, each containing a Churchill, Robusto, Lonsdale, Panatela and a Corona packaged in a wooden box. This package, which sells at Cafe Cito for just under US$23.00, makes an ideal gift. All prices work out to about one third of what you would expect to pay in a tobacco shop back home. We also sell these cigars by the piece, which makes Café Cito just about the only place where you can actually try before you buy. 

And so, if you are planning to do some cigar buying while visiting Puerto Plata and don’t want to be taken for a ride, come on down to Café Cito for a good dinner, followed by one of the country’s fabulous sipping rums and an excellent hand rolled Hermanos Cuevas cigar. 

Dinner, and a good cigar!
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