When it opened it’s doors in 1910, Tampa’s El Reloj cigar factory was described by a local paper – the Tampa Tribune – as the “largest and finest cigar factory in the world.” While as many as 150 cigar factories have called Tampa home over the years, El Reloj is the only one still operating. Approaching 70 years as owners of the factory and stewards of its legacy, J.C. Newman Cigar Company purchased the landmark in the 1950’s and has since restored the facility and opened it to the public for tours, classes, and events. During business hours, anyone can visit the museum, theatre and factory store absolutely free of charge. A true Cigar City icon, El Reloj is one of a number of destinations that the Newman’s are working to provide to tourists and locals alike.
Coinciding with the milestone is news of new life given to another important piece of J.C. Newman’s vibrant past – Angel Cuesta cigars. Originally rolled over a century ago, just two rollers are now responsible for the production of every cigar in the line. At a rate of 150 cigars a day, each cigar is crafted in El Reloj’s American Room. The 25 members of the Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. were the first to be introduced to the lineup and are the first to offer Angel Cuesta to their patrons. If all goes as planned, additional retailers may receive an allotment or two each calendar year. For now, the only other way to obtain one of these is in-person at the J.C. Newman factory store.
Each of the three formats – Doble Robusto, Doble Toro, and Salomones – features an Ecuador Havana Rosado wrapper. Beneath, a combination of aged binder and filler tobaccos hav been sourced from three continents. Capped with a pigtail, the Angel Cuesta will launch in 20 count cabinets.
A story is included within each box, from Angel Cuesta himself, a portion of which reads that “If you are a man who enjoys a really fine cigar, you have probably long since discovered the hand-made Tampa cigar with its superb smoking qualities – choice, clear Havana tobacco at its best! If you haven’t made this discovery, we believe it is time you did. And so we tell you how these cigars are created, and about Tampa, too – for the story of fine cigars is inseparable from the story of Tampa.” For the full text of the story included in each box, and for more information about this historic blend, visit the J.C. Newman Cigar Company website.