• google

Interview with Jesus Fuego of J. Fuego Cigars

I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with Jesus Fuego, last week, at a cigar event at Big Sticks at Mesa, Arizona. Jesus is the owner of J. Fuego, a relatively young cigar company, started in 2006, and recently renamed from Tabacos S.A. While the company is not very old, the Fuego family has been in the cigar business for five generations. I had forgotten this event was coming up, and was reminded of it just two hours before it started. So I threw together a few questions to ask of Jesus, and following is the resulting conversation.

Punch: How often do you have a cigar?

Jesus Fuego: Three or four a day.

Punch: What is the current favorite of your lines? I know that someone can’t choose a favorite among their children…

JF: No. No. No… I have a favorite. It is more size than blend. I like the Little Originals — the little five-packs. I have those all the time. It’s a quick smoke. As a size, that is what I smoke more. As a line or as a blend, I would say, whatever I’m working new — that, obviously I’ve got to smoke a lot. Right now I’m into the new cigar that we are releasing — the Connoisseur — J Fuego Connoisseur. I tend to smoke what I’m making that is a little bit on the medium to full-bodied side, which used to be my Gran Reserva which we are not making any more. It is a limited edition that we make once a year. So it is around that — medium to full-bodied — but I try to mix everything we have on the line.

Punch: Does your line mostly consist of mediums, to comply with your taste?

JF: We have pretty much everything between mild and full-bodied.

Punch: As someone, myself, being relatively new to the cigar culture, is there anything that you recommend that I look for in a cigar when I’m picking one?

JF: That will depend a lot on what you like. If I be looking for a cigar…  I’ll tell you what I look for in a cigar is construction, a good draw, I like the cigar to burn right — good combustion, and I like complexity. I like complexity. It doesn’t have to be very strong, or it doesn’t have to be very mild, but I like flavorful.

Punch: Something that makes it interesting instead of a one note song…

JF: Yes.

Punch: What other countries/regions do you market your cigars?

JF: In Europe and Canada.

Punch: How does the US market compare to the others?

JF: The US is a big market for us. The biggest market for us is US. We also sell a little bit in Central America, in duty free shops and all that, but uh, yeah, the US is the main market.

Punch: Do you find that different parts of the world are looking for something different in a cigar?

JF: Well, probably in Europe there is still more influence by the Cuban cigars, because they are legal there. Maybe in Canada, too. But the market is evolved in that the cigar smoker is getting a lot more discerning and educated. And besides, the time has never been better to be a smoker — everybody is making good stuff.

Punch: It seems like not long ago there was an explosion of small companies specializing in making cigars.

JF: They are still around. There are a lot of brands and small manufacturers coming out every year with cigars. A lot of more private labels are being made in the market.

Punch: Have you seen a trend of the bigger companies swallowing up or acquiring  the smaller ones?

JF: I will say it is a trend. It has happened but there are big and small companies still around.

Punch: What do you see as the future of the cigar industry in America, or worldwide?

JF: I think it will stay there. I mean, it’s not a vice. It’s something that people do — it’s a relaxing thing and it’s a celebration. Obviously they are not making it easy for people to smoke — not only here — everywhere. But the cigar is a whole different culture. It’s a way of life, and I think it will be around for a while.


The short URL of the present article is:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.