Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican Ligero (Aged 5 Years)
Size: 6 X 50 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.00 MSRP
Humidor Time: 2.5 Months

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Today we take a look at the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60.
Many thanks to cousins Drew, Eric, and Bobby Newman for the cigars.
Julius Ceaser Newman, and my grandfather, Harold (Armin) Kohn were best friends in Cleveland. Both were from Hungary. And, of course, both Jewish. On my grandfather’s 4 times a year visits from Cleveland to Long Beach, CA, Julius came too. My grandfather stayed in the extra bedroom. Julius stayed in a hotel. We lived in a simple 3 bedroom ranch house in Long Beach. No extra room. We took long walks together, after lunch, and they always stuck an unlit cigar in my mouth. Which means I’ve had a cigar in my mouth for 61 years.

I’m working on a project because I have one of only 100 original prints of Julius’s autobiography and a copy of the three brothers’ father’s autobiography. I’m now up to 72 pages of outline. It is exhausting. I’m planning something big.

BACKGROUND:
Regular Production
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente
From the JC Newman Cigar Co. web site:
“Previously rolled in Cuba and the official cigar of Spain’s King Alfonso XIII, Cuesta-Rey is known throughout the world for superior quality, taste, and craftsmanship. What makes Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino so flavorful is its rich Sumatra-seed Sungrown wrapper, which is grown on the Oliva family’s farm in the fertile Quevado region of Ecuador and hand selected from the “Centro Fino” or “fine center” part of the tobacco plant.

“Featuring a hearty blend of five-year-old aged Dominican ligero filler tobacco and handmade by Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic, Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino is a smooth, very flavorful, medium to full-bodied premium cigar. After rolling, CUESTA-REY cigars are aged in Spanish cedar lined cabinets to further develop their outstanding, rich flavor. Centro Fino continues Cuesta-Rey’s 120-year old tradition of cigar excellence that Angel La Madrid Cuesta and Peregrino Rey created in 1884.”

DESCRIPTION:
I love the super oily coffee bean colored wrapper. The wrapper is very smooth but there is tooth here and there.
The double cigar band, especially the main band, are so Cuban in appearance.
The triple caps are near impeccable. The sticks are solid with perfect give to them.

SIZES AND PRICING (Couldn’t find pricing on all sizes- It seems that all online stores only carry the sizes with price points noted):
Churchill 7 x 49
#55 6.5 x 55
Pyramid #9 6.25 x 52 $8.30
Captiva 6.187 x 42 $6.85
Toro #60 6 x 50 $6.80
Cortez 5.5 x 48
Belicoso #11 4.875 x 50
Robusto #7 4.5 x 50 $6.10

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweetness, spicy pepper, a touch of tart pineapple, a touch of mocha, cedar, and a bit of cocoa.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell chocolate dipped pineapple, strong red pepper, mocha java, cedar, and herbal notes.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, mint patties, malts, cedar, herbal notes, yes; more of that crazy pineapple, and black tea.

FIRST THIRD:
A bushel of flavors begin the journey: Chocolate, creaminess, coffee, out of the park red pepper, malt, herbal notes, fruit, cedar, and charred steak.
Smoke emits from the foot like a chimney.

I’m glad I was patient with the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60. This is an Old School blend that requires a lot of humidor time. And I’ve been rewarded with a great blend. And the blender’s intent.
I love the powerful red pepper. Right behind, the chocolate and creaminess with coffee turns the stick into a Starbuck’s drink.
This is exactly how an expensive cigar should start. With a bang. Only this isn’t an inexpensive cigar. I couldn’t find it on Cbid but I did find a box of this size on cigarauctioneer.com going for $39.00 for a box of 10 cigars and ending this Sunday.

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You can pretty much find this sized stick going for $5.00 anywhere online. And based on the several Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60’s I’ve smoked, this cigar is worth twice the price.
Strength is medium/full.

At only 1-1/2” burned, the cigar turns complex. A very nice balance with a long finish.
Construction is par excellence. The ash is hanging tough. And not a single wrapper issue. A very well made cigar.
While typing that last sentence, the ash falls off right on to my naughty bits. Only wearing boxers, t shirt, and robe. Try and get that image out of your brain.

The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 is going into “The Katman’s List of 164 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$8.00 Range.”
A cornucopia of fruit appears: tart green apple, fresh figs, raisins, and pomegranate. And caramel and vanilla complement the other flavors.
?????????????????

I have trouble keeping track of time. I may have had these cigars for longer than 2.5 months. I just can’t remember. This is a stick you buy, affordably, and then hide away for 3 months. And then you get a $5 cigar that tastes like a $10 cigar.

The complex nature of the blend makes me think I am smoking a well-aged Fuente Don Carlos. Really.
I just now read my review of the Don Carlos and damn! It is so darn close to the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 flavor profile. And it too had over two months of humi time.
Where is Rod Serling when you need him? Oh right. He’s dead.

I’m so old. (How old are you?) That I remember watching the original “Twilight Zone” on TV when they were new and only on once a week. They always scared the crap out of me. I loved it. Now, in order to scare kids, a movie, or TV show, has to show disembowelment. Different times. I prefer mine.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 30 minutes.
Strength moves to full body.
The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 is a perfect anytime cigar. Never disappoints. And wallet/wife friendly.

5third

The Newman Brothers also sent me some El Baton cigars for review. Same thing has happened to them. With almost 3 months humidor time, they have become a stunning blend. And I also have the great Diamond Crown Julius Ceaser 1895 Perfecto waiting in the wings. Also with 3 months humi time.
The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 is now so complex that all of the flavors have morphed into one. The malts are very important so here they are: Cara Munich Malt, Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, and Flaked Rye Malt. (See Malt Chart).

Construction is still on point and no touch ups required for the char line.
This is one of those rare blends where you get that very earthy, tobacco flavor.
There is also a meatiness. Like a charred steak just taken off the grill. A touch of salt and I’m ready to carve and eat.

My first romantic meal? 1965. I was on a tour of Israel and Europe that my grandfather took me on for the entire summer. There were about 50 people on this synagogue tour and only 5 teens. Of which only 2 were chicks. I got Frieda. A first generation Polish girl whose parents went through the horror of Auschwitz.
We were in Paris and I took her to a fancy restaurant and ordered the greatest dinner in the world that included a Chateaubriand steak. I had never had one but the waiter recommended it and was delicious.
Chateaubriand_with_Bearnaise

After dinner, we walked the Seine and held hands. I had wood the entire time. My first girlfriend and I were 15. When it came time to make out, I kept running to the bathroom because I was so nervous, I thought I would throw up. This got on Frieda’s nerves so I got it together and we kissed for an hour. A very fond memory.

Where was I? Right. The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60. You know it’s gotta be a great cigar if it can dredge up a wonderful memory that is over 50 years old.
I reach the halfway point.
Smoke time is 50 minutes.
The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 reaches full body.

6half

This has to be one of the smoothest full body cigars I’ve smoked.
And then to make me into a schmuck, the nicotine arrives with the gumption to want to scalp me and use a spoon to scoop my brain into a foie gras.

Life drains from my body and I slump to the floor only to be carried away, to the backyard, by a coterie of a dozen little mice…where they devour me with tiny forks and knives and little napkins tucked beneath their chins.
Uh-oh. Flashback. I was wondering if that would ever happen.

I could smoke the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 all day long.
I know that readers get very tired of me describing a blend as a flavor bomb because they think I used the term too much in the past. I’ve been very good lately. But I have to break the fast and call out the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown as a bona fide flavor bomb.

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LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
Strength is full body.
Man oh man. Manny Mota! Jesus Alou! Flavors just explode at this point.

I found online stores selling a box of 10 for $46.00-$51.00. This is insane.
I’m having trouble remembering a cigar, this good, at the price point of the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60.

A sip of water and Kaboom. Blam. Pow. There is a heavy chocolate, creamy malt flavor that reminds me of that cold drink I would get at the Thrifty Drug Store diner when I sneaked off campus at lunch time in high school. Are you old enough to remember when drug stores had little diners at the back of the store? Do you remember fighting in the Civil War? I do. But as a Jew, I was only allowed to be a bookie. They wouldn’t let me carry a gun. I save a lot of lives as soldiers, from both sides, lined up to borrow money.

I’m trying to write while Charlotte is bothering me with questions as she continues packing for our move. I’m thinking of boxing her and using double packing tape. Don’t make a big deal. I will poke holes for her to breathe.

The Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60 is making both my yarmulke and toupee spin like tops. I am beginning to levitate. That can only happen if you train your scalp to make the toupee and yarmulke spin in opposite directions. No easy feat.

If you don’t score a box of these, forget the 5 pack, you’re nuts. The only advice from me is to promise that you let the cigars rest for at least two months. Do not touch them prior to that.

Just look at how the sunlight makes the oily wrapper shimmer:
8third

I must tip my hat to J.C. Newman Cigar Co. for the enormous quality at such a low price. I’ve reviewed a ton of expensive boutique cigars that can’t touch the hem of the tutu of the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60.

I’m not kidding. Well, most of the time I’m not kidding. I’m having a great time. This proves my point I’ve made over and over. Expensive cigars boast all sorts of things about the aging of the tobacco and how rare it is and then they slap a $15 price tag on it for suckers to buy who just absolutely know that for that price they are getting the best cigar on the block. LOL.

I could list dozens of double digit priced cigars that don’t come close to the Cuesta-Rey Centro Fino Sungrown Toro #60. But then the manufacturers of those cigars would stop sending me samples.

It seems my wonderful cigar experience is coming to a too soon end.
Clearly, I loved this cigar. You will too.
Final smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.

RATING: 92

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5 replies

  1. This has been a favorite of mine for around 12 years. she does need time in the humidor but you are rewarded.

  2. Great review and will see how the match up to some of my other cigars. I also believe in a long humidor time. But then I have some reaching 4 years. BE Well my BOTL.

  3. I’m looking forward to your reviews of the El Batons…one of my faves…very happy that you’re still writing, Phil…

    • I know your name but it eludes me at the moment. I do believer we were pen pals for a while.
      The move yesterday nearly gave me a heart attack. I plan to post a blow by blow account of the horrifying day as soon as I feel better.
      The story is a doozy.
      The El Baton really surprised me. After nearly 3 months of humi time, boy did this cigar blend blossom. I will get to it as soon as I can maintain an upright position for more than 5 minutes.
      The last time my back hurt this much was the day after my skydiving accident.
      So, Mr. Johnson…thank you for your kind words of support.
      I’m going to lay down now and stare at my bloated feet and hands.
      Be good,
      Phil

      • We’ve chatted back and forth a couple of times…first name is Vance…But get to feelin’ better, pal!!!