Rolando Reyes Sr. embodies the term “old school” and is known as a cigar legend by his peers and loyal customers around the world. The “World’s most talented cigar maker” was honored for his impressive lifetime work – his grandson, Carlos Diez, President of Reyes Family Cigars, accepted the award in New Orleans.
Don Rolando was born in Las Villas, Cuba in 1924. He comes from a family of 7 brothers and 7 sisters. His father was in the goods transport business but Rolando, alone among his siblings, insisted to his father that he wanted to be a “tabacalero”. He was all of 9 years old at the time.
In 1938, Rolando went to work in Pinar del Rio at the José L. Piedra Cigar Factory in Guanajay. This was followed by work in Havana at H. Upmann and José Gener & Batet Cigar Co. He then returned to Las Villas to establish his own cigar factory “Los Aliados”.
He operated it with great success until the communist government confiscated his Los Aliados Cigar trademark and factory and personal properties in 1968. Rolando immigrated to America where he startet a factory in 1973, changing its name to “Cuba Aliados”.
In late 1995, the Puros Indios cigar line was launched with a 15 vitola presentation. This unique blend has remained unchanged since its introduction; the filler blend in all Puros Indios cigars are identical using a four country blend of tobaccos. All wrappers are Ecuadorian-grown from Sumatran seed and the binder is Ecuadorian. Puros Indios Cigars have been a success from the start, selling millions of cigars annually in the USA and internationally.
In 2002, Rolando finished construction of a new factory in Danli, Honduras. The new Puros Indios factory sits on a moderately sloped five acre plot, below his farm and home. The new factory is built in the old Cuban tradition. Rolando employs over 200 rollers and has over 300 employees producing over 75,000 cigars daily of his various brands.
Rolando Reyes Sr. has been called “The world’s most talented cigar maker”. Don Rolando embodies the term “old school” and is known as a cigar legend by his peers and loyal customers around the world.
Following the awards ceremony in New Orleans, twelve more honours were awarded during the opening ceremony of InterTabac 2009. As in this anniversary year of Cigar Journal there are two winners in each category, Heinrich Villiger accepted the Cigar Trophy Lifetime Achievement 2009 in Dortmund. Read more