What do you get when take a young college student with ambition and a passion for cigars and place him in the peak of the cigar boom of the mid 1990’s? Some would say an epic fail do to the lack of fine tobacco that was already owned by the goliaths at the time. But we are not talking about just any young man here, we are talking about Luis J. Falto, a young man studying at George Washington University in Washington, DC. A man who cut his teeth in the industry by buying and selling cigars to establishments throughout the DC area.
Luis enjoyed the leaf. He smoked a number of brands and blends and personally felt he could create a cigar that met his palate the best. Having a number of friends in the business he reached out to them and ended up in Santiago, Dominican Republic working with the La Aurora to create his desire. Louis had a unique idea, he wanted to be an “ultra boutique” cigar company and wanted every vitola he created to be a different blend and he was going to be the one that chose the blends. He wanted to meet the torcedores that would be rolling his creations and develop a personal relationship with them. He wanted a very low rate of production to maximize the quality of his cigars and he wanted to all this at the peak of the cigar boom in the 1990’s . Bold and ambitious would be an understatement!
Luis succeeded with all his desires, and in 1995 his first shipment of cigars arrived. Luis’ company and brands – Tabacalera Falto, Inc., La Garita Cigar Company, and Falto Cigars has been flourishing ever since. Maintaining his ultra boutique beginning, the company averages just 4,000 cigars per vitola each year and even less for those packaged in 10-count boxes.
Luis will tell you;
Since the beginning, I am the only one that sells, distribute and represent my cigars.. Sometimes, I say to myself, that I smoke more than what I sell.. It remains a passion for me. Tabacalera Falto, Inc. and La Garita Cigar Company and Falto Cigars is a journey that I started more than twenty one years ago and it will hopefully continue for many more.
With so many Falto vitolas to choose from, I would like to offer you a review of the most recent addition to the Falto Cigars lineup – the Falto Yagüez Arawaco – introduced at the 2016 IPCPR in Las Vegas.
The Falto Yagüez Arawaco is a 5 x 54 figurado containing a multi-country blend consisting of:
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo (Shade Grown)
- Binder: Brazilian Sumatra
- Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
The Falto Yagüez Arawaco comes packaged in 24-count boxes and has an MSRP of $11.00 and is limited to an annual production of just 100 boxes (2,400 cigars).
Of interest to me was the origin of the name for this cigar as it was quite unique.
The term Yagüez is a tribute to Luis’ home country of Puerto Rico, where the Yagüez River is. The Yagüez originates at 1,200 feet (370 m) above sea-level in the Urayoán Mountains to the southeast of Las Marias and to the northeast of Maricao. After a 13 mile flow, it feeds into the Mayagüez Bay just west of downtown Mayagüez.
The name Arawaco is derived from “Arawak” which are a group of indigenous peoples of South America, Florida, and historically of the Caribbean.
So lets see how the Falto Yagüez Arawaco performs as I take you on a short journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- Medium brown/dark tan Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper
- Some noticeable veins but nothing that should be an issue
- Pre-light aromas offered a light spice along the body of the cigar
- Being a figurado there was not much aroma on the small foot
- The cold draw delivered a lip smacking citrus, pepper, and cinnamon spice
- First puffs hit you with a solid dose of pepper that lasts a good half-inch of the burn
- Once the pepper tones down, a delicious profile of cedar, coffee, and sweetness is revealed
- The burn is a bit jagged in the first inch or so with a medium grey ash and thick char line
- I touched it up and burn started to behave well
- The ash maintained form and revealed a well centered burn cone once it fell after 2 inches
- Smoke has smoothed out at the halfway mark
- Coffee becomes the primary note
- The wrapper is oiling up well
- Touch of cinnamon spice enters near the end joined with a roasted nut aroma
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was around 1 hour
Overall, Falto Yagüez Arawaco was solid medium strength cigar that delivered delectable flavors through a solid body of smoke. Other than the small burn issue at the beginning, which I can attribute to the figurado shape, it burned fine with an even char line after the touch-up. This is easily a cigar that can be enjoyed in the morning with a creamy cup of cafe latte or in the evening with a flavorful aged rum. Luis and his company have certainly shown that being bold, ambitious, and passionate can sustain you in the cigar business, not mention having a great partner in La Aurora.