Don Pulita & The 60th Anniversary of Tabacalera El Artista
A young hopeful cigar roller holding a beige canvas bag, steps over the threshold of his recent purchase. Grinning, he admires the space in the rapidly fading light. He gently places the bag, filled with tobacco, on the only flat surface in the building, a handmade rolling table. As he feathers tobacco into a bunch, he whispers to himself, “This is my canvas, and this is my art.”
In 1956 Ramón “Pulita” Rodriguez converted a warehouse in the Cibao region of Dominican Republic into a bustling hub of tobacco processing and blending. Within the first year Don Pulita had filled his warehouse with dozens of employees and tens of thousands of cigars. 62 years later and Tabacalera El Artista continues to grow and perfect the art of tobacco.
It all started with a single cigar blend. A special blend of six tobaccos sourced from local factories. That blend, with some modern improvements, is the vintage blend that comprises today’s Pulita 60th Aniversario. Pulita is a combination of vintage-style tobaccos partly grown by our own artisans and partly sourced from growers who specialize in classic species.
First, we start with the filler, a balanced combination from four countries:
Each tobacco adds it’s own signature to the blend. The Nicaraguan and Pennsylvanian add deep, spicy notes of black and red pepper. The Dominican adds smooth creamy notes and the Colombian rounds out the edges with hints of wheat grass and sweet bell pepper.
Next is the binder, the very same material Pulita would have used in the original blend over 60 years ago: Dominican Olor which adds a dry, earthy quality to the smoke.
Finally the wrapper. The star of the cigar and the leaf that adds the most allure to the blend: The Rare Negrito. Found on very few blends today, Negrito was the leaf of choice for many top-tier blends in decades past. Despite being a difficult crop to manage, the craftsmen of the day used it because of its distinctive sweet flavor and rich full smoke. However, the wrapper fell out of favor in the 70’s & 80’s as mechanization and efficiency-focused processes pushed out low yield or difficult to manage tobaccos.
Today it’s back on the Pulita 60th Aniversario blend. We know it’s hard to work with, but nothing worthwhile doing is easy.
Pulita isn’t just a cigar, it’s an epic tale of artistry and perseverance and it is our heritage. The story of Pulita is the story of how three generations of hard work were translated into a beautiful family owned factory that employs hundreds of employees. We are proud of our heritage and we look forward to bright horizons as Tabacalera El Artista grows from the deep roots set down by Don Pulita.