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Luis Molina, of Molina Cigar Company (MCC), recently took some time to answer several questions about the company, their blend Devil’s Weed, and the new blends they are currently working on. MCC is run by Luis and his father, Roberto. Roberto fled El Salvador in the 70s with his wife and started up several companies before starting MCC in 2007. Their first blend, Devil’s Weed, is meant to celebrate the rich history of cigar smoking and to remove the taboo often associated with the practice. A line of cabinet selection cigars, Devil’s Weed is a unique blend that seeks to create a smooth and elegant smoking experience. I am looking forward to smoking and reviewing the cigars Luis was kind enough to send my way. To learn more about Molina Cigar Company or Devil’s Weed, visit their website.
How did you first get involved in the cigar industry?
I first started smoking when I was 16 but my formal introduction into the industry came in 2003. After I graduated from Notre Dame, I was hired as a part-time cigar shop retail associate in New Orleans.
What do you enjoy most about the cigar industry (relationships, free smokes, travel, experimentation with blends)?
All of the above. But if I had to choose one, it is the knowledge that I am engaged in a centuries-old tradition and allowing the user to turn to a different state of mind.
What are some of your favorite smokes? How many cigars do you smoke a day?
In terms of dimension, I smoke according to my mood but I enjoy A’s the most. In terms of strength, again it depends on mood but I want a cigar that delivers a smooth and clean blend. In terms of brands, besides Devil’s Weed, I also enjoy Liga Privada, Cabaiguan, Trinidad (Cuban) and Vegas Robaina just to name a few. Remember, I was involved in the retail and wholesale side of the cigar industry so I have smoked many cigar brands. On average I will smoke about 5 cigars a day. On the weekends I may smoke 8 or 9 a day.
How did Molina Cigar Company get its start?
My father and I started the company in May 2007 while I was still overseeing premium cigar operations for a large wholesaler that is based in New Orleans. I finally left that company to work at Molina Cigar Company full-time that September. We spent close to a full year in design and concept mode before we imported our first small batch of cigars.
How do you explain the concept behind Devil’s Weed?
Devil’s Weed is the most fitting tribute to the cigar culture and the handmade cigar. We are revealing to humanity that smoking is not an evil practice and that it has, as a matter of fact, positively affected mankind. Based on the term borne from the fanaticism of the Spanish Inquisition, Devil’s Weed is our family’s tribute to the holy history of the tabaco (Spanish spelling) plant. We do not apologize for what we know is a beautiful thing. Ever since its discovery, tabaco has been attacked by certain groups of people (much like today still) and our cigar is meant to enlighten rather than shock.
How is Molina and Devil’s Weed set apart from other companies and cigar lines?
We are truly a small company that values and respects the long history of this industry and as such we strive to make ourselves available to the cigar smoker. We value those who still enjoy a cigar and enjoy living life itself. We thirst for knowledge yet we can have fun too.
Are there any new blends in store for the future?
Our first brand was the Devil’s Weed Cabinet Selection but we plan to release Devil’s Weed 15th (a Nicaraguan puro with a claro wrapper) and Devil’s Weed 16th (a Nicaraguan puro with a maduro wrapper) very soon.
How would you describe the perfect day at Molina Cigar Company?
There are no bad days at Molina Cigar Company. We may have bumps in the road but they are temporary. One of the best days at Molina Cigar involve visiting and staying at a cigar shop and becoming friends with the shop owner and all his customers. It is about enjoining ourselves with the fraternity of the leaf.
How would you describe the blend of Devil’s Weed?
For Devil’s Weed Cabinet Selection, we strove to create a blend for the purist. Similar to the old Davidoff principle of blending, we wanted a cigar that is clean yet flavorful (even though it is mild in strength). It exhibits some cream and not too much spice yet an elegant and smooth experience is inherent in the Devil’s Weed Cab. We plan to have other blends that cater to other tastes but always, the foundation for our blends is to create clean smokes and not ones that leave a raw or harsh nicotine-laced feeling.
Who blends and rolls your cigars?
It depends on the line, but in the Dominican Republic, Pinar del Rio rolls our cigars and in Nicaragua, we have Los Blancos and the Plasencias roll our cigars. Eventually we will have our own rolling capacity but those factories we have already contracted for particular lines will continue to roll those cigars.
Why do you think people like Devil’s Weed so much?
We are glad and very grateful to have many fans of our cigars. I suppose we have many positive remarks because we are cigar smokers too and as such understand their values and preferences.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I want to thank you and people like you who are continuing the rich tradition of the cigar industry by creating and maintaining sites like this. They are important in heralding to the rest of the world that the tradition of cigar smoking is still alive and well and that tabaco shall still be around for many centuries to come.