Kender Roman & Carlos Fernandez are Dominican cigar producers who are rising stars in the cigar industry because of their deep knowledge and relentless passion for making excellent cigars. This is manifested in their Golden Edition cigar, manufactured at their factory in Villa Gonzalez, offering a flavor profile that stands out among its modern contemporaries for its richness and depth.
Their vision for the Golden Edition was to create a blend that appealed to discerning cigar aficionados who fancy the nuances of their smoking experiences. While many of the newer cigars on the market hit you square between the eyes with ultra-bold flavor profiles or focus on a particular dimension of the cigar; the Golden Edition is a cigar to be studied while smoking.
Its aroma and flavor harmonize in a symphony of notes that can be easily missed if you’re not paying close enough attention. Therefore each time you enjoy one of their cigars you can pick out new flavors and sense new aromas that make you wonder if this is what cigars were supposed to taste like all along.
For me it’s like watching a movie that you need to rewatch over and over to better understand it. At least that was my experience and when I spoke to Kender about it, he confirmed that was the intent. My question to him was how did they craft such an experience?
This is where Carlos Fernandez’s expertise in agronomy has played a massive role in their cigar company. Carlos was the Deputy Advisor of the Special Operations of the Presidency. This was in service of the Vice Minister of the Dominican Republic’s Department of Agriculture. He also holds a degree in Ecology and Environmental Management from the Higher Institute of Agricultural Management in the Dominica Republic.
His expertise in understanding optimal growing conditions enables him to filter out tobacco that isn’t suitable for their overall vision and standards of quality. Kender in his own right is well versed in tobacco quality, cigar production and how different plant genetics interact with one another when they’re blended into a cigar. The duo’s combined knowledge is enough to ensure they are starting with the right tobacco before even considering rolling their cigars.
Kender also sharpened his business acumen by owning and operating a hostel in the Dominican Republic; where he interacted with people from all over the world.
This combined experience was the inspiration to name their company R&F Continental Cigars; a cigar company that will search the globe for the best tobacco that people from all over the world can enjoy. While they have a global view for their company, one element they did not want to lose sight of was their Dominican heritage and its importance to cigar production.
Knowing that the Caribbean island has overtaken Cuba as the largest exporter of tobacco, they wanted to infuse each step of their cigar production with the legacy of all the great producers that have come before them. This is why their Master Blender, Joel Jimenez is crucial to their overall production.
Joel comes from a tobacco growing and cigar producing family who raised Joel around the craft since he was born. This immersive learning experience has given Joel an inherent understanding of tobacco and how each different leaf interacts with another in terms of flavor harmony, combustion and smokeability.
In addition to the tactical skills that he learned, there were tid bits of information passed down to him that one simply can’t learn via a crash course. These lessons take years to learn and immersion to absorb; this is why Kender and Roman felt Joel was the ideal blender for their cigar.
The trio have worked over the course of the last few years to build their factory which is where their Golden Edition cigar is produced as well as the home for their upcoming Platinum Edition.
The future is bright for R&F Continental Dominican Cigars; at the rate they’re going you can expect to see larger players in the industry taking interest in their operation for collaborations and operational support.
But for now, we can all sit back and appreciate their dedication to the craft that we all love by enjoying a Golden Edition cigar.