Abe Flores smoked his first cigar at age 8 - and he promptly threw up, according to a 2015 interview. Now the blender in chief behind a successful string of Pinar Del Rio hits, Flores' factory in Tamboril, the Dominican Republic, has become a hotbed for some of the newest and hottest boutique cigars to hit the market.
Abe's PDR Cigar story began in 1978 when he moved from Queens, New York to the Dominican Republic at age three. But tobacco didn't come to him right away: his family's farm produced a wide variety of crops and livestock, but tobacco was only a small part of the equation. And not enough to leave a lasting impression on the young Flores.
Moving off the farm and back to the US, Abe immersed himself in music - his day job was In technology and marketing. His cousin reintroduced him to cigars: brought back from the DR, the sticks were sold as a side business - and that's what got Abe into the cigar game. He transitioned to an online cigar store, revitalizing the shop's website and selling cigars online. Soon, he became a broker, developing private labels to be sold in the shop; within three years, Flores was off to the Dominican to work for the company make the cigars. Soon after, a job repping Pinar del Rio Cigars came to pass in 2008.
But commonly known as PDR Cigars, Pinar del Rio Cigars weren't exactly the same thing...Abe formed PDR Cigars as a side project, away from Pinar del Rio - the distinction came in the form of the tobaccos he used for his PDR cigar blends: PDR Cigars were the first in which he used Nicaraguan tobacco in his recipes. But true to form, the PDR core lines had an excellent price point, and over a million sticks were produced in one year.
Pinar del Rio cigars, as a brand, would eventually be phased out completely in favor of PDR cigars thanks to a cease and desist letter from Cuban cigar makers Habanos S.A. But truth be told, it had more to do with the fact that everyone knew his cigar brand as PDR anyway. And in addition to the PDR 1878 core lines of Blue, White and Red labels, Flores' factory makes private label blends and cigars for a host of other companies - including Gurkha, La Palina, Kristoff, Villiger, Viaje, El Primer Mundo - to the tune of almost 5 million cigars a year, by way of 60 rollers.
With a host of PDR Cigar brands to choose from, expect a well-constructed cigar that's been rolled entubado - a traditional Cuban method for bunching filler tobaccos - and finished with three or four caps, for a distinctive PDR look. Featuring a well that's deep with true modern boutiques, odds are in your favor if you're looking to buy PDR cigars online at the just-right Famous Smoke Shop price. Choose yours now, and save!