Let me explain something to you. When you are from the Dominican Republic, and you are not born rich, you don’t typically get presented with a whole lot of opportunities. Depending on who you are around in your everyday life, the tobacco business can be one of the very few ways to make a better life for yourself. A way to hone your craftsmanship and create a product that you can not only be proud of, but that may be the only way to get noticed by people outside of the local area and in some cases like this, in other countries. In DR, there’s a bunch of young tabacaleros trying to get their brands off the ground. They work under bigger, more well-known blenders, and take a shot at being someone in the industry. G-d bless each and every one of them. I’ve been through struggles in previous careers myself and trying to get noticed by the masses, especially when you are coming to the table without a million dollars or Instagram fame can be very hard. This year I vowed to dig deeper. I owe you. I owe you the best. I wanted to find cigar makers that have something to prove. With so much to gain and an amazing amount of passion. Allow me to introduce a young Dominican cigar maker out of Santiago DR. Marcos Rodriguez. Marcos studied under a wild blender named Chico Rivas. You will hear that name a lot more this year. When Marcos is not making cigars, you might find him, or I should say hear him, blasting through the mountains of tobacco fields and the roads surrounding Santiago on his Harley Davidson. His blends are tough, yet nuanced and delicate. These are true blenders out of DR. In Nicaragua, dare I say it is much easier to create good blends. Clark and a few friends went to DR a few years ago. This is one of the cigars they brought back. I was fortunate enough to smoke it and within a week, Marcos and I were on the phone together. I love my job. I love finding you the best cigars. Enough said.