Size: 5.1 x 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican (Opus, Don Carlos, & Hemingway blend)
Price: ~ $12.00
Intro: Arturo Fuente produces some great stuff. Sometime I think they don't get talked about enough, but I also think that's because people just seem to know they make quality. Some of their rarer sticks are the ones I love the most. The Maduro versions of the Hemingway line are awesome . Then there is the Anejo line. Mmm...just looking at one makes you all woozy in the knees. The wrappers are aged in cognac barrels and the fermenting process observes in some of the darkest wrappers I have seen. To add to the presentation the filler is a mixture of some of the top shelf Fuentes...namely Opus, Don Carlos, and Hemingway lines.
Prelight: Pulling the cigar from the cello and taking off the cedar sleeve leaves you staring at a simply beautiful cigar. The wrapper is a very dark chocolate (close to black in some lighting) and against it the red band contrasts nicely. There are a couple of smaller veins here and there, but nothing that detracts from the overall package. Taking in the aroma from the wrapper, I get a wonderfully rich barnyard aroma with a hint of chocolate to it. The cap cut cleanly with a swift snap of my Palio and due to the incredible wind today I ventured out to the shed to light up. Taking in the cold draw I was met with a rich tobacco flavor. Decided to take my time and fire this cigar up with matches...just didn't seem right doing it any other way.
First Third: Didn't take long before it was smoking like a chimney. Initial flavors were a rich tobacco core with hints of leather, spice (cinnamon I think), and a slight bit of chocolate. The burn line is straight and thin, the ash layering nicely and is a dark gray color.
Second Third: Going into the second third the flavors are much the same...rich tobacco core with hints of chocolate and spice, but the leather has faded out and there is the addition of a fruity flavor. Dark cherry I'd say. Burn continues to be straight, draw has the perfect amount of resistance.
Last Third: More of the same with the dark cherry becoming more frequent and noticeble. Burn continues to be top notch and the ash layers beautifully in these cigars. Holding strong for several inches, despite the raging wind. Would make a good candidate for a long ash contest IMO.
Final Thoughts: Overall a superb cigar. The flavors are dynamite and remind me of a good Imperial Stout in some ways. Definitely something you'd feel like sipping and savoring instead of sucking down. Sure the price is a little higher than some would feel comfortable with, but how's that saying go..."you get what you pay for"? And you certainly get it here. These I hear age wonderfully. If I could ever age them I would know for myself, but they're too good to let set for very long and cost too much coin to buy a lot of. The No 49 and No 50 have been my favorites if only because I like the sizes in general. I do have some No 77s that I'm trying to let go a few years at least before firing them up, but I don't know if I'll be able to. Do I recommend this cigar? Yep, without a doubt one everyone should try at least once. In fact I'd say I prefer it to the Opus...blasphemy I know, but true.