The Don Carlos is named in honor of its legendary creator and Fuente family patriarch Carlos Fuente, Sr. Earlier this year a print publication named the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark its cigar of the year today’s review the Don Carlos Belicoso shares some similarities with that cigar. Both are a belicoso and both are part of the Don Carlos line. One is box pressed and one is not.
So today we smoke the Don Carlos Belicoso for review, and ask if the cigars are that much different
Cigar: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Length: 5 3/8
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: Packaged in cabinet style boxes the 25, the cigars are laid out in three rows of 8-9-8 which happens to be another name for a Arturo Fuenteline of cigars. In recent years, the bands got a makeover which helped create separation between the brands. The Don Carlos uses a band of black, gold, red and cream which has a luxury look about it. The Cameroon wrapper is flawless with only a few thin veins and a seamless roll. In the hand the cigar is smooth and has a nice weight to it.
The Notes: Once we clip the cap of the Don Carlos Belicoso the cold draw has hints of molasses, cinnamon and cedar. There is also a earthy component that reminds me ever so slightly of the aroma from the morning dew on a freshly cut lawn. The foot of the cigar has even more molasses and cinnamon then that of the cold draw. After we toast and light the cigar, the first distinct flavor experienced is cedar.
Moving into the first third the cedar notes remain dominant with a hint of nutiness. As he first third progresses the finish of the cigar sees cinnamon and molasses develop that also lingers on the aroma. The retrohale of the cigar has a slight pepper and raisin to it adding some further complexity to this medium bodied cigar.
In the second third the molasses and cinnamon become more prevalent, though cedar still remains dominant. As we slide past the halfway a cherry like sweetness begins to develop while the finish fo the cigar becomes earthy. The retrohale sees some nuttiness and cinnamon with a touch of earth that lingers.
The last third of the cigar sees the sweetness fade away as the primary note becomes earth. There is still a touch of cedar and pepper on the retrohale as the cigar comes to a close which remained smooth right up until the end.
The Finish: I have not been one to shy away from controversy, so allow me to stir the pot. I don’t see a big difference between the Don Carlos Belicoso and the Eye of the Shark. Sure there are subtle difference, especially since one is box pressed. But the core components are pretty much spot on, though the belicoso might have less sweetness than the Eye of the Shark. My opinion is however that there isn’t that much of a difference between the two worth the aggravation of getting one over the other, or the price gouging going on in the marketplace.
Price: $10.79 / $239.99