Review | Fuente Don Carlos

One of the cool things about cigar blogging on a site that didn’t have any cigar reviews, is the fact that I could revisit some cigars that once were a part of my every day routine. When I was a partner in a Cigar Shop in Brooklyn, NY one of my go to cigars was the Don Carlos from Arturo Fuente. I haven’t had one since around 2010 for a number of reasons but mostly because I got caught up in the boutique craze.

Named after the Fuente Family Patriarch, Don Carlos Fuente Sr, the cigars are blended using tobacco that is aged as much as 10 years and rolled at Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican in limited numbers.

Cigar: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos
Size: Presidente (6.5 x 50)
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Strength: Mild-Medium

The Look: When you thinking of Cameroon wrappers, you tend to think of Arturo Fuente. The Don Carlos Presidente features an evenly colored Cameroon wrapper, however there is a water spot present on the backside of the cigar. There is a thin network of veins present, but they are so minuscule that they are not noticeable unless you really look for them.  In typical Fuente fashion some of the pectin that is used to hold the cigar together and affix the band is visible on parts of the stick. The cigar is rolled to perfection with the classic red, white, black and gold A. Fuente band. The cigar is firm with a nice weight to it and a slightly spongy foot.

The Draw: The cold draw of the A. Fuente Don Carlos Presidente serves up notes of fig and molasses, which is very enjoyable while the foot of the cigar offers some sweetness over a barnyard component. Once the cigar is lit, there something that I can only describe as a classic Cameroon sweetness.

As we work into the first third of the Don Carlos there is a subtle sweetness over notes of leather and nuts. Some of the molasses experienced on the cold draw shows itself from time to time, teasing the palate.

In the second third of the Don Carlos, a sweetness begins to develop at the focal point, specifically molasses with a hint of maple. The nuttiness on the first third of the cigar reappears after the half way point and becomes the focal point with the sweetness taking a backseat.

The last third of the classic Don Carlos continues down the classic Cameroon path with a mixture of nuts and sweetness. With a little more than an inch to go some cinnamon and coffee join the mix on the moderate length finish of the cigar.

The Burn: Cameroon is one of those wrappers that are extremely brittle and I tend to stay away from them once the temperatures drop below 40 as it can’t handle the cold very well. The ash of the Don Carlos is almost white in color, and very firm lasting for close to half the cigar before dropping off into my Lil Stinky ashtray. The draw of the Don Carlos was slightly loose, but it wasn’t outside the realm of acceptability. The burn of the cigar was razor-sharp and stayed lit for the entire smoking appearance.

The Finish: I am a boutique guy, and while I love my Davidoff and Padron Cigars, I tend to smoke a lot of cigars like the Mason Dixon from Crowned Heads and Atabey from Nelson Alfonso. Smoking the Don Carlos shows me how much my palette has changed over the year. The Don Carlos is a classic cigar with balance and straight forward notes. It is the mainstream domestic beer in comparison to the craft beer craze. Which is strange, because when I drink beer, I despise craft beers. Go figure, because with my cigars, I tend to like the craft brews.

Score: 89
Price: $10.99

Don Carlos Presidente

Don Carlos Presidente

Don Carlos Presidente Foot

Don Carlos Presidente Foot

Don Carlos Presidente Burn

Don Carlos Presidente Burn