Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Figurado
Size : 4.875 x 46/60
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : MSRP: $8.50 each
Waking this morning and stepping outside to grab the mail, I was greeted by a refreshing burst of crisp air. We have been experiencing some fantastic weather lately (goodbye snow?) and I made a resolution to pick a great stick to usher in this beautiful day. Running through an inventory of my desktop humidor, it hit me which stick I was craving. I won a certain contest recently, involving the identification of famous moustaches. The BOTL hosting it was very generous and one of the sticks I received from him was an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Work of Art Maduro. So as the sun reached its zenith, I grabbed my supplies, set up camp in its warm glow and prepared to enjoy my first cigar from Fuente’s Hemingway line.
This cigar is one that has always caught my eye because of its unique figurado shape. The foot is closed into a small nub known as a perfecto foot, which allows for easy lighting and encourages a straight burn. Just past that point, the cigar boasts a ring gauge of 60. The barrel is tapered towards the head of the cigar until it reaches a gauge of 46 and ends in a pointed cap. Definitely an attention grabber, this cigar’s shape has since been copied by several manufacturers.
Holding the cigar up to the light, the dark maduro wrapper glistens from a significant level of oils. Although the toothy texture gives the wrapper a rugged appearance, it seems well constructed. There is one sizable vein that should not post a large problem but does make itself known. Bringing the stick to eyelevel, the head meets my cutter’s guillotine blades leaving behind an even slice with no hang-ups.
Prelight, the only real flavors that I pick up on are tobacco and earth. Excited to get this one started, I easily toast the end to get it underway; point perfecto foot. The first puffs that come off of this one are extremely sweet. Underneath that sweetness is that signature coffee flavor found in most of the maduros I have tried. When these two flavors combine, it reminds me of a cup of coffee that someone has dumped far too much raw sugar into. Personally, overly sweet flavors do not sit at all well with me and certainly detracts from the appeal. This flavor profile remains for about half of an inch, where the gauge begins to taper and then the sweetness mellows out. Thankfully, the coffee flavor is allowed to become more prominent and the sweet taste compliments rather than overpowers.
From beginning to end, the burn is pretty straight. The one vein that was present at the start did cause some unevenness to occur but rotating the cigar and moistening the faster burning area kept it on an even course. Just at the halfway mark as the burn closed in on the 46 gauge point, a spiced flavor replaced the sweet. For the remainder of this smoke the two gently seesawed back and forth with neither really overshadowing nor competing with the other. The spice did finally take over during the last inch or so to finish this out.
Overall, this was an enjoyable smoke. The biggest thing that detracted from it was the overly potent in-your-face sweetness that started this cigar off. The coffee and spice combined with the subtle sweetness was much more favorable in my opinion. Also, the shape of the cigar takes the more mellow flavors that start the smoke and slowly blends them into a spicier profile towards the end leading to a more complex smoke than what might be available in a standard vitola, say a robusto. In all honesty, the shape does also work quite hard at grabbing your attention. With limited release on these, if you can get them at MSRP they are a pretty good buy but I would not pay much more over that.
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