Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Double Robusto
Size : 6.25 x 47
Wrapper : African Cameroon
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : $3.80 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 cigars...
The Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 has always been one of my favorite go-to cheap smokes, primarily because it tastes like a cigar at least twice its price! The cigar I smoked for this review was no exception, and hopefully this review communicates everything I love about this smoke.
Pre-light: I enjoyed my most recent 8-5-8 in my backyard on a partly cloudy to overcast day with temperatures around 80F, humidity around 50%, and little to no wind. I paired this cigar with the classiest of all drink pairings--tap water. A pre-light inspection of the cigar reveals a smooth and slightly velvety wrapper with no tears or major veins, although the wrapper is dappled with sunspots as seen in the picture. The stick feels generally firm overall with only one slightly spongy part. The wrapper smells only of tobacco, with some additional floral and cedar notes at the foot. The foot itself appears to be somewhat loosely rolled, but it is no great cause for concern. I generally punch cheaper cigars in order to avoid draw issues due to loosely rolled filler, and this cigar is no exception. In fact, even with a punch the draw is just a tad too lose. The cold draw tastes of a light tobacco flavor with a touch of sweetness.
First third: Enough with the analysis; on to the smoke! I toasted the foot briefly and then lit her up. She jumped right to life, and the initial taste was rich, classic tobacco with some cedar and a creamy finish with a lingering honey sweetness. A retrohale reveals the Cameroon profile that I know and love: cream with a citrusy sweetness over a background of baking spice. The affects of the loose roll observed initially at the foot are now evident, and I'm forced to smoke slowly to avoid overheating. As the first third progresses the honey sweetness increases slightly, matching the other tastes perfectly as everything marries into the creamy, spicy, citrusy Cameroon profile draped on top of the core of tobacco and sweet cedar. The burn is generally straight with just a slight wave. The ash is slightly flaky and looks unstable, and it falls on its own at just a hair less than an inch.
Second third: As seen in the pictures above, the cigar began to experience burn problems not long after ashing itself. I corrected the uneven burn by purging, but that wreaked havoc on the ash. The flavors from the first third maintain until about halfway through the second third, at which point the cream, citrus, and baking spice begin to diminish while the cedar intensifies and is joined by some earth; the slight sweetness remains constant. The finish is wet or juicy with that same sweetness, and I swear I even catch a stray note of cocoa in the finish at one point! The ash is as flaky as a bad skin condition and it falls on its own again.
Final third: Moving into the final third, a touch of leather appears in the flavor profile with the cedar and earth. The sweetness remains constant and the overall feel increases noticeably in creaminess; this almost tastes like a different cigar than the one I started with, and both beginning and end have been so pleasant that it was like smoking two quality cigars! A faint bitterness appears so I begin purging after each puff. By the end, the profile is all creamy, sweet cedar and earth with a touch of leather and a hint of the citrus taste. The harshness and bitterness keeps increasing, so I let this one die with about an inch remaining.
Conclusion: The Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 remains one of my favorite cheap smokes. The taste is delicious and complex, providing a welcome change from beginning to end. The construction may not be 100%, but an uneven burn and a slightly loose draw are a small price to pay for a fine-tasting cheap smoke such as this!