Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 5.7 x 52
Wrapper : Cameroon
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : $22-$30 each
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I have never been much of a fan of Fuente tobacco to say the least. There are several sticks that Fuente makes that I do like a lot, like the Anejos, Opus X’s with age, and the Hemingway Maduros. I have heard a lot of good things about the cigars that they make for Prometheus under the God of Fire brand. This cigar is produced in two different blends, the Carlito and Don Carlos. The Carlito has a Cameroon wrapper and the Don Carlos has a Sun Grown Habano over Dominican binder and fillers. These were released several years ago so I decided to check what all the fuss was about and see how these cigars have held up over the last couple of years.
The '06 Carlito is a dark brown cigar that has a pretty rough-looking Cameroon exterior. The wrapper exudes little oils, a little tooth, and it's a little bumpy with several middle sized veins. It's not entirely uniform in color and has some slight differentiation in shading. The banding is classic, colorful, and ornate- the colors really pop out at you. This could be the best band I have ever seen. The wrapper smells faintly of cotton candy (or something faintly sweet), and the foot smells of tea leaves and flowers.
Just by examining the pre-light, the stick has a nice triple cap, barely noticeable seams, and tight packing. The cigar gives very little with a squeeze. Lighting the cigar is sometimes difficult with one side wanting to light and the other not. The draws on the Carlitos are top notch even though the cigar seems packed to gills with tobacco. Smoke production is huge, off of the foot and through the cigar. Out of the two samples one burned very well with a long holding ash. The other seemed bunched wrong in production and would only burn on one side resulting in a few touch ups.
No pepper to be seen from the start. After the difficult light, some mild raw sugar, tea leaf, cedar, and slight leather flavors start to develop. The flavors definitely don't pop out at you but the stick seems refined, aged, and complex. The finish is remarkably clean, and I hate to say this but the aftertaste tastes of,... well,... water! Close to the end of the first third there is a distinct amount of raw cinnamon, woodiness, and nuttiness that appear subtly.
All the flavors that appear are pretty subtle but numerous. There is nothing that is going to POP out and smack you within this cigar, and I don't believe that was ever their intent with this stick. This cigar is for mild to medium bodied, experienced, and refined palates.
Getting halfway into the cigar the body reaches a solid medium. The flavor profile is much more vibrant but doesn't seem as complex. Mostly what I detect is some dry peppery spice, nuttiness, cedar, and finishes with that minerally, watery flavor.
The boldness builds and builds into the last part of the cigar. Although the body is medium+ now, there is almost no change in flavor. The retrohale does seem to have become a touch menthol-like.
If you are on baller's budget and love Fuentes then this may be right up your alley. But I can get more flavor and complexity from a number of sticks way south of the Carlito's pricetag.
Overall Rating :
The most unique feature of this cigar is its aftertaste. When you retrohale it’s as if you took a big deep breath of ocean air after a quick downpour and the moistness in the air is still vaguely palatable. Now after saying that, I have a hard time deciding whether I like that aspect in my cigar or not. Though refined and subtle, the flavor profile of the '06 Carlito is something that I don't usually go for. As I already said, I am not the biggest fan of Fuente tobacco other than some Anejos or aged Opus Xs. There is a lot to like in this cigar if you like a gentle roller coaster ride of a cigar with the cleanliness that only aged tobacco can deliver. For me though, this cigar would have been more to my liking when fresher and not after so much age. In conclusion, I have the feeling there isn't much more life left in this stick and it should be smoked pronto if you are still holding on to them,... or risk having them completely taste of water vapor. Keep smoking my friends,...
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