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Staff Reviews

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Maduro Work of Art Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m indulging in Arturo Fuente Hemingway Maduro in the beautiful and bulgy 4.875 x 60 Work of Art format. Master cigar-maker Carlito Fuente propels a family legacy birthed by his grandfather, Arturo Fuente, and amplified by his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., over the course of the 20th century. The Fuente family has transcended personal and political adversity throughout their history as makers of premium cigars. Today, the Fuentes’ reputation as the premier producers of the world’s finest Dominican cigars is unchallenged.

The Fuente portfolio is home to numerous critically acclaimed cigars sought out by cigar lovers around the world. The Arturo Fuente Hemingway series identifies the undeniable artistry present in the Fuentes’ approach to cigar-making. The entire collection is handcrafted in difficult-to-roll Perfecto formats, requiring meticulous attention to detail and much patience.

Hemingway debuted in the early 1980s and is named for celebrated journalist and author Ernest Hemingway. Each size in the line introduces a literary reference: Shorty Story, Classic, Signature, Masterpiece, and more. Shorter bulbous formats like the Short Story and Work of Art have always stood out for their abrupt but swollen appearance. The tapering shapes of Hemingway boast a small open nipple on the otherwise closed foot.

The original Hemingway blend consists of well-aged Dominican binder and filler tobaccos finished in a glistening Cameroon wrapper leaf. Arturo Fuente Hemingway Maduro is wrapped in a toothsome Connecticut Broadleaf. The succulent wrapper is nearly black at a glance with its burnished espresso-bean hue. Although Hemingway Maduro is not a limited edition, it is produced in far smaller quantities than the Cameroon version and can be hard to find on a regular basis.

A bouquet of raisins, wood, and plums arises with hints of coffee beans as the Work of Art is shed from its cellophane sleeve. The cigar conveys visual perfection from head to foot beneath the iconic red, gold, and black Fuente cigar band. A precise slice to the cap chauffeurs notes of dark cocoa, nuts, and fresh bread in an effortless cold draw.

Though Perfectos like the Work of Art are tough to craft, their unique shape channels a plethora of flavor from the outset. To capture it, it’s critical you only light the open end of the nipple at the foot. Newer cigar lovers have a tendency to over-ignite the foot of a Perfecto and incinerate the wrapper covering the cigar’s end. Don’t do this. It ruins the initial minutes of the cigar and can result in a wildly uneven burn. Perfectos are intended to burn slow in the beginning and deliver more taste directly from the wrapper leaf. Because the draw on the Work of Art is flawless, you’ll have no problem accessing its flavor in the beginning.

Smooth and silky notes of dark cocoa, chestnuts, and pepper arrive in a sequence of tapered but easy-to-pull draws. Hemingway Maduro embodies Carlito Fuente’s core tobacco-blending philosophy: flavor and balance over strength. Everyone knows Carlito is capable of making strong cigars as evidenced by potent rarities like Fuente Funete Opus X. But, strength is never given priority over a cigar’s balance. The Fuentes insist their cigars reflect eloquence in taste and construction and exhibit zero harshness whatsoever.

As the Work of Art narrows past its halfway point, soft flavors of chocolate soufflé, coffee beans, and nuts mingle with a touch of leather. Gradually, the heat sharpens and more of the cigar’s spices come into focus. A pristine bulb of white-and-gray ash remains intact and mirrors the shape of the Work of Art perfectly in a testament to how well the cigar is assembled.

Bittersweet notes of dark chocolate stimulate the palate peripherally without interrupting the creamy foundation laid out in the beginning. Despite a tightening draw – normal for a shape that tapers – the Work of Art maintains excellent composure in its profile. Semisweet notes of cocoa and fresh coffee close out a creamy thumb-burning finish.

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Maduro is a magnificent illustration of how Carlito Fuente coaxes maximum taste from a mellow recipe of tobaccos. The Work of Art bids a medium-bodied farewell. The blend is a phenomenal choice when you’re sipping on a rum or a vintage port. Give in to the impulse to add Hemingway Maduro to your collection the next time you encounter them in stock!

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