Staff Reviews

Arturo Fuente Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

I’ll never forget the first time I smoked an Arturo Fuente. It left a lasting impression that guided me on a nearly two-decade, insatiable, never-ending quest for cigar knowledge. Back in 1995, during the height of the Cigar Boom, premium, established cigar brands were as difficult to come by as hen’s teeth. Keep in mind, friends, the internet was, for all intents and purposes, in its infancy and social networking meant you had to actually talk and interact with another human being in your general vicinity. That’s where your favorite purveyor of premium cigars, Holt’s, enters the picture…

You see, the key to any successful business is fulfilling a consumer’s wants and needs. I happened to be in search of Arturo Fuente cigars when they were as elusive as a pulse on a mannequin. Holt’s provided me with my coveted Arturo Fuentes when no one else had them. “Why go anywhere else?” I thought to myself. Fast-forward 20-years and I’m still here, albeit in a different capacity.

For this staff review, I’ve selected the Corona Gorda-sized Arturo Fuente 8-5-8. Tipping the scales at a respectable and symmetrically proportionate 6 inches x 47 ring-gauge, this cigar is a show-stopping head-turner. Enrobed in an exquisite ‘Grade-A’ Cameroon wrapper, teeming with oils, this breathtaking specimen is nearly devoid of veins and offers a surprising resiliency and elasticity for such a delicate wrapper. This cigar isn’t just about style and visual appeal, it’s got plenty of substance as well, courtesy of a mélange of well-aged Dominican tobaccos cultivated on the world-renowned Fuente estates. The rich, fertile soil on these farms closely resembles dark-roast, coarse-ground espresso and imparts a unique, one-of-a-kind earthy sweetness to the tobacco. This, my friends, is one of the hallmark traits of Arturo Fuente cigars which gives credence to the company’s slogan, “Only Fuente is Fuente.”

This exceptional cigar easily passes my austere and unwavering pre-light inspection ritual, so I deftly remove a sliver off the head of the masterfully applied triple-cap with my battle-worn guillotine cutter. The flame dances on the foot of the cigar as I gently toast the end. After ensuring complete ignition, my palate and senses are mesmerized and rewarded with a lush richness akin to crème brûlée. As the razor-sharp burn progresses to the one-inch mark, I marvel at the firm and unique ash structure inherent in genuine Cameroon wrappers. As the burn time hits the half-hour mark, and nearly 3-inches into the cigar, an easily discernible, slightly sweet and spicy taste enrobes the palate. The rich and earthy room note is both appealing and alluring with a fragrant amalgam of fresh-cut cedar and rich tobacco comingling in the spotlight.

The strength notches up a bit with a hint of cocoa and a muted spice after about an hour, and the cigar reaches its untimely demise. This was a memorable smoking experience that transitioned effortlessly through a range of mouthwatering flavors that left me eagerly awaiting my next encounter with Arturo Fuente.

I wholeheartedly endorse this cigar with an enthusiastic 94-point rating. Bonus points for the approachable and affordable $5.19 per cigar  price tag. If that isn’t good enough, it’s backed by four generations of the Fuente family who’ve overseen the cigar-making process from seed-to-smoke for many decades. 

Until next time, long ashes to you!

94rated

Featured Products