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Staff Reviews

Arturo Fuente Especiales Conquistadores Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

Join me, friends, for another edition of Grant’s Rant. In this installment, I am reviewing Arturo Fuente Especiales in an uber-chunky 5.5 x 56 Conquistadores format. Like a child on Christmas morning, I am always excited to partake in a cigar I haven’t previously enjoyed in my decades-long tenure here at Holt’s.

Hastily, I retrieved my Conquistadores from the “Miracle Mile” (aka aisle A) of our palatial climate-controlled humidor. Inhabitants of this prestigious location include the finest cigars from Arturo Fuente, Ashton, My Father, and Padron among others. With my precious cargo in hand, I expediently retreated to my office for the ritual unboxing, inspection, and no-holds-barred evaluation of my cigar. It’s a venerable feast for the senses, especially when the box bears the legendary Arturo Fuente name.

The understated yet elegant boxes and bands for the Arturo Fuente Especiales line immediately conjure images of yesteryear. As I unsheathe my cigar from its cellophane, sweet notes of cedar are unleashed and mix with the rich aroma of well-aged tobacco. My standard operating procedure with all Cuban-sandwich cigars is to use a punch cutter on the head of the cigar. It’s the right tool for the job because a clean cylindrical cut keeps unwanted tobacco remnants out of my mouth and offers ideal resistance on the draw.

Notes of fresh-cut cedar punctuate the pre-light draw with a lingering raisin-like earthiness. The cigar’s construction exhibits unparalleled Fuente excellence and unwavering attention to detail with a nearly seamless triple cap. It’s a substantial sight to behold. The portly 5.5 x 56 vitola is hefty in the hand! It’s densely packed and perfectly balanced with a well-aged amalgam of Dominican filler tobaccos swaddled beneath a silky, smooth, and reddish-brown Ecuador Habano wrapper.

Ignition is accomplished after a brief toasting of the foot. The cigar lights effortlessly. Wrapper, binder, and filler unite in a decadent trio of cedar, leather, and cinnamon tasting notes. During the first-third, notes of cocoa nibs caress the palate and accompany a fleeting sweetness akin to caramel crème. The cigar exhibits little if any spice.

After about twenty minutes, I tap the fluffy light grey ash off. The draw loosens and the strength builds slightly at the sweet spot, or the halfway point. The flavor remains consistent with a clean lingering finish as thirty-five minutes pass. Just shy of an hour, the cigar’s strength notches toward a solid medium-bodied profile before I allow it to gently extinguish.

The Conquistadores was truly the highlight of my jam-packed workweek as I reflect on the indulgent and relaxing duration it provided. I notice a lot of similarities between Arturo Fuente Especiales and the Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 I previously reviewed. It’s not uncommon to discover consistencies in different blends from renowned brands like Arturo Fuente.

I highly recommend Arturo Fuente Especiales and plan on adding it to my rotation frequently. It’s a perfect everyday cigar because it’s consistent, and more important – it’s economical. Thanks to the everyday low pricing at Holt’s, sizes of Arturo Fuente Especiales begin at less than $4 per cigar when you buy a box of thirty. Top off your humidor today!

Until next time, long ashes to you!  

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