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Staff Reviews

Don Lino Fumas Staff Review

Grant T. Thompson's picture

Grant T.

“Leave the Don Lino. Take the cannoli.” It’s my favorite movie quote of all time. I’m no hitman, but I replay the scene in my head every time I’m tucking a box of Don Lino cigars under my arm, like I’m packing heat, enroute from the blowout bin to the checkout counter. This lesser known, underappreciated, and Italian-sounding brand is insanely popular with budget-fanatics, i.e., me, thanks to inexpensive gems like the Don Lino Fumas I’m smoking in a 6-by-50 Toro for today’s review.

I’ve been devoted to the Don Lino franchise for years. You can peruse the past flattery I’ve showered on Don Lino Dark Horse and Don Lino Casa Verde, a luxuriant Candela-wrapped smoke, if you’re just getting acquainted with Don Lino. The Fumas blend is different, though. This is a mixed-filler, or Cuban-sandwich, cigar blended from a fine assortment of Nicaraguan tobaccos cradled by a caramel-brown Sumatra wrapper leaf in a trio of traditional sizes. When you spot the term “fumas” attached to any cigar brand, you’re pretty much guaranteed the cigars are packaged in a bundle, and they’re going to be cheap. Don Lino Fumas checks the boxes. You’re barely spending over fifty bucks for a whole batch of 20 Toros – well under three bucks a cigar. That’s a date I can afford to bring back to my coolerdor after dinner.

Semi-sweet notes of nuts and wheat grace my taste buds when I pull a few cold puffs through the head after clipping the cap on my Don Lino Fumas Toro. This elegant and easygoing smoke immediately comes alive when I toast the foot with my Visol Trigger Triple Torch Lighter. A gentle sequence of oak and cashew mingles with a hint of molasses and white pepper in the first few minutes.

Don’t be alarmed if the ash flakes off unexpectedly in the beginning. That’s nothing to be alarmed by when you’re smoking a Cuban-sandwich cigar. By utilizing the remnants of tobacco that go into traditional long-filler cigars, cigar-makers keep the cost of fumas cigars lower. That’s why Don Lino Fumas are ideal when you’re in search of utility yard ‘gars to enjoy while you’re mowing the lawn. Who wants to spend fifteen bucks on a premium when you’re running the weed whacker, anyway?

The flavor of Don Lino Fumas stays woody and nutty as I head into the second half. Subtle hints of marzipan and pistachio provide complexity in the aftertaste but the profile sticks to a leathery foundation of oak and pepper. My description may sound fancy for a fumas, but that’s why this cigar is such a lucky find for deal-seeking buzzards who scour the internet for hours in search of high-quality bundles that don’t break the bank. The aroma is mostly creamy and non-offensive in the beak.

After twenty-five minutes of smoking, I could unleash an homage of flowery prose over my infatuation with Don Lino Fumas, but that isn’t necessary. At the end of the day, Don Lino Fumas is a basic-tasting cigar you can count on. The draw is easy, and although the burn meanders in a few spots, it’s nothing I’ll complain about when you factor price into the equation. After I take the band off and delve into the final stretch, my palate and nasal cavity are placated. What more can you ask for?

Don Lino cigars have been around since the Cigar Boom of the 1990s, and the fan base for this franchise has grown exponentially thanks to its undeniable consistency and affordability. What most folks don’t know is that Don Lino cigars are assembled by a passionate team of artisans in one of the Dominican Republic’s premier cigar factories – and you can taste the difference in inexpensive bundles like Don Lino Fumas. My honest advice: toss a bundle of Don Lino Fumas in the cart before you oil up the mower this season and see how they stack up. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time, long ashes to you! 


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