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Staff Reviews

My Father Fonseca Belicoso Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Today, I am reviewing the all-new My Father Fonseca in a well-made 5.5 x 54 Belicoso. Fonseca was conceived in Cuba in 1892 by Don Francisco E. Fonseca. Fonseca cigars are still made today in Cuba by the nation’s state-owned Habanos SA tobacco company, though they are not sold in the U.S. due to the Cuban trade embargo.

For the past 45 years, Fonseca cigars sold in the U.S. have been blended and made by the Quesada family in the Dominican Republic. At the end of 2019, the brand was acquired by the Garcia family and its production transferred to Estelí, Nicaragua, where it has been folded into their award-winning portfolio of My Father Cigars. My Father brand founder Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia felt a connection to Fonseca because he blended Fonseca cigars many years ago in his native Cuba before relocating the to the U.S. 

The new My Father Fonseca is drafted from an oily Corojo Rosado wrapper leaf and a woody and well-aged blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers grown on select Garcia family estates. The band is printed in red, gold, and pink colors with a font similar to the classic My Father label. A large “F” for Fonseca is front and center. The blend is handmade in four classic shapes. No veins or imperfections are apparent on the cinnamon-brown wrapper leaf of the Belicoso I am indulging in. The cigar displays a consistent density from head to toe.

Copious amounts of cocoa and leather characterize the cold draw which displays an effortless air flow. Although the Garcias are known for making feisty, full-bodied Nicaraguan cigars, particularly in their My Father line, one goal they had with the new Fonseca was retaining its creamy and refined taste. With a few quick flashes of my lighter to the cigar’s foot, its tobaccos fully ignite without issue.

There’s no question Fonseca à la My Father is amped up compared to its Dominican incarnation. Soft, woody, and engaging notes of cedar, nuts, and cocoa mingle out of the gates. Bitter twinges kick in after three of four minutes but quickly dissipate. The cigar is zesty but less so than your typical Pepin-blended faire. Signature Nicaraguan spices sneak out in manageable doses. A distinct white-and-gray ash forms in a firm and orderly shape that does not require any precarious hovering over an ashtray. I tap it off when I want, not because I have to.

Nutty notes of cedar and cocoa powder enlighten the middle third of My Father Fonseca. Notes of chestnuts and smoked almonds concentrate nicely in the Belicoso. Creamy spices emerge as the cigar intensifies a bit past the halfway mark. The cigar’s flavors are faithful to its early impressions. There’s not a ton of change to its taste, but its strength kicks in as the blend heats up in the final stretch.

My Father Fonseca finishes just past medium-bodied with a sound amalgam of baking spices, cedar, black pepper, and cocoa on the palate. Nutty and chalky touches of cayenne on the finish punctuate a revitalized Cuban-legacy blend worthy of a slot in your rotation when you’re craving new Nicaraguan cigars to try. Taste Pepin’s take on another old-school Cuban brand today.


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