Friday, October 24, 2008

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Best Seller

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Carlos Fuente Jr.'s grandfather made Cuban perfecto cigars when they were popular before the 1950's. They named them Arturo Fuente Fancy Tales. Production of these cigars stopped in the early 70's. When the family moved to the Dominican Republic in 1980, Carlos Fuente Jr. wanted to start making the perfecto shaped cigars again due to his passion for keeping Old World traditions and crafting alive. He asked his father who then went in search of the old molds that were no longer being made. As luck would have it, he found them in their Ybor City factory. The rest is history. They started making the Hemingway Signature (6x47) in 1983, then introduced the "Classic" (48x7) and "Masterpiece" (52x9) in 1988. During that time, they experimented with making smaller perfectos which eventually became the "Short Story" (48x4), which is their biggest seller to date. Due to the difficulty in rolling these perfectos and the extended aging process involved (140 additional days), they are considered a limited production cigar.

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I wish to thank Cigars Direct for sponsoring this review and for providing me with a sampler pack of Arturo Fuente Hemingways.

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The cigar I smoked today is the Hemingway Best Seller. The cigar is listed as 43 to 55 ring gauge by 5 inches. My cigar was not quite up to specs, it measured exactly 4.5 inches. The rest of the cigars in my sampler however, did measure up to exact standards.

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The tobacco used in the Hemingway brand consists of an African Cameroon wrapper, and a secret blend of Dominican tobacco for the filler and binder. The wrapper was medium brown with a light greenish tint. It appeared slightly dry with a few medium veins. The construction was impeccable, despite the glue smudge I found just below the cigar band. The seams are well hidden even at the cap. The cigar has a "paper bag" texture to it, and feels very firm to the touch. The aroma smells strongly of compost.

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The pre-light draw felt firm after clipping the cigar with a Palio cutter. The flavor of the draw was of warm spices reminiscent of powdered ginger, nutmeg and pepper. After lighting the cigar, the draw did open up once it burned past the nipple.

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The initial flavors showed great complexity with immediate floral notes over a cedar base. The body of the smoke is sweet like honey and laced with a sprinkling of cinnamon and powdered ginger. The absence of a peppery punch is probably due to the extended aging of the tobacco. Which was fine by me. This cigar shows a welcome smoothness with it's rich medley of flavor.

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The second third displayed a nice roasted nut aroma added to the already existing floral and cedar undertones. The finish is long and toasty. The last third concludes with a predominate rich leather flavor.

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The ash produced by this cigar was gorgeous, with it's mostly white color and flecks of pepper. It stayed compact in shape until it fell off at the one inch point. The burn line was sharp and aside from the initial lighting, did not require any re-lights or touch ups.

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Overall, I was very impressed by the flavors of this cigar. It had so much complexity for a little smoke that I am tempted to stock up on them for those times when I need a quick smoke that can provide ultimate satisfaction. The price point is about $170.00 for a box of 25. Considering the difficulty and experience needed in rolling these little perfectos, I would say that the price is fair. This is a classic example of you get what you pay for. If quality and flavor are high on your list of priorities, than you definitely can't go wrong with the Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars.


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2 comments:

State Of Confusion said...

You so need to get your hands on the Work Of Art Maduro aka WOAM which comes out a few times a year and are very hard to come by...

Lisa B. said...

I am intrigued and always like a new challenge. Thanks for letting me know about that.