Friday, December 5, 2008

Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte (robusto)

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This review is sponsored by Silo Cigars, home to rare cigars, aged cigars and hard to find boutique cigars.

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Introduced at this year's IPCPR, the Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte is the second blend in MATASA's "Fonseca Cubano" series which was started in 2006. The manufacturer says that this series is for the "cigar enthusiast who looks for more flavor and complexity". The Cubano Viso Fuerte was created by Manuel Quesada, who, with Nestor Plasencia, was also the creator of the Casa Magna Colorado, which I really love.

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The Cubano Viso Fuerte uses a Honduran Criollo 98 Viso priming leaf, a Dominican binder, and filler tobacco from Dominican micro-farms that grow experimental Cuban seed tobacco. But what makes this cigar unique is that some of the filler also includes Connecticut Broadleaf, which is predominately used as a wrapper.

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Right from the first light, you can taste the deep earthiness and spicy sweetness of the Broadleaf. This is one masculine blend that serves up black coffee, burnt raisins, charred wood and burnt caramel to your taste buds. But despite this overcooked menu, the cigar manages to stay smooth, balanced and interesting with just a touch of bitterness and citrusy overtones. The finish leaves a "pencil lead-like" residue that coats the mouth. The spiciness does hit a high note in the last third, but gets nicely balanced out with more sweetness and a menthol-like coolness felt on the lips.

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The cigar that I smoked was a robusto size, which measures 52 ring gauge by 5.25 inches. There are four sizes in all with MSRP ranging from $5.25 to $7.50 a piece. These cigars have a beautiful deep reddish brown hue and can include some heavy veins. My robusto did have some lifting along the seams where the veins ran under it. But, I've smoked other cigars where the seams were nice and flat.

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The burn characteristics were above average, with a sharp and even burn line producing an attractive light gray ash with alternating black carbon layers. The cigar did burn a little warm in the second to last third, probably due to my struggles with a firm draw. I found it best to frequently rest the cigar to prevent the flavors from turning bitter.

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Overall, I feel the Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte would make an excellent after dinner cigar. The tangy earthiness is unique and satisfying. I am quickly becoming a fan of anything Mr. Quesada makes. If you are interested in trying this new cigar. Give my friend Kevin a call over at Silo Cigars, 1-865-675-7456. Like the Casa Magna, internet sales of this cigar are prohibited by the distributor.

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