Fonseca Cigar Review

Lately I’ve found myself going for more full bodied cigars; Diesel and Padilla’s Dominus to just name a couple. While those cigars are great – and they are in every sense of the word – it is nice to shake things up a bit every now and then. So, I went to my humidor and eyed this light brown cigar with the simple band.

Construction is nearly perfect. Manuel Quesada, the pater tobaccoist of this cigar, is truly a craftsman. My only quibble, if you can even count it as such, is that there are some minor inconsistencies with the coloring of the wrapper. The wrapper has a nice sheen of oil on it and the tobacco is snugly packed into the cigar.

The cigar that I am smoking, the Fonseca 5-50, comes in a natural or maduro wrapper. For this review I am smoking the natural wrapper version.

Cigar Stats
Robusto
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: USA (Connecticut Shade)
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: Box 25 – $95 | Fiver – $25

Midday Flame!

I accidentally forgot about this cigar a number of months ago and, as a result of that accident, this cigar has had lots of rest and it seems to have aided in the flavor of this cigar. Oak, berry sweetness and some burnt hay. Overall, I’m liking the flavors. Unfortunately, this cigar does have an aversion to staying lit; that’s a pain!

It’s a mild cigar, probably too mild for my liking. The draw is nice and the burn is even (as long as it stays lit!).

After about an inch that sweet berry flavor goes up a couple of notches on the flavor-o-meter. Honestly, this is a weird cigar for me. I guess I like these flavors, they are pleasant, it’s just not exactly my concept of what is a great cigar.

It is a good cigar though. Very, very laid back. And the flavors are surprisingly strong for such a mild cigar. This is definitely one of the better mild cigars that I have ever had.

Nearing the end of this cigar and, despite the occasional burn problem, it is a good cigar. The flavors are enjoyable but I’m still not sold on this cigar. If you like oak and sweetness in your cigar then you will most likely enjoy this one. If you normally go for something a little spicier and full bodied then you will probably only be an occasional smoker of these Fonsecas.

87 points

Carlos Torano Casa Torano Cigar Review

From the Torano website:

Casa Toraño appeals to all the senses. The Ecuadorian-Connecticut wrapper is delicate, silky, and smooth. The binder is especially selected from the Toraño farms in the hills of Nicaragua; and the filler is a combination of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and a family blend of Central and South American tobaccos. Originally the Toraño´s private family blend, the Casa Toraño was made available to the smoking public and has received an enthusiastic reception.

Honestly, I am looking forward to a treat with this cigar. If it really started out as the “family blend” then this must be something that is truly astonishing. Or, what they consider to be a good cigar differs from what I think is a good cigar. I hope that is not the case.

Anyway, the wrapper is light but I do have to say that it is rather veiny. Furthermore, the foot seems a little misshapen. Finally, there is a soft feel to the cigar. Other than that, all is well.

Cigar Stats
Toro
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
Price: Box 25 – $128 | Single – $6.35

Lost Flame!

Creamy cigar smoke leads to a couple of strong flavors. First of all, there is a strong grassy flavor. No, scratch that, it’s more like bitter, leafy greens. Beyond that there are some cherry and oak flavors. It really is an intriguing mix of flavors that I’m not altogether convinced tastes all that great.

And then after the burn line crosses the one inch mark the flavors begin working in harmony. I guess since it is such a complex cigar that it takes a little while for the metaphorical engine to warm up but oh am I glad that it has warmed up.

Oddly enough, the flavors aren’t usually what I would go for. I like my cigars spicier than this one is. I also like leather and meat, neither of which is in this cigar. Even though the flavors present aren’t my normal cup o’ tea I find myself really enjoying this stogie.

In addition to the multitude of flavors I have already mentioned there is a milky flavor. It’s not as rich as cream but it’s definitely whole milk.

It burns well, the draw is great and it is a mild bodied cigar. Couple this with the great flavors and it’s a real treat of a cigar. Can’t say that I’m going to go back to it all that often but it is undeniably a great cigar.

91 points

Purchase as Part of a Torano Variety Sampler

Another view from Cigar Jack

Ashton Classic Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

The Connecticut Shade wrapper is marred with a couple veins and a few discolored spots. It is an oily cigar that feels soft in some spots. I will be smoking the lonsdale vitola, 8-9-8 (6 1/2″ x 44), for this review. Besides the US Connecticut Shade wrapper the binder and the filler tobaccos are from the Dominican Republic. This cigar retails for around $8.00 per cigar.

Smoke

Mild cigar with a good draw and a good burn. The first big flavor is oak with some sweetness as well. There is also a graham cracker flavor that comes along after an inch or so.

After the halfway point the draw tightens up and the flavor profile definitely takes a turn for the worse. In addition to a ghastly burnt flavor the overall affect is harshness. Those good flavors are still there but they are almost completely masked by the bad ones.

After-Smoke

Let me put it this way: the first half of this cigar was like a good movie (think more The Fast and The Furious than The Godfather). The second half of this cigar is the equivalent of the horrendous sequel; you don’t want to smoke it but you feel obligated to give it a try since you liked the first movie, I mean the first half of the cigar.

Even with that said, this cigar is, at its best, very vanilla – I just couldn’t get excited about it. It’s kind of flavorful but it lacks soul. And it is somewhat expensive.

2 points

Cu-Avana Short Cigar Review

Pre-Smoke

This cigar comes with a maduro or a Dominican grown, Connecticut seed wrapper. The one that I am smoking is the latter. It looks good, doesn’t have any significant imperfections and is somewhat oily. This Cu-Avana feels a little soft to the touch. I am smoking the Toro (6″x50) vitola that retails for less than $3.00 for this review.

Smoke

Oak, some spice and a lot of burnt tobacco flavors. It is a mild cigar with a good draw and an even burn. Vanilla and some sweetness are also present.

The flavors are not very strong nor are they complex. There are more negatives with this cigar than there are positives.

After-Smoke

It is just a boring cigar; mild and flavorless. Well, not completely flavorless. Beyond the slight spice, the faint vanilla, awful burnt tobacco and sweetness there is this grotesque aftertaste that comes on near the end. At first I wasn’t able to pinpoint at first. And then memories of childhood illnesses came flashing back once I realized that the flavor that I hated was exactly like taking some liquid antibiotic.

In a couple of hours I am going to post a review of the Alec Bradley Medalist, which, if you buy ten or more, will cost you only slightly more than this cigar. Plus, it’s better.

1 point