Sunday, June 13, 2010

Arturo Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva

Size: 6 ¼” X 54
Shape: R54
Origin: Dominican Republic
Body: Full
Wrapper: Equadoran Rosado aged 8-10 years
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Smoke Clock: 1hr 15mins

No matter where I go, I like to find a nice spot where I can smoke in peace. Being in Cortland for the summer, I’ve found a lovely park downtown which serves the turn. So when I pulled out this stick that is just where I went.

I chewed on my Arturo Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva on the way and after finding a nice park bench to rest on, I set to work (if you can call it that). This cigar smells of earth and leather and delivers some deliciously sweet raisin and apricot notes prelight. Given that this is a firm and sturdy stick, the draw wasn’t bad. However it wasn’t wide open either.

Putting a flame to the foot, I experienced lots of leather and tobacco flavors with some light salt and pepper on the palate. This blend is very naturally sweet and I have to give a pat on the back to Arturo Fuente for blending this cigar in such a way that the natural sugars in the leaf come through. I can see why this cigar is so hard to find (and not just because it’s a limited release!).

The first quarter continued to deliver natural sweetness, which accented the leather and caramel notes that evolved into the second quarter. When these flavors mingled just right I could swear I tasted sweet tea.

The caramel note gave way to some wood and subtle coffee notes as the second quarter progressed. This cigar was certainly full flavored!

As the breeze blew, the birds chirped, and the kids played in the grass, the third quarter of my cigar kept up its flavorful progression, but only slightly so. Leather notes returned and mingled with the wood and coffee notes while the natural sweetness of the tobacco continued to support the entire experience.

By the time I reached the finish, the sweetness had finally begun to abate, although it never completely went away.

As I meandered home from the park, I couldn’t help but reflect on how enjoyable a smoke the Rosado Gran Reserva was. It is one of the sweetest blends I’ve tried without the addition of flavoring and provided a smooth but full bodied smoke. Bravo!

Presentation: 8/10 – The band on this stick is simple and elegant. It is designed to give weight to the Arturo Fuente crest in the center and is certainly eye catching. My understanding is that this band was slightly redesigned for this blend and their efforts paid off.

Appearance: 8/10 – The wrapper is toothy, oily, veiny, and medium brown in color with just a hint of red to it when the light hits it at an angle. The color is a little inconsistent as the foot and shoulder are lighter than the rest of the stick. This isn’t a major issue, just a slight cosmetic faux pas.

Construction: 30/35 – This cigar has a relatively good draw but isn’t as open as I’d like. The pack is solid all through, which may contribute a little to the draw being a little less than open. My only major issue here was the burn. The cigar ran from the first light and continued to run until the end.

Flavor: 43/45 – The flavor of this cigar was excellent, providing an unparalleled natural sweetness to support the leather, caramel, wood, and coffee notes that evolved throughout the smoke. Excellent blending, to say the least.

Overall: 89/100 – Well blended, tasty, full flavored, and interesting, the Rosado Gran Reserva provides an excellent smoke for the buck. I really enjoyed smoking this cigar, despite the constant runs that I experienced. The flavor was consistent but took some interesting turns. The natural sweetness of this blend is what really makes it stand out in comparison to most other blends. I highly recommend burning one of these at your earliest convenience as it is a limited release and is pretty tough to find. There are only a few retailers who carry this release and Rocky’s is one of them. Drop in on your lunch break or on your way home to sample one. This limited release won’t be around forever and missing out on a blend like this would certainly be a travesty.

Good luck and happy puffing!


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