Monday, January 12, 2009

My Weekend Cigar: Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte Toro

On my way back home from visiting family in New Jersey yesterday, I stopped by the Famous Smoke Shop cigar store for a smoke and watch the remainder of the NY Giants/Philadelphia Eagles playoff game. My cigar of choice was one I'd been meaning to get to since the IPCPR Show back in July of last year: The Fonseca Cubano Viso Fuerte Toro (6" x 54). Having grown-up in the New York Metro area, our house was a "Giants" house, so, the best part of the game for me was the cigar.

I've always been a big fan of Fonseca cigars in all their line extensions, and have the utmost respect for their creator, Manuel Quesada, so I was really looking forward to this follow-up to their Cubano Limitado cigars series. The blend consists of Dominican and U.S. Connecticut-broadleaf longfillers, Dominican Cuban seed binder, a Cuban-seed binder from the Dominican Republic and a dark, Honduran-grown Criollo Viso wrapper.

Pre-light: Cap clipped-nicely and offered an easy draw with a very woody flavor.

Light-up: The cigar lit well and burned fairly clean. The first few draws were very smooth and predominantly woody with a hint of spice on a surprisingly short finish, and a very appealing aroma.

First half: Primarily dark, woody flavors prevailed with accents of roasted nuts and leathery notes along the way, with just a subtle hint of sweetness in the mix. I mentioned this to one of the customers who had previously smoked the cigar, and he confirmed my findings, adding that he detected more "oak wood" flavors with a note of almond on the finish.

Second half: The cigar started juicing-up in strength and spiciness. I was smoking it with a mug of coffee, which made a good combo, but I think a vintage Port might have offered a better contrast of flavors. The cigar smoked for well over an hour, too, without a relight. Approaching the last 2-inches, the pepper was coming on strong, and having had little to eat, I was also getting a little heady from the cigar. I finally put it down at about the 1½-inch mark.

Overall, this was an excellent medium to full-bodied cigar that I would recommend to cigar smokers who like robust, spicy cigars. Just one caveat: These cigars are not for sale online. At this time they are only available at local cigar stores.

~ Gary Korb

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