Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Personal Reserve The Man’s 80th Cigar
Size: 5.25″ x 50 ring gauge
Price $13 MSRP
A gift from a friend
This cigar was announced at the 2015 IPCPR as a release from Fente and Promethius celebrating the 80th birthday of Carlos Sr. It looks like they didn’t start to show up in stores until 2016. I had seen them in a couple shops, but I’m not the biggest fan of the regular Don Carlos cigar, so I decided to pass on it. However a couple weeks ago a friend gave me this one so I decided to review it here. I’m guessing that these blend wise are based off the regular Don Carlos, but tweaked to Carlos Sr.’s preference at the time. I couldn’t find any info on the blend out here however. They come packed in shiny 20 count black boxes and retail for $13 a piece. This was my first experience with this cigar.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this has a Cameroon wrapper. I’m basing that on the slightly greyish cast to the golden brown wrapper. The top band is the familiar band from the Don Carlos cigar, but the second band denotes it as Carlos Fuente’s Personal Reserve. The wrapper showed some tooth and and good amount of oils. When I gave it a squeeze there was a slight amount of give without any soft spots. When I put my nose to the wrapper I got the aroma of leather with some barnyard coming from the foot. After clipping it and taking a cold draw on it I noted a slight tight draw with some flavors of wood.
It starts off with a good amount of spice on the tongue and retrohale. After a few puffs I started to get the flavors of wood and leather as well. Towards the end of the third some cinnamon hints also showed up. The cigar starts off at the upper end of medium strength. As I moved into the second third the spice lessened in strength but didn’t go away. The flavor I noted in this third wer of wood, leather, earth, cinnamon and a sweet finish. The cigar stayed at the upped end of medium strength. When I got to the final third the cigar pretty similar; earth, leather, wood, and cinnamon but I did get some green herbs thrown in as well. The spice did also build back up and it built to maybe medium-full strength.
In spite of the slight tight cold draw I didn’t have any issues with the draw or burn while smoking. However like many Fuente’s I’ve had they put too much glue on the band and it ripped the wrapper. In this instance it didn’t do too much damage but to me it is still really annoying.
This cigar isn’t priced that much higher that the regular Don Carlos cigar, so I would consider this a good value. I suspect that with many other rare Fuente’s you’ll see a pretty good markup in shops if you can find them.
This was probably the best Don Carlos cigar I’ve had. It also was a bit stronger than what I remember the regular Don Carlos being. It was enjoyable and if I found one or two at a reasonable price I might buy them to see what some age would do to them. I just wish they’d fix the band and glue problem.