Arturo Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva

Admittedly, I haven't been great at keeping up with the reviews lately. I've been busy, I'll leave it at that.

In any case, I've wanted to get to this one for a hot minute. It's a slightly larger vitola of Cigar Aficionado's #6 Cigar of 2016, the Arturo Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva. I'm nursing a pretty brutal sunburn tonight (seriously, my back is damned near purple and starting to blister), so hopefully I can get through this thing without too much discomfort.

Cigar: Arturo Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva

Vitola: Magnum R 58 (Torpedo, 5 1/2” x 58)

Price: UNK (I forget what I paid for this at Tobaccos of Hawaii, but Thompson has it listed at approximately $8.00/stick)

Origin: Dominican Republic

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado Sungrown Sumatra
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Body: Medium

Rating (out of 10): 9.3

This one's a beauty, even by Arturo Fuente's standards. It's a nice, stout torpedo with a very slight box press, and a classic “A. Fuente” band. The cap is neat and comes to a nice, soft, rounded point. The stick is nice and oily, smooth, and in perfect shape, and of course, there's a nice reddish hue to the wrapper.

No cracks, tears, sponginess... this stick is perfect, and waiting for that light. Perfect scissor cut, allowing for the perfect draw. We're off to a fantastic start with this one.

The aroma is a bit tough to detect along the barrel... soft and cedary, I think... the foot is most definitely chocolatey and floral.

First Third:
The cold draw is nice and open, with the perfect amount of resistance. I get notes of chocolate and raisin before lighting.

Lighter decided to screw me and very suddenly run out of butane. Grabbed another pretty quick, but it's possible I didn't get this one off to a nice, even start.

Initial notes are like buttered toast with a hint of cedar. Bit of black pepper on the finish, too. Smells absolutely wonderful, almost like a nice, woodsy incense. The toastiness fades pretty quickly, leaving primary flavors of cedar and a hint of leather. Bit of raisin making its presence known, as well. But that peppery finish is pretty fierce.

The burn is certainly struggling somewhat pretty early on. I'm pretty sure it's because my lighter went and humped me while I was lighting. Couple of touchups, but I think I managed to undo my screw-up. Mostly, anyway.

Second Third:
The ash dropped right at the start of the second third, where the flavor remains primarily cedary, with more noticeable notes of raisin, and a bit of sweet leather hiding in there, as well. Before dropping, the ash was a solid column of white. The burn has mostly evened out... or maybe not. Had to touch it up again just past halfway.

Final Third:
Entering the last third, it came time to remove the band. The band did take a bit of the wrapper off with it, but although it exposed the binder, it didn't cause any further issues to the burn that weren't already present.

Here the black pepper is at its mildest. The primary flavor remains cedary in nature, though the leather comes through more than the raisin in the back third.

That raisin is definitely still there, though. And more than once it comes through nice and strong again, though it's certainly intermittent rather than constant here toward the end.

Closing Thoughts:
Had some issues with the burn on this one. At first, I thought it was because of my light; but the more they continued, and even worsened, the more I was led to conclude otherwise. Still, though, this was a damned tasty cigar, and one that I'd reach for again and again.