Brand: Arturo Fuente Country: Dominican Republic
Size: 4 x 48 Wrapper: Maduro
The Label Factor:
I have a bone to pick with Arturo Fuente labels and it’s a pretty serious bone in my book. The labels on just about all of these cigars are very uninformative. What cigar am I smoking? I have no idea! Well, in this case, I do have an idea, because I bought it. But, do you understand my consternation? Aside from the lack of description, the label also fails in the “looking cool” category. This is just my opinion and may not be universally shared, but the label is ugly. I will say, however, that the Hemingway Short Story Maduro was a good lesson for me in not judging cigars by their labels, because daaayyum, this was a good smoke.
What We Liked:
My initial impression right after the first few puffs was that this is one strong little cigar. It packs a punch. Usually it takes a while before I can get a good feeling for the strength of a cigar, but this was aggressive right from the start. And I loved it.
This Short Story has a really unique plot. Unique as in quite unlike most other cigars I’ve smoked. The flavor is pretty complex and hard to pin down. The most I could immediately say about the cigar was that it tasted good, but different. After some deeper reflection, I realized that I was tasting some spice in the first half, but different spice from the usual spice. That’s not descriptive. I’m sorry. If a typical spicy cigar has notes of pepper and allspice, this was something more like anise or maybe even some clove. I had spice on the brain.
If Act I of the Short Story was about this complex spice, then Act II is all about sweetness and chocolate. It’s a strange juxtaposition – spicy to sweet. I find that usually cigars are more of one and less of another. This was equally both.
As I write this review, a few days after having smoked the cigar, I find my mouth watering at the memory. This was truly a delicious smoke. I enjoyed this little guy all the way down to a tiny nub and then, wanted to just eat the rest. Of course, I did not, because that would have been gross. Instead, I will settle on just smoking another. If I can find one…
What We Didn’t Like:
This cigar is a bit of a jerk. It teases you with deliciousness but then plays hard to get. I mean, literally hard to get. Apparently only like three of these cigars were ever rolled.
Aside from availability, my only other beef with the Short Story was a bit of an uneven burn. I guess I can partially blame the strange design of the cigar, but I can’t help but think there might be some user error playing a role here. Full disclosure: I used Google to find out how to light this. As you can see from the pictures, the burn did even out towards the end.