4.5x50 "Chateau Fuente"
This Rothschild sized cigar, I will admit from the get go, is one of my favorites from Fuente before even going into this review. It has been my experience that for the price they are a fantastic every day kind of smoke, that lasts just the right amount of time for my usual smoking period in the evening. It features a Sungrown sumatran wrapper from Ecuador, which gives it a bit more strength than the regular Fuente lines, which is fine by me. The wrapper is slightly oily, and very toothy as a result of the sungrowing process, which allows the leaf to spend more time sucking up nutrients from the soil and the sun, uninhibited by the half shade that a lot of wrapper is grown under. Construction is, as expected from A. Fuente, flawless. Veins are nice and smooth. The aroma off the foot is earthy, and slightly spicy. There is a strong cedar smell too, as the sungrown line comes cedar wrapped. The cold draw is smooth, and woody, with just a slight tug of resistance that is nice. The pack is firm, with just a slight give to it.
Lit at 6:21pm.
Initially there is a strong cedar wood flavor, with a slight earthiness to it, followed by a mellow pepper zing on the finish, which is not particularly long.
About an inch into the first third the burn line is kind of crooked, leaning to one side. Draw is perfect, smoke production is great. Flavors have strengthened as it has burned down, including a bold cedar wood flavor, and a deep earthy pepper that lingers in the back of the throat. Ash holds, but is slightly flaky, falling for the first time around 1.5 inches in. Just prior to the start of the second third there is a strong cinnamon flavor on the finish, towards the front of the palette, which goes wonderfully with the pepper that lingers on the back of the palette.
In the second third the flavors have not changed at all yet, still an earthy cedar, with a cinnamon and pepper that linger on the finish. The finish was short initially but has become quite long and creamy, lingering, and moving around on the palette a good deal. No real changes develop in the second third. It remains consistently creamy and woody.
One thing that I've noticed as I get just into the final third is that the strength normally present in sungrown wrapped cigars is not really apparent yet, which surprises me a little bit. I recall other Fuente SGs being stronger (though not this vitola specifically.) With a little over an inch left it is starting to get pretty soft and warm. The pepper has jumped massively, but not much else is going on anymore.
Ended at 7:30 for a total smoke time of one hour nine minutes. Not a short smoke like a cigarillo or anything, but certainly not a lengthy one by any stretch. This is about the same as the smoke times I have gotten from this vitola in the past. Overall, not a super complex cigar, but a well made, and tasty smoke, that is surprisingly inexpensive, and definitely perfect for a lunch hour smoke. Good stuff.