By Russ Ouellette
This is a relatively new addition to the Fuente lineup, with a tawny colored Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper. These leaves are aged in excess of eight years and come from the lower primings. The combination of using lower capas1 with the additional aging should produce a less spicy and more refined wrapper, and in this case, it does. Add in premium quality Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, it certainly seems like a recipe for success.
My experience has been that any reddish tint in a wrapper leaf indicates a livelier taste, but this cigar belies that. What has happened here is the usual pepper has mellowed out into more of a nutmeg or allspice note, and it lingers below the surface. If the wrapper came from the upper half of the plant, I would expect a more paprika-like hint, but the spice is much more subtle.
The Vitola 52 is an attractive chunky robusto (5 inches long, 52 ring gauge) that has a toasty and tangy pre-light aroma with a nice firmness in the hand. The draw was excellent, as I’ve come to expect from Fuente’s premium lines, and before toasting, I noticed wood and nuts.