The Arturo Fuente family of cigars is ubiquitous for a good reason: they’re high quality smokes at a reasonable price. Reviewing a Fuente is almost beside the point, because everyone knows Fuente cigars. Unless you’re brand new to the world of cigars… in which case this review is for you.
The Sun Grown line is the most recent addition to the Gran Reserva line. The wrapper is Ecuadorian “sun grown,” which might lead one to believe that this wrapper was grown in broad daylight. Not necessarily so, because the tobacco region of Ecuador is located in the foothills of the Andes and is cloud-covered for most of the growing season. The clouds form a natural shade cloth. The wrapper for the Fuente sun grown line is grown near Guayaquil by the Olivas.
The Chateau Fuente is a robusto measuring 4.5 x 50. The binder and the filler are both from the Fuente family reserves grown and aged in the Dominican Republic. Both the Connecticut wrapped Chateaus and the Sun grown Chateaus come individually wrapped in a cedar sheath; the Connecticut line (natural and maduro) have green ribbon at the foot. The Sungrown has a black ribbon. The lower border on the band matches the color of the ribbon in either case.
This is a medium to full bodied spicy smoke. It starts up with a bite, but mellows while remaining quite spicy. This wrapper is a real treat. There’s a caramel like quality to it which blends with the spice very nicely. My wife came outside to keep me company for a moment and said she really liked the way this cigar smelled — as opposed to the “heavy” cigars she believes are my standard fare. Indeed, this cigar does have a pleasant aroma.
It burns fairly slowly; a good 45 minute smoke, during which I have to consciously slow myself down. Like all the Fuentes I have sampled these have excellent construction. (Pick up a Hemingway Short Story sometime to see how long a superbly crafted small cigar can last.)
At 4 USD this is a steal. The Sun Grown line is not easy to find, so snatch up a couple when you see them. You won’t be disappointed.