Chateau Fuente King B

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The Chateau Fuente King B is a large Belicoso — hence King B — but hiding quietly behind this name is a memory of a place in Ybor City, Florida, where cigar makers used to gather to smoke and play dominoes. Carlos Fuente, Jr. remembers when he was a child that the King B was a sort of tavern for the locals in the industry located behind his grandfather Arturo’s house. The King B no longer exists in Ybor City, having been lost to time and the development of a highway, but its memory has been enshrined in the name of this cigar.

The Chateau Fuente King B debuted at the RTDA in 2005 as a limited (though not really rare) addition to the Chateau Fuente line. All of these cigars are notable for their sun-grown Ecuadorian wrappers and distinctive black ribbons. The filler and binder are Dominican, but that’s all the detail we’re going to get about the composition of this coveted cigar.

This is the fifth entry in the Chateau Fuente series, joining the standard rothschild, toro, and double corona sizes. (There is also a smaller 5.75 x 52 Cuban Belicoso.) The King B is 6 inches in length by a 55 ring gauge and like the other Chateaus it comes in a cedar sleeve. They’re packed 18 to the box and sell for around 8 or 9 USD by the stick.

Beneath the cedar this torpedo reveals a smooth rosado wrapper with the widely spaced veins typical of Ecuadorian leaf. The roll is solid and the cap is a perfectly finished point. There are some small dots of what I think is sap from the cedar sleeve on the wrapper. They aren’t large enough to worry about though, so after a few moments of admiration I clipped the tip to an aperture of about half an inch.

The draw is excellent and the burn was even all the way to the band. I expect great construction from Fuente, and that’s what I got. No complaints there.

This sturdy belicoso starts up with a delicate and woody aroma that lingers for the duration of the cigar. At first it doesn’t seem quite as strong as the aroma of the rothschild size, but the King B takes a while to warm up. The intial flavor is unremarkable — mild straightforward tobacco, pleasant but nondescript. I was a little surprised by this, but I continued to enjoy the sweet cedary aroma rising from the foot and gave it some time.

About half way through the cigar it becomes a little more flavorful, slightly tannic, with very little aftertaste. The smoke is medium in body and has a pretty good nicotine kick, but so far is lacking the flavor to match.

At the two thirds point, the spice and pepper that I expected (based on the other sizes in the Chateau series) finally kicked in. It’s not what I would call complex, but it’s a little more than the simple nutty Dominican tobacco flavor I was getting up to that point. The tannins started to build in the last stretch so I removed the band and after a few more desperate puffs I put the butt to bed.

I have to say I was mildly disappointed in this cigar. I really enjoy the rothschild size in this line and I was expecting something along those lines but BIGGER. Instead what I found was a slow starter with a similar but flatter flavor profile. Same great aroma, perfect construction, but not the royal figure I expected to find. Not the King, in any case. Maybe the very amiable young Prince trying out the crown and scepter.

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