The original Arturo Fuente Sun Grown line is based on the familiar Gran Reserva blend, but with a Sumatra seed wrapper grown in Ecuador by the Oliva Tobacco Company. It’s a classic smoke, easily identified by the black band at the foot. It’s probably my favorite of the mainstream Fuente cigars, and I always try to have a few around.
When the original Sun Grown line was created, the wrappers intended for the blend were put aside in favor of a higher priming leaf. That cache of rejected wrapper leaf has been lying around for eight to ten years now, and it is now being put to use in the Rosado Magnum line. The lower priming leaf results in a flavor that is a little more mellow, less concentrated, and creamier than the standard Sun Grown wrapper.
The Sun Grown Rosado is distinguished from the original Sun Grown line by the white border at the bottom of the band (the original has a black border, and not so much gold.) It looks a little like the Añejo band.
Carlos Fuente Jr. told Cigar Aficionado that “he intended to go old school with this blend, moving away from the power trend that he helped create.” (A trend that arguably began with the Opus X.) “They have a sweet, long finish,” Fuente said. “It’s very flavorful, very complex — it’s my father’s idea of what a good cigar should be.”
The Rosado Sun Grown series was launched in December 2009 in three chunky sizes (hence the Magnum appellation) named for their ring gauge size. Since their premiere other sizes have been planned, some of which have been released. For now the lineup appears to be:
- R-52 – 5 x 52 (robusto)
- R-54 – 6 1/4 x 54 (toro)
- R-56 – 5 5/8 x 56 (gordo)
- R-58 – 5 1/4 x 58 (torpedo)
As expected, the highlight of the Sun Grown Rosado R52 is its gorgeous colorado maduro wrapper. I’m not sure how “rosado” differs from colorado, but this cover leaf is a dark natural shade with a touch of red. If that’s rosado, well then this is rosado. The leaf has some veining, but it’s smooth, consistent in coloration, and it shines.
The head is nearly flat and the stick appears to have a slight box press. The cap shears neatly and the draw is spot on. It burns evenly and slowly, building a solid ash that is very light gray to white in color.
Nearly perfect construction.
This robusto opens sweetly, with mildly spicy scents of cedar. The base flavor is woody and slightly nutty. The smoke is medium to full in texture, but fairly mild in strength. After an inch or so the cigar serves up an elusive taste of honey or graham cracker. I thought it was caramel at first, but it’s not quite that sweet.
The second half of the R52 is muskier. The sweetness is still present in the aroma, but the flavors get a little earthier and pick up some spice at the end. It’s a gentle transition — the flavors remain balanced even though they gradually darken. There is virtually no aftertaste at the beginning of the stick, but by the end the smoke leaves a nice earthy char and some saltiness.
The Fuente Rosado Sun Grown robusto is a nice find for fans of medium-bodied cigars. The flavors are interesting and well developed, though they are admittedly muted when compared to full bodied classics like Fuente’s Opus and Añejo blends. But this cigar serves a different purpose, I think.
The R-52 robusto runs around $6 USD per stick, which is pretty decent for the quality of the cigar. The superb construction qualities alone might be worth this price. As long as you’re not a dedicated ligero lover who demands power from everything in your humidor, this is a smooth smoke worth checking out.