Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Gran AniverXario Natural (2008)

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Don Artuo Gran AniverXario – Natural

Founded in 1912 by Arturo Fuente, Arturo Fuente Cigars is now celebrating its 100th birthday. They have undergone many experiences, some great, and some poor, throughout the years, but no matter the experience the company has always been family run. They are currently headed by the grandson of founder Arturo Fuente, Carlito Fuente, and still making incredible cigar to this day. The family is currently on the cover for the February 2012 Edition of Cigar Aficionado for their 100th birthday, and what an achievement. I have smoked almost all the lines that the company has offered, including the Don Carlos line meant to honor Carlito’s father and Arturo’s son, Carlos Fuente, but I just recently had the opportunity to smoke a cigar that was made to honor Carlito’s grandfather Don Arturo Fuente, the found of Arturo Fuente Cigars.

The Don Arturo Gran AniverXario is a limited and wonderful cigar that the family released in 2008, and to this day is still sought out and adored. The cigars were initially rolled in 2001, and meant to be released in 2002, but this never happened. Why they were not released I do not know, but as I said earlier the cigars were meant to honor the companies 100th birthday, and were to be released every year till its 100th birthday. So while the cigars were rolled in 2001, they were not released, but merely sat in their aging rooms aging and waiting to be smoked. When the cigars were released in 2008 they were released in only 96 humidors, to honor 96 years a company. There were four different types of humidors, different wood finishes, and each humidor contained 96 cigars. 48 of the cigar were finished with a Shade-grown Habano seed, and the other 48 were finished with a Sun-grown Habano seed. The cigars were rolled by their finest rollers, and finished with beautiful triple cap. For this review I sampled the Shade-grown version.      

Rolled with a Shade-grown Habano-seed wrapper from Chateau de la Fuente, the cigar is meant to be special. It is a Dominican puro, and I imagine, like the wrapper, that the fillers and binder leaves are well aged and limited in quantity. The cigar measures 6 3/8″ with a 48 ring gauge, the is simply a beautiful cigar in every way. I would say it closest to a Churchill in terms of a vitola, and if it was a Cuban it would be appropriate to give this cigar the title “Short Churchill.” The cigar has a beautiful wrapper that is somewhat oily, and silky to touch. There is a nice coloring of light brown and hints of red in the wrapper, and I would say it falls between a Natural and Colorado in terms of coloring. These cigars have been aging since 2008, well actually since 2001, so there was some nice plume on them, and they were firm to touch. The cigar had lovely aromas of leather, hay and barnyard to it, and though the aroma was faint, you could still pick up those subtle nuances which I imagine were very pronounced when the cigar was initially released.

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Don Arturo Gran AniverXario

The cigar begins out wonderfully, and is fairly light in terms of strength. The cigar is showing some great flavors up front of hay, lemongrass, barnyard, stone fruit, and spices. I would say the spices are really that of Asian Spices, and the cigar is very lovely. It is an elegant cigar, and though the years have softened the cigar in terms of strength and some flavors it is still showing it’s amazing qualities. I would say that the strength of the cigar is slightly below medium, but with the flavors it is very lovely. The cigar is burning perfectly throughout the third, and it is leaving an ash that is light gray in coloring. I imagine these cigars were very pronounced in terms of strength and flavors in 2008, and even more so in 2002. When I get into the second third the cigar is still phenomenal, and everything about screams aged tobacco. The cigar has been burning so well in terms of construction throughout this cigar I almost lost track of taking notes and just purely enjoying the cigar. I am getting a great amount of smoke rings with the smoke, and I am very impressed with the ash on the cigar. I am still holding on to the ash from the first third, and it has been keeping that perfect burn line and great coloring. The flavors in the second third change from the first third, and I am beginning to see an emergence of leather notes. I am still picking up some hay from the first third, and there are some barnyard, coffee bean and wood flavors right now. For a time there is an increase in spice in this third, but it slowly dissipates, and becomes a subtle addition in the background. In terms of strength this third is around medium, and as I said earlier I imagine these cigars were significantly stronger before the many years of aging. I am in the final third now, and this cigar is coming to a close. It has performed so well from the very beginning that it is a shame to see it end. The flavors in the final third are really a culmination from the first two thirds, and I am enjoying every minute of this smoke. The flavors of coffee beans, leather, barnyard and wood play off one another wonderfully, and the lemongrass, hay and stone fruit flavors provide a very complex finish. The spice notes in this third are very similar to that of the first third, and I am getting tons of cinnamon, nutmeg, some cayenne and more. The cigar is burning absolutely perfect all the way to the end, and even at the nub there is a beautiful burn line that is razor sharp. It is a cool smoke even on the last draw, and ends smoking at a solid medium in terms of strength.

This was a fabulous cigar, and really a treat to have. The whole cigar provided an incredible experience, and this is what cigars are meant to be like. It is very interesting to see what aging a cigar can do, and the fact that this cigar has been aging 11 years is nothing more than amazing. The years have softened this cigar out, and though the flavors were probably dissipated along with the strength, it provided a complex and light experience for a cigar that any smoker would enjoy. Easily one of the finest Arturo Fuente Cigars I have had this cigar is a magnificent Dominican puro, and more importantly a terrific cigar. I give this 93 points, and if you have the opportunity to smoke this cigar you should not pass on the offer. Happy 100th Birthday Arturo Fuente Cigars.

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AniverXario Natural
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