Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Arturo Fuente Flor Fina 8-5-8 Maduro
Size: 6 x 47
Tobacco: Dominican with Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper
Price: $4.10 (B&M), $3.69 (box price)

CigarsDirect (a great online site that specializes in high-end superpremiums) gifted me one of these as a "thank you" for participating in their online NCAA Tournament Challenge.

With the exception of their sandwich cigars, Curly Head and Breva Royale, I can't say I've ever come across a bad offering from Arturo Fuente. Some I've liked more than others, of course, and I was extremely disappointed in the Don Carlos Anniversario a few weeks ago; but all the Fuente lines, from Montesino to Opus X, share common characteristics of quality ingredients and top-notch construction. The 8-5-8 natural is one of my favorite cigars. It features a sophisticated taste that evolves from sweet and nutty to spicy and full over the space of about 50 minutes.

The 8-5-8 maduro is also a very good cigar, but does not hold up to the repuatation of its counterpart. In general, I prefer naturals over maduros anyway, which I often find to be smoother but muted in flavor. The 8-5-8 maduro burns evenly, with a mid-range draw, and yields rich coffee flavors. While coffee is not my favorite taste in a tobacco, it can be enjoyable every once in a while. The 8-5-8 maduro was comparable in flavor to a CAO Black 'VR' (although I think the CAO was a little better, in this case). It paired well with a glass of Gentlemen Jack on a warm spring evening.

On the C&S rating scale, I award this 6.5 leaves out of a perfect 10.

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