|Fonseca CXX Anni|
The Fonseca CXX Anni is a special limited edition cigar made by the folks at S.A.G Imports. This cigar was released under S.A.G’s Fonseca line to commemorate the 120th anniversary of that particular brand. Sometimes when I get a cigar, for whatever reason I don’t get around to reviewing it right away. The Fonseca CXX Anni is one of these cigars that clearly fell into this category. However, I’m kicking myself that I waited so long because this was a very good smoke.
The name CXX is a roman numeral for 120. This represents the 120th anniversary of the Fonseca brand. The Fonseca brand was named for Don Fonseca who started the line in Cuba in 1891. The cigar is meant to commemorate the brand’s Cuban roots. It was blended by master blender, Manuel Quesada.
Let’s take a closer look at this cigar:
The Habano Vuelta Arriba wrapper comes from the Navarrete region in the Dominican Republic. It is a sungrown wrapper. The intent was to build a more robust tobacco for the cigar experience.
Wrapper: Dominican Habano Vuelta Arriba
Binder: Dominican Grown Cuban-seed tobacco
Filler: Cuban Seeds grown in the Dom.Rep. and Nicaragua
When I assessed the Quesada Seleccion Espana, I discussed how this cigar used smaller sizes to target the marketplace in Spain. To some extent, I believe the Fonseca CXX Anni follows a similar trend. While not as small as the Seleccion Espana vitolas, the CXX Anni is available in either a thin ring gauge or short lengths There are three sizes and the total production of these cigars will be limited to 120,000.
Corona: 6 3/8 x 46
Gordo: 4 7/8 x 60
Robusto: 5 7/8 x 52
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
By now, if you follow this web-site, you know I am a fan of the big ring gauge cigars, so naturally I selected to go with a Gordo for this cigar experience. Since the Gordo has a 60 size ring gauge, I defaulted to a straight cut. The initial notes on the pre-light draw I performed gave me flavors of wood with a hint of cocoa powder. The pre-light draw was just enough to wet my appetite, so it was on to fire up the CXX Anni and see what would be next.
On the initial draws, the cocoa from the pre-light draw continued to be prevalent. I also detected red pepper flavor notes. As the cigar progressed into the first third, the cocoa notes morphed into more of a milk chocolate. The milk chocolate had a layered taste to it – namely I can separate chocolate notes from some classic milk notes. The pattern I detected for the first third was that I was getting the milk chocolate notes when I would draw from the cigar, and the red pepper was more of an aftertaste.
As the cigar progressed into the second third, the milk chocolate notes morphed back into a traditional cocoa powder similar to the start of the cigar. Once the Fonseca CXX Anni was in the second half, I picked up the red pepper on the draw with the cocoa powder. The finish to the cigar was very nice – the nub was a little warm, but it was firm. The taste on the finish was not harsh and made for a very positive finish.
Burn and Draw
The burn on the CXX Anni was a little warmer than I normally like, but the burn still was very good – especially for a bigger ring gauge cigar. The cigar did not burn fast and did not require many touch-ups. The draw was outstanding and I enjoyed puffing on this big ring gauge cigar.
Strength and Body
I’ve seen different reports on the strength and body of this cigar, so what I am about to say is not going to be consistent with a good chunk of the reports I read. The strength of this cigar is stronger than I anticipated (based on those reports). I felt it had just enough nicotine to make it into the full strength category. My assessment of the body of this cigar is also very similar. The depth and robustness of the flavors are just enough to make it into the full-bodied category.
2011 is shaping up to be a solid year for Manuel Quesada – between the Quesada Seleccion Espana, Casa Magna Domus Magnus, and now the CXX. All three are very good cigars. I enjoyed the big ring gauge of the CXX, but I’m also curious to see how this blend will work in the thinner ring gauges. My gut tells me that this blend will be even better in the thinner ring gauge (and that’s a shocking statement from myself – the big ring gauge enthusiast). This is a cigar I’d recommend more for seasoned enthusiasts – and one I definitely would buy again.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigar was provided to myself from an authorized representative of S.A.G. Imports. The request was initiated by the representative to myself (Cigar Coop) to provide an assessment. Cigar Coop is appreciative to samples provided but this plays no role in a final assessment rating.