|Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba|
The Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba is a new line of cigars that was launched late in 2013. This is a line that many Fuente fans have anticipated for quite some time. It had originally been targeted to be a part of the company’s 100th anniversary in 2012. However, in June, 2012 it was announced that plans for the 100th anniversary were being put on hold due to “personal and professional challenges”. It was widely believed that this was tied to the challenges of a fire that destroyed two Fuente warehouses in late 2011. Finally, toward the end of 2012, the Casa Cuba made it to retailer shelves. I recently had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. Overall, I found this to be a solid cigar and one of the most unique Fuente releases to date.
There are two noteworthy items in regards to the Casa Cuba release. First, it is a cigar that was blended by Carlos Fuente, Sr. It is believed to be the first significant release that Carlos Sr. has put together in many years. Secondly, this is a cigar that is being marketed for the most part without the “A. Fuente” name and appears to be positioned as a brand that will stand on its own. It is also the first new brand in the Arturo Fuente cigar catalog in recent years.
In terms of the rollout of this release, a limited allocation was released to select retailers toward the end of 2013. There are plans for further batches to be released in the future.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Casa Cuba and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The cigars are blended at the Fuente’s Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia factory in the Dominican Republic. It features an Ecuadorian wrapper over Dominican binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana
The Casa Cuba is being launched in four sizes. It will be packaged in boxes of 30. The names of the vitolas come from domino names.
Doble Cuatro: 4 1/2 x 54
Doble Cinco: 5 x 50
Doble Tres: 5 1/2 x 44
Doble Seis: 6 x 52
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Casa Cuba in the Doble Seis (Toro) sized vitola. The Casa Cuba Doble Seis has a medium brown wrapper. There is a decent amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some visible wrapper veins, but the wrapper seams are actually quite well-hidden. The cigar itself has a slightly pressed shape to it.
There are two bands on the Casa Cuba – and both are big departures from the traditional Arturo Fuente banding. The primary band features a red and gold shield sitting on a black circular background surrounded by a gold wreath. Above the wreath is the text “Casa Cuba” in a partial red colored cursive font on a pale yellow background. Below the wreath is the text “FLOR FINA” in red font. To the left and right of the front of the band is a gold medallion sitting on a red background. On the far left side is the text “HAND MADE” in small red font on a pale yellow background. On the far right side is the text “SANTIAGO” in small red font also sitting on a pale yellow background. The remainder of the band has gold trim.
There is a secondary band that rests below the primary band. On the band is a black ribbon design with the text “Pre Release 2013” – which can be inferred that this cigar is what was limitedly released in 2013. The black ribbon is surrounded by gold and red to the left and right.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up my Casa Cuba Doble Seis, I went with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw note provided me a mix of natural tobacco and grass notes. There was also an interesting herbal and floral spice in the background. Overall I found the Casa Cuba to have a solid pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up my Casa Cuba and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start to the Casa Cuba had a mix of herbal notes, natural tobacco, and tangy spice. The tangy spice was definitely the differentiating flavor as it had almost a smoky bbq sauce quality. On the retro-hale, I picked up some pepper with a slight mix of the tangy spice. As the flavor profile developed in the early phases, the tangy spice moved to the forefront.
In the second third, the natural tobacco notes took center stage, and the tangy spice retreated to being a secondary flavor. While I definitely picked up the natural tobacco flavor as primary, there still was a subtle sweet component to it. Meanwhile the herbal notes could also be detected in the distant background.
In the last third, the tangy spice moved back toward the forefront – joining the natural tobacco notes in the forefront. The tangy spice did overshadow any sweetness from the natural tobacco notes. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Casa Cuba performed very well. The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring only occasional touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a light, silvery gray. I would say the ash had some firmness, but was not an overly tight ash. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba|
The draw was stellar to the Casa Cuba. It had that touch of resistance that I always like on a cigar. It was just enough resistance to enjoy the cigar without working too hard.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, for the most part I found the Casa Cuba to be a medium strength cigar. I did notice a slight increase in strength toward the last third of the cigar where the Casa Cuba moved into the medium to full strength range. I still didn’t find this to be an overpowering cigar. As for the flavors, they start out medium to full-bodied. Toward the last third the depth of the flavors did increase, and I found that portion of the Casa Cuba to enter full-bodied territory. As for strength versus body, I definitely found the edge goes to body. If you want a cigar that emphasizes flavor, Casa Cuba is for you.
On the Casa Cuba cigars I smoked, I found the tangy spice to be something that was unique. It definitely seemed like a different flavor from a Fuente. On the early Casa Cuba cigars I smoked, I found it to be a little harsh, but the cigars I smoked for this round were three months post-release and I found it to be settled down. I’m not sure if this cigar is going to develop much more, but it still is a pretty good cigar. I would encourage a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast to give this cigar a try. Even if you are not a Fuente fan, this cigar is definitely worth checking out. As for myself, it’s worth a five pack right now – and it’s one that I would smoke again.
Strength: Medium, Medium to Full (last third)
Body: Medium to Full, Full (Last third)
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Source: Purchased, Gifted
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