Cigars of The Year 2015 No.4 - Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso
There aren’t many cigar brands using high-quality Cameroon wrapper today. It tends to be quite expensive, rough in appearance and temperamental during the fermentation process. But the Fuente family doesn’t seem to mind, and there was no better expression of Cameroon wrapper put to market in 2015 than that of the Don Carlos Belicoso. Its wrapper-to-filler ratios resulted in a perfect combination of the Cameroon cover leaf’s sweet-and-sour properties along with the Dominican binder and filler, which gave the cigar a zesty, nutty quality full of shaved almonds and candied orange peel.
The brand was named after Carlos Fuente Sr., patriarch of the Fuente family. The factory, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., is the largest family-owned cigar-making operation in the premium cigar business. Fuente Sr. recently turned 80 years old, and the Don Carlos is said to be blended to his personal taste. The combination of Cameroon and Dominican tobacco has been its hallmark since the brand debuted 30 years ago. The portfolio currently has seven sizes, including a slightly larger torpedo, but there’s something about the precise dimensions, ratios and combustion rate of the Belicoso that makes it stand out.
They are aged for no less than a year, and the dark chocolate aroma so prevalent in the aging room certainly emanates off the cold bouquet of each cigar, and recurs on the palate as well. Refined and delicious, it’s also enhanced by a nutty, sweet-and-sour finish.