Arturo Fuente – 2012 Unnamed Reserve Cigar Review
Well hello there! I took a few snow days of last week. That’s right, SNOW in El Paso. And lots of it! 6 inches to be exact. While we were thawing out down south Daniel was trying to stay warm with 7 degrees temperatures. Winter isn’t being kind to us this year, but that isn’t going to hold me back from putting together this whopper of a review. Before I get into A. Fuente’s 2012 Unnamed reserve, I wanted to prepare you guys for some awesome Casas Fumando news coming later on this week! Keep your eyes and ears open for it. Anyhow, let’s continue shall we?
The Good Stuff: There really isn’t much information about this cigar circulating the web as of yet. Halfwheel was the first report I’ve seen on this particular blend. Basically, what I do know is this: The Unnamed Reserve is an EXTREMELY limited run. In fact, it is possibly more limited than the original release batch of the Forbidden X “13”. Only a handful of shops received a very limited amount of these cigars Most of those retailers only got a box or two.
No idea how many boxes where actually produced, but I would assume it’s very minimal. The blend is said to be a Dominican natural Sun Grown wrapper, with the Don Carlitos blend fillers and binders. Again, take that information for what it is. There isn’t a lot about this cigar out there right now.
Anywho, I picked these up from Bonita Smoke Shop. They come packaged in boxes of 25 and run between $9 – $10 a stick.
Size: 6 x 47
Wrapper: Dominican Sun Grown
Binder: Don Carlos Blend
Filler: Don Carlos Blend
Pairing: Duvel (Belgian Strong Pale Ale – 8.5%ABV)
Prelight: The Unnamed Reserve is a beautiful cigar. It starts out with the extremely dark, consistent, thick, and shiny brown wrapper. Had the box not stated that it was natural, I would have sworn but the looks of it, that it was a maduro wrap. The wrapper gives off this crazy shine, almost as if it was coated with some sort of polishing agent. There are a few webby, dark veins, but none of them really concern me at all. The cigar is very firm, and very tough with no soft spots. An interesting item about this cigar’s format is the foot of the cigar starts off with a nice, squared off box press before seamlessly narrowing up to a beautiful, round, double cap. The box-press transition is in no way as drastic as the shark, and doesn’t change ring gauges from the foot to the cap. The Unnamed Reserve is polished off with the standard red and gold A. Fuente band with the Newer style Black accent we have seen from them on a few newer blends. The Unnamed Reserve also carries an elegant red ribbon around the foot.
The wrapper on the Unnamed reserve screams sweet cedar while the foot of the cigar releases a potent blend of spice and tobacco. The cap cut clean using my Palio double bladed cutter. Right off the bat I can pick up some really sweet, really malty musky notes from the cold draw of this Unnamed Reserve. The dry draw is really tight. I hope this opens up a bit once the foot is nice and lit.
First Smoke: Despite picking up so much sweetness on the cold draw, there wasn’t much present when I lit up the 2012 Unnamed Reserve. Instead, I picked up a lot of rich, dark chocolate, Musk, Cedar, and this really strange meat taste. No joke, it’s like a tiny little steak being grilled in my cigar. Whatever. Also, I am pleased to announce that the draw is spot-on. Even though the cigar feels tightly packed it only takes a puff or two to get a really nice, thick, mouthful of smoke. The burnline is a bit thick, with some very minor waves but the ash makes up for it with a brilliant zebra-striped pattern of compact, white, and dark gray ash. The ash held on for about an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: That strange meat flavor has dropped out in the second third and was quickly replaced with a subtle vanilla and a slight metallic flavor that I seem to pick up in most of Fuente’s cigars. The musk, cedar, and chocolate are all still present. The retrohale on this cigar is beautiful, coating my nasal passage with a really rich, dark chocolate and musk. I could retrohale this thing all day. The burnline is still a bit wonky, but I haven’t had to touch it up or relight so I am fine with that. So far, this cigar is pretty mild. I’m not feeling anything at all in the nicotine department.
Finish: One thing to note. Jeremy and I were talking a bit ago about something that Skip from RoMa Craft mentioned. In the winter, it’s best to smoke cigars that produce more saliva in your mouth. Smoking numerous cigars will show anyone that some cigars will dry you out more than others. The A. Fuente Unnamed Reserve produced massive amounts of saliva in my mouth making it much easier to smoke in the 40 degree weather. This cigar smokes serious slow, taking 2 hours to smoke so the added wetness was appreciated. The flavors in the final third married up almost identical with the second third with the only differences being a ramp up in cedar and the introduction of a very faint pine flavor. Again, the burnline isn’t the prettiest but I never had to break out the torch which get’s top marks in my book. This cigar finished creamy and mild and I left feeling absolutely not nicotine kick at all.
Overview: This is another A. Fuente cigar. When I say that, I mean that in the best sense I can. Fuente has a certain style and it’s what made them one of the benchmark cigar manufacturers of our day. Among those expectations are solid construction, and a pleasurable smoking experience. The Unnamed Reserve 2012 falls in line with both while adding a pleasurable flavor profile. It’s not a terribly complex cigar, but it didn’t need to be. The subtle pine, vanilla and even the meat paired up perfectly with the strong musk, chocolate and cedar making for a great combination. This is a perfect cigar to relax and enjoy without having to worry about being knocked on your ass. The price is right where you would expect it to be, but the limitation of the release is a bit crazy in my opinion. Maybe it’s due to the availability of the tobacco, or maybe Fuente wanted to do something a bit special. Either way, if you find these you really should pull the trigger. They won’t be around long at all. I am extremely interested to see how these cigars do with a bit of age on them.
Pairing: Here is a beer I haven’t paired with for a while. Not due to availability or dislike, in fact I love this brew. Just with so many great winter seasonals out there it kept getting pushed aside until I found the perfect cigar for it. Duvel is one of the great Belgian classics that you can find on the shelf of just about any liquor store. Brewed at the infamous Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat this 8.5% ABV Belgian Pale Ale is the epitome of a great Belgian Pale ale. I’ve actually seen a huge influx of domestic microbrews taking on the brew style as of late but one thing is always missing. The Alcohol content. Duvel shows exactly how to pack punch into a beer without sacrificing flavor. This Pale Ale showcases a great matchup of citrus, fruit, bitter sweetness and light malt. Say that again and think about the flavors in this cigar. The addition of the citrus really bumped up the dimension in the experience while the malt and bitterness paired perfectly with what the Unnamed Reserve was trying to accomplish. Another great pairing would be a spicy port, a malty porter, or even some nice hot cocoa.