Arturo Fuente – one of the most iconic cigar manufactures of all time, and one that hardly needs an introduction. The Arturo Fuente brand was originally founded by the man himself, Arturo Fuente Sr. in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. They suffered a fire at their factory in 1924 and had to halt production for a number of years, but reemerged in 1946 on a limited production basis. Despite their troubled beginning, Arturo Fuente were able to get back on their feet again. After transferring ownership to Arturo’s son, Carlos Fuente Sr. in 1958, Fuente has steadily released numerous prolific cigars, and has ascended to one of the most highly regarded manufactures in the industry. Today we’ll be smoking the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva Magnum R Vitola in the “Fifty-Two” size.
Size: Robusto, or Vitola “Fifty-Two”
Other Sizes Available: 5×44, 6×54, 5×56, and a 5×58
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado Sungrown
Appearance and Pre-light Aroma:
The A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva has a warm, rich brown wrapper with a slight burgundy hue. The wrapper is incredibly smooth, and has a visible oily sheen. These two characteristics culminate together to create what is visually a very appealing and artfully crafted cigar. Sniffing the foot yields a predominantly sweet scent. I would describe it as a mixture of a peach and a pear. There is a refreshing but very subtle earthy aroma, although it is only really noticeable when you are being particularly mindful of what’s going on with the aromas. Overall, the two words that jump out at me when sniffing the foot are “sweet” and “smooth”. Sweetness generally coincides well with my palate, so I’m getting pretty excited to fire this up. So without further ado…
Right out of the gate I’m hit with a medium strength spice. The spice is quite smooth and leaves a gentle tingle on the tongue. The sweetness is also immediately present, and in a far more pungent fashion than I had anticipated. The sweetness in the post-exhale taste is very similar to that of a red wine, particularly in the way it lingers on the palate. At the risk of using a more abstract term, I’d describe the sweetness as having an almost ‘velvet-y’ feel to it. About an inch into the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva I’ve found that the spice has scaled back very quickly and the entire cigar has relaxed into a very mellow smoke, which is quite nice, as it matches my mood beautifully.
Into the second third of the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva, the cigar has continued to mellow. In the first third I noticed the spice bottom out rather quickly. However, as the other flavors have continued to ease back the spice has subtly reemerged, but is still more of an under-tone than anything else. As of right now the profile is very well balanced, with all of the characteristics present blending smoothly. The only aspect that really stands out is that velvety red wine sweetness I picked up in the first third. It’s become more pronounced, but to an extent that it’s a bit sharp, and somewhat tart. That’s not necessarily a negative critique, but it does seem a bit out of character in an otherwise very well balanced cigar.
Drawing into the final third yields largely the same profile as earlier on, but it has evolved into being considerably more creamy. The smoke hits the palate in a very ‘broad’ way, allowing all of the flavors to flourish individually. The aforementioned sharpness in the sweetness I encountered in the second third still stands out as the only unpolished aspect, but it’s relatively minor in the grand scheme of the flavor profile. I’d say it’s akin to the acidic flavors of an orange.
Burn and Construction:
Everything about it’s form and function was near perfect, both visually and in execution. The cigar was slightly firm, but not overly so. The draw was a bit tight for my taste, but nothing out of the acceptable range. The wrapper oozed a pleasant aroma of smoke, even when not being actively drawn upon. The cigar burned fairly quick, but again, not uncharacteristic of the tobaccos used. The burn line was near perfect, and didn’t require any touch ups.
When reviewing anything you always find yourself walking a line between objectivity and personal preference. It’s the nature of the beast, and this review is no exception. Overall I feel comfortable in saying that the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva is an excellent cigar, but ultimately not one suited to my tastes. The cigar delivers in all aspects of what we’ve all come to expect from Fuente; quality, flavor, and consistency. Its profile is filled with depth and nuance, and the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva is well deserving of it’s place in the Fuente lineup.
This cigar could potentially jump to a four for me fairly easy with a different wrapper. That being said, you could argue that the wrapper is a defining characteristic of this cigar, and changing that would defeat the purpose. That’s certainly a fair point, and one worth factoring into the equation. Additionally, the acidic sharpness present with the sweetness did affect my enjoyment of the cigar, and thus did detract from the rating. I gave it a 3.5 because it is well constructed, and offers good flavor and balance at a reasonable price point. If you’re looking for a fairly mild Sun Grown packed with flavor, the A. Fuente Rosado Gran Reserva is a safe bet. If this cigar fits your palate you’ll be hard pressed to beat it.
3.5 out of 5