Arturo Fuente Casa Cuba
The latest “new” cigar from Arturo Fuente is the Casa Cuba, additionally labeled as “Pre-Release 2013”. I say “new” because it has actually been around since 2011, but has seen its fair share of setbacks, one being the famous Fuente factory fire of the same year. Retailers who carry a large number of Fuente products had the privilege of getting a box or more late last year. There are four available vitolas, the Doble Tres (corona), Doble Cuatro (short robusto), Doble Cinco (robusto), and Doble Seis (toro). They each come in boxes of 30 and are listed as between $8.95-$10 (but are selling for higher at some locations).
Not counting various line extensions or cigars made for other companies, this is the first new release from Fuente since 1995. This particular cigar was blended by Carlos Fuente Sr. and is made by a single roller at the factory. This cigar is a “throwback”, if you will; to the way cigars were “back in the day” (give or take a few days). Because, everything was better “back in the day”, right?
I am not sure on how many will be produced/available for purchase this year, but considering only one roller makes them, I would say they will be scarce. If you are wanting to try one, I would say you need to head to your nearest Fuente retailer and scoop one up.
If the aim of Fuente Sr. was to make a “classic” cigar, the Casa Cuba fits the bill. The wrapper is a standard milk chocolate shade of brown with a few veins and a few raised seams. It looks like it might be a little bumpy to the touch. Also, the cap looks a little rugged, with semi jagged lines and a slight angle at the top. Of note is that, at the foot, all the “darker” tobacco is bunched on one side of the cigar, not in the center like most cigars I’ve seen.
The band is very classic looking. It has the usual colors: red, white, gold, and black. There is a second band below the Casa Cuba band that says “pre-release 2013”. One thing neither band says though is Fuente. Though it may be easy to tell this one apart, there are other “Casa Cubas” out there that are not the same. I’m not sure why they left the name off, but I would personally think it would be on there.
The Casa Cuba looks a bit rugged but not too bad. It feels just like it looks; a bit bumpy but semi-smooth as well. It is rather firm when squeezed. One concern I have is that the wrapper feels a little thin. I hope it does not present problems with cracking later on.
There are not any strong aromas coming off of this stick. The foot has some molasses and grass scents and the barrel is the same, only more subdued.
As usual, I cut the cap with my CRA cutter. There is a little bit of loose tobacco that falls out when I do, but nothing significant. When I check the draw, it is a tad tight but still allows some air to pass through. The note I get are molasses and earth, but subdued like the aromas on the foot and barrel are.
I went with my trusty Xikar single flame torch to light the Fuente Casa Cuba. It took a little while to get an even light, but finally did. In the process, I slightly singe one side of the wrapper, but nothing substantial. Throughout the smoke, the burn is a little wavy, but never gets out of control or requires a touch up. There are a few little cracks that happen from the burn, but the burn line always catches up to them.
The draw does stay a little on the tight side, but is open enough to get a decent pull each time. The most impressive attribute is the ash. The ash is mostly white and pretty solid, lasting over an inch at a time. Even when it starts to curve and look like it will fall, I have to tap it several times on the ashtray to get it to do so. It might be a good choice for a long ash contest!
I have heard from a few sources that the Fuente Casa Cuba is a fantastic cigar. I honestly wasn’t going to buy one at first, but later succumbed to the peer pressure! Well, if it’s so wonderful, it’s going to blow my mind, right? Let’s see!
While many cigars I smoke start off with some type of spicy pepper in the beginning, this one has a very subtle, mild white pepper. After a few puffs, I get stronger notes of nuts, tanginess, and a sweetness that is most akin to caramel. Though the floral pepper is mostly on the retrohale and finish, it ramps up along with the nuts and tanginess near the second third. So far, it is showing great promise.
In the second third, the same flavors continue along with a wood note that is developing. The pepper and sweetness start to fade out almost completely. Pretty soon, it is mostly wood and nuts. Unfortunately, this is where it will stay for the rest of the smoke.
The final third is very flat and boring. It is just wood and nuts, with a faint touch of pepper. If the wood and nuts were appealing, I wouldn’t mind but they are not. It’s just bland. I pretty much only smoke a good portion of the final third to complete this review.
The Fuente Casa Cuba Doble Seis is medium in both strength and flavor. The smoke time is 1 hour 15 minutes, but probably could’ve been 1.5 hours. I was just over it by that point. I won’t say it was a bad cigar, it was just uneventful.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Not for me.
Would I Buy a Box?
The Fuente Casa Cuba Doble Seis has received a decent amount of praise from some, but I think its long delay in coming to the market may have killed some of the buzz surrounding it. Nonetheless, I have heard several people give it rave reviews. Personally, I don’t see it. If this is what cigars used to be (and it is kind of like some I smoked in the 90’s) then I am glad things have changed.
And they have, for the better in my opinion. Knowing that the Fuente brand has several excellent cigars on the market, I am disappointed by this one. However, the market needs to be diverse, just like the palates of the customers. It just doesn’t do it for me, especially at that price point.