Arturo Fuente Hemingway Classic

Arturo Fuente Hemingway ClassicUp for review again this week is another cigar generously provided by my friends at Cigars Direct. This week we take a look at a Arturo Fuente offering named for famous author and cigar smoker, Ernest “Papa” Hemingway. Would he be proud of his namesake? Let’s take a look.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 7 x 48 Churchill/Figurado
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 to 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$7.00 (buy ’em here)

The Pre-Smoke
One of the most visually interesting things about this cigar is its shape. Though it is a churchill in size, it has the tapered end of a figurado, making a little unusual looking. What I’ve found about the tapered (or “nipple”) end of the cigar is a little delicate. In several of these cigars I found this end a little worse for wear, slightly flattened or otherwise damaged. (Of course this could be due to a less than gentle journey through the postal system.)

Getting to the wrapper, I found it to generally be nicely smooth, with some spidery veins. Much to my delight, I also noticed that the cigar band wasn’t cemented to the cigar. Nor was it fastened around the shaft like a tourniquet on a badly injured limb. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be able to slide the band around, or off, as you smoke the cigar. Manufacturers take note!

On one cigar I did note a couple of water spots, which were a little unfortunate in such a fine looking cigar. Otherwise, I found no other blemishes in the wrapper.

After noting a pungent earthy, compost scent to the wrapper, I clipped the end with my flamboyantly-red Xikar and tried the cold taste. I didn’t expect to get one, given the nippled end. I was surprised that I did get some draw, but not enough to get a good reading on the flavor.

The Burn
The Hemingway Classic burned nice and even and the draw was perfect. The cigar also produced a solid, darker ash of good length and had a light resting smoke. Overall, there isn’t too much to say about the burn other than this cigar burns like a champ.

The Flavor
I had vastly different experiences with these cigars in the flavor department. The first one I lit up developed an unpleasant and excessive tar buildup that basically rendered the cigar unsmokable.

The second cigar had an interesting lime and leather flavor to it. (I had a lot of time think about the flavor, so I’m pretty sure I nailed it.) End to end, with leather only becoming the dominant flavor in the final third. So while that cigar wasn’t particular complex, its main flavor was.

The final cigar was a bit more complex. It opened with nuts and a creamy chocolate that evolved into more of a toffee flavor as the cigar smoked. As this cigar burned into the second third, I got the tangy lime flavor again, but this time it seemed to be paired with coffee instead of leather. The lime flavor remained for the rest of the cigar, though occasionally a sweet chocolate flavor popped up.

And this is the reason it is highly recommended that you smoke a cigar several times before you decide whether or not you love it or loathe it. (Or are just indifferent.) I suspect that the final cigar was closest to being “normal” of the three, and the first was clearly a bum stick.

The Price
I think the price of this cigar is very reasonable, especially when you consider how much smoking time you get for your money. And when you add that it’s a figurado to the mix, it makes it even more reasonable.

The Verdict
When we take that first big tar-tube out of the equation, I’d have to say I enjoyed these cigars. It’s just a shame that I waited to smoke them until after I’ve moved on from the big tarty cigar kick I was on for a month or so, because these babies would have fit in nicely. If you’re a fan of Cameroon-wrapped cigars, you need to check this one out.

And of course, I’m appreciative of Cigars Direct for providing these cigars for me to smoke and review. And I’m flattered. If you’ve enjoyed this review, and would like to try them out, I encourage you to pick up these cigars up from them! They even have them in five packs, and they have their popular quick-smoking cousins, the Short Story too. (If you do, tell ’em I sent you!)

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Likely
Recommend It: Yes

The Cigar In Action
Yeah, blah, blah, you say. You’re a person of action! Well you’re in luck, because I’ve got a little action for ya right here! Here for your viewing pleasure is the third Hemingway Classic being transformed into a attractive pile of ash in my ashtray. Enjoy!

My Other Reviews
As always, be sure to check out my Cigar Review Index to see what else I’ve been smoking and reviewing both on this blog and on the others to which I contribute!

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  1. Cigar Jack said,

    November 4, 2007 at 12:10 am

    I’ve smoked many Hemi’s in my day but primarily the Short Story. You can’t ask for a better 30 minute smoke.

  2. Brian said,

    November 5, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Hey Cigar Jack,

    Yeah, the Short Stories are great. I have a good assortment in my humidor for those short in-between times. Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I smoked one of those… I guess I’m spoiled by working at home!

  3. November 12, 2007 at 1:52 am

    The Hemingway line is one of my favorites. I mostly go for the Signatures, but I do enjoy a Classic nos and again. I just smoked a Between the Lines the other day. I must write that one up.

  4. Brian said,

    November 17, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    I’d love to get my hands on a Between the Lines, and I’m looking forward to reading your review on it!

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