January 7, 2019

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2018 Release

A. Fuente
Sometimes not much is known about a cigar that is released. There are times manufacturers release cigars to the public in limited quantities that are composed of tobacco that they do not wish to release, and sometimes cigars are made in factories they do not wish to name. Some cigar nerds find this annoying and others find it awesome. I am in the category that would love to know, but at the end of the day it does not really bother me. You see these "schemes" more often than not from ultra boutique companies, but occasionally a large manufacturer releases a cigar with little or no information released. Last month, it seems weird to say last year, we saw this with the Fuente Family, and their release of the Unnamed Reserve 2018 Release.

2018 was the year in which the Fuente Family would be celebrating their 100th year as a cigar producing company, but in August of 2017 the company, or should I say family, suffered a devastating loss of two barns in the Dominican Republic. The barns supposedly held some of their oldest and prized tobacco and it was definitely a traumatic experience for the company and family. While it was a disaster the fortunate side of things was that no one was hurt during the fires. With aged tobacco cut down Carlito was still able to present the cigar smoking world with a minor treat. That treat was the Unnamed Reserve 2018 Release. Not much is known about this cigar except that it is finished with a Sun-grown wrapper, and I assume it is from Ecuador like most of their Sun-grown wrappers are. I have read that the cigar is actually the Don Carlos blend with this new wrapper, and that is a possibility as it is a loved blend by the company and used with different wrappers from time to time.
The cigar was released in one vitola, a 5 3/4" by 48 ring gauge Corona Gorda and is softly pressed. You can see that the cigar is box pressed but it is a soft press showing some round aspects. Like all Fuente cigars it is made in the Dominican Republic, and other than that not much is known about the cigar. It has a toothy wrapper to the eye and there are some veins here and there. It has a soft maduro coloring, and showing some dark Colorado aspects to the cigar. It is constructed solidly and shows some firmness when pressed. I am getting a lovely aroma at the foot of the cigar, and it shows some wood, hay, spice and cocoa notes. Along the wrapper are some spicy and leather notes and I am looking forward to lighting this cigar up.
Soft press
Lighting up the cigar there is a nice mix of flavors showing, and I am getting this natural sweetness flavor profile with some cedar notes. There are some floral and herbal qualities with that, and to make it even more complex there is a nice richness and spice flavor profile from the sun grown wrapper. It is a very enjoyable blend and balanced in all manners. The strength of the cigar in my opinion is fairly mild, and I would say it is a tad bit under medium in body. The construction of the cigar is top notch, and I am getting a light gray ash that is holding on to the cigar firmly. It has a perfect burn line with that and it is a well constructed cigar that many cigar smokers could enjoy any time of day. I would smoke this more in the morning or late morning, but very tasty.
Holy Ash Batman!
Entering into the second third of the cigar I find that the flavor profile is fairly similar to that of the first third and smoking wonderfully. From the samples I had of this cigar every single one of them performed wonderfully. The second third was like the first third in terms of construction and it produced a solid light charcoal colored ash that held on to the cigar firmly. The cigar smoked cool, and it kept that strength level right below the medium body level. The complexities in the flavor department were still there from the first third and it was showing a balance between rich earth/cocoa notes with sweet wood notes. There was a nice accompaniment of floral and herbal notes and it is a cigar that I could smoke back to back with pure enjoyment.

Great ash
The final third performs very much like the second and first third performed and that is wonderfully. The cigar smoked cool throughout this whole third, and with that it produced an ash that held on firmly showing that light charcoal coloring. The strength remained slightly below medium in body till the end, and the last draw was cool and flavorful. The flavors were still on that level of before and it is  a cigar that shows excellent balance. The natural sweet and wood notes were pairing wonderfully with those floral and herbal notes, and it had that lovely rich earth/cocoa finish which was great.  There is not much else to say about this cigar except that it is very enjoyable and tasty.

Overall I really enjoyed this cigar and while it was not what I was expecting from the cigar it was very tasty. I felt the strength to be right at a solid medium body level throughout, and it was a cigar I could smoke anytime. The flavors were very enjoyable, and showed a lot of different qualities from a summery wood flavor profile to a rich earthy and chocolate flavor profile. If this is composed with the same filler and binder blend as the Don Carlos it is great to see the wrapper variance and how it changes a cigar completely. I have seen a dramatic change in flavor profile with the Edicion de Anniversario, and that is another great example of the impact of a wrapper. Overall this was a cool limited release that I believe is worth holding on to and smoking down the road. The price is just right so if you want to pick up a box and you are a Fuente fan then it is worth it. Overall I give the cigar a solid 90 and was entertained from beginning to end.
Unnamed Reserve 2018
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