Just over 3 years ago, I wrote a review on the Arturo Fuente Double Chateau. If you haven’t read it, or would like to reference back, you can find it here. Despite being 2+ years old, this single review still (to this day) results in a constant stream of hate mail from diehard Fuente fans, in addition to in-depth debates with retail store customers. “How can you not like Fuente?” “You're insane, 'hater'!” “Your palate sucks!” “You’re an embarrassment to the cigar community!” I hear it all the time.
As a gesture of good faith, I am conducting a follow-up review of Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva (the standard Arturo Fuente) in the same size, Double Chateau. It’s a popular cigar and worth another shot. After all, my palate has evolved over the past 3 years, so things might be different. So...once and for all, let’s settle this.
The Double Chateau is a lighter, rustic looking cigar. The blonde Connecticut shade wrapper contains very little oils and a series of tiny veins running throughout the leaf. As expected, the Spanish cedar sleeve has created a sweet, cedary influence on the pre-light aroma. The barrel contains no soft spots, portraying a solid roll from head to toe.
Upon lighting, my palate is coated by a smooth creaminess that instantly begins to dissipate with each pull on the cigar. Shortly thereafter, the true nature of the blend begins to surface. Tobacco, toast and cedar. The aftertaste has a quick, metallic component, as if I bit into a piece of aluminum foil stuck on my food - sans the low-voltage electric shock. An inch and a half in and it’s clear this is a medium-bodied cigar, on the lighter side of the medium scale. The draw is nice and the flaky ash is still intact, but the cigar begins to burn a little crooked. Midway through, I notice a slightly grassy flavor is beginning to develop. Normally I would say this cigar could be young, but I am not picking up the bitterness of green tobacco. Hints of this flavor remain throughout the remainder of the burn, and often overpowers the faint notes of toast and cedar well. With an inch left, I put the cigar down and cut another.
The second cigar looked and smoked about the same. There was no metallic aftertaste, but the grassyness was definitely there. Like the aroma of fresh lawn clippings working its way through my sinuses and down the back of the palate. Not very appealing.
I don’t get it. Arturo Fuente is just not for me.