A few people have already asked me my thoughts on Fonseca Arana. But up until now, the thought of burning one hasn't even crossed my mind. I’m not knocking it, but I like fuller-bodied cigars....and the mild, Dominican Fonseca brand doesn’t even make its way onto my radar. And to boot, it’s a cheap, bundled cigar. But I’m a man of the people, so I grab a 5-er of these cheapies off the shelf in the store & get to work.
Whoa, OK, hold the presses! I realize I may be eating crow on this one now because as I pull out this lovely toro from the bundle I immediately notice it’s got a toothy, chestnut brown Habana wrapper. It’s a little veiny, but overall very well made for a bundled cigar – and the real kicker – It’s got a beautifully made triple cap. I’m instantly intrigued so I immediately clip the cap & fire up this beauty. Instantly I’m greeted with a mellow, very flavorful taste with hints of cinnamon. I think I’m going to have to invest in a bundle or two of these for myself to investigate further.
Just as I began to get over the surprise of this cigar being so good a regular customer of our Downtown store came in. Carl S. Like me, this guy is all about great cigars, and he’s usually willing to pay a little more for quality, well aged tobacco to get an above-average cigar. After a little small talk his attentions quickly turn to the Fonseca that he sees me enjoying so much. “How much do they cost?” He asks. I tell him that by the bundle they’re as low as $1.50 per stick. He immediately brought up a bundle & without even asking another question I rang him up, he fired one up, I heard a big “Mmmmmm, that’s good” emit from his cigar-filled mouth & he walked out the door happier than when he came in.
All of a sudden I realize that I’ve enjoyed over the first half of the cigar without even knowing that I’ve smoked that much of it. I quickly backtrack & do a little research to find that the tobaccos that comprise this $1.99 cigar are fit for much more expensive cigars. Under the toothy Habana wrapper is a binder of wrapper quality – a Criollo ’98 leaf (so it’s just like having 2 wrappers on this cigar!) I’m liking this more & more. I’m well into the 2nd third of this cigar & I’m enjoying its lightly spicy taste that is leathery and complex. A taste that I expect out of a much more expensive cigar – not from this $1.99 bundle stick that I was reluctant to even fire up just a half hour ago. And speaking of time, I’m almost finished up with this new Fonseca Arana Toro & I have nothing else but praise for this new offering from Manuel Quesada. I’m literally sinking my teeth into each and every creamy puff of chewy, spicy, dense smoke that’s full of smooth cedar and sweet tobacco.
One thing I know for sure – I’m going to be stocking up on the treats because the Northeast is starting to show signs of spring & after the torrential rains and floods that are scheduled for the rest of the week I’ll be getting my grill out of dry storage any day now & once that happens I’m going to need lots & lots of cigars.