By now I think you’ve come to realize that I don’t usually care for lighter bodied cigars. To add to this, I rarely light up a mellow bodied cigar on a regular basis. There are some exceptions, like K. Hansotia’s Symphony, AVO XO, 5 Vegas Gold and the new Perdomo Reserve Champagne. It’s safe to say that it’ll take a damn fine cigar to rank among my favorites...I mean come on, those are some incredible smokes!
Recently I was asked to provide a write-up for the Fonseca Vintage, a shiny Ecuadorian-wrapped Dominican handmade from Manolo Quesada. In case you don’t know, Mr. Quesada is a genius at his craft. He’s the talent behind Romeo y Julieta’s original Dominican blend, and the mastermind behind Fonseca, Cu*Avana and Licenciados. This vintage edition is an extension of Quesada’s highly acclaimed Fonseca line that combines a fine blend of Dominican long-leaf tobaccos that undergo a 5-year aging process with a sultry wrapper leaf that’s buttery smooth. The aroma is plentiful – hints of light cedar, slightly sweet. Naturally, I expect it to be mellow. And mellow it is, but boy does it open up my palate. Right from the get-go, the Vintage hits me with a creaminess that’s so rich, it’s hard to believe it’s a Dominican. There are no bells and whistles to the flavor. No nuts, no spice, no leather. Despite the slightest hint of cedar, the straightforward flavor is the best natural tobacco taste that I have experienced to date. Normally I would find this flavor to be incredibly bland, but because of the rich, creamy way it’s delivered I can hardly put the cigar down. Fortunately, its easy going nature allows me to take in a savory puff every 15-20 seconds. Right down to the nub, the Fonseca Vintage delivers with an ultra-smooth, relaxing smoke that would pair perfectly with a glass of red wine or port. Heck, the flavor even matched my double espresso. Considering Manolo Quesada’s track record, I shouldn’t be surprised by this handmade. Either way, I’d like to thank him for adding another notch to my small belt of tame cigars.