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Fonseca Habana Selección

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Fonseca Habana Seleccion honors the classic Cuban roots of this traditional brand. Cuban cigars are known for their consistency and unique flavor, and while these cigars aren't quite the Forbidden Fruit, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test.  

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Brando is right-on with this one (see Staff Reviews). This cigar is one of my favorites and brings a traditional, Cubanesque flavor that hint at creme soda paired with buttery shoe leather. Why CI doesn't carry boxes of this (despite several requests) I have no idea. This cigar seems to benefit from time spent in a humidor, but afterwards expect a flourish of classic and distinct flavors that make this smoke a treat.
CZ of Gainesville, GA
EXCELLENT smoke. VG draw, VG burn, & VG taste. Full bodied but smooth with no strong after taste. Worth the $$$.
RH of Coraopolis, PA
Very enjoyable cigar. I always have a good supply on hand. In my opinion the Cadetes is the FIRECRACKER of the line.
SB of E. Taunton, MA
One of the best cigars I've ever had bar none. Complex but not dense, with just the right amount of zing, like listening to the best brass band you ever heard. Draw was perfect, burn was pretty good, and about two thirds in the flavor gracefully mellowed out to a rich Dominican creaminess. What a cigar! Fonsecas are a real class act.
LF of Madison, WI
Great taste very mellow sweet and satisfying. Everything else is good. Appearance 89+Taste 93+Construction 88. Quality average 89.5
FD of Gardena, CA
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Fonseca Habana

Coming up is Super Bowl weekend, something I view with a mix of equal parts dread and excitement. We all know the game itself is often more spectacle than sporting event. But more than that, here's the reason why. This weekend marks the start of that gaping hole in the sports universe, the 6-week period amounting to little more than a barren, rocky place for televised sports. For many of us this means emerging from hiding in basements and dens and reinserting ourselves back into family activities. For the last of the mohicans who refuse to concede, you're still holding out and clinging to your guns. You know who you are: you're tuned into figure skating, strong man competitions, hot dog eating contests (my all-time favorite term is "Competitive Eating"), or worst of all, staring blankly at unwatchable NBA games. 

Don't despair, as around the corner is March Madness, a very welcome shine at the end of the tunnel. One of the few things that provides comfort until then is these boxes of Fonseca Habana (Cosacos size), that are by my side in my Montegue End-Table Humidor. I feel personally attached to this cigar because cigar maker Manuel Quesada and I worked on this project together. The regular Dominican-made Fonseca line is a venerable old brand name with Cuban heritage. But while it is of exceptional quality and consistency, the regular Fonseca blend is unapologetically smooth and mellow. Manuel wanted to complement this with a new, full-bodied, rich, flavorful and complex cigar that would be a bridge to the brand's Cuban heritage, with both lovely packaging and a bold character. To get that robust, complex character just right, together we burned through literally 24 different ligas, smoking no less than 80 cigars apiece to nail the flavor profile we were looking for. 

Fonseca Habana is draped in a Habano Criollo wrapper, a dark, slightly reddish leaf with a thick, leathery look. The filler blend is laced with a very well-aged mix of higher priming Piloto Cubano ligero leaves. The cigar burns very slow and deliberate, leaving a flavorful, creamy, medium-bodied impression at first, but evolves as you go, developing a hearty, robust, spicy-sweet character that's I'd describe as north of medium but just shy of full-bodied. From the aesthetics, the flavor profile, the complexity, the way it develops as it burns from mellow to's very much a go-to cigar. 

Nap time will do even more wonders for this fantastic blend. Highly recommended!

Brandon S

Fonseca Hab. Seleccion

Brandon S
In a word, Fonseca Habana Seleccion can best be described as WOW! Seriously, this cigar easily joins the ranks of the elite few who truly possess all of the characteristics in just the right proportions to elevate a cigar to legendary status. Perhaps I’m being a bit overzealous here but after having smoked well over 100 of these fine cigars in all of their various vitolas, I’m convinced that the Fonseca Habana Seleccion has raised the bar and represents the new benchmark against which other cigars should be judged. Allow me to explain…
If you read my reviews with any kind of regularity (and why shouldn’t you?) you already know that flavor and complexity are two qualities that I look for in a cigar to help make it stand out from the crowd. Sure construction and draw are very important to me but why would I waste your time reviewing some crappola stick that tastes great but turns your face purple as you puff feverishly on that monster-knot of tobacco in the middle? Hey now, I’m just looking out for you that’s all. The bottom line here is that this is a Fonseca. That should say it all right there. But, for those of you who might not be “in the know”, let me drop some knowledge on you… Fonseca has been around a long, long time. The brand traces its roots back to Cuba and soon after the revolution Fonseca made its way to Santiago in the Dominican Republic where it is produced today under the watchful eye and masterful blending talents of Manuel Quesada.
The Habana Seleccion is the newest horse in the Fonseca stable and is blended to be everything that its Cuban counterpart is: bold, spicy, robust in flavor yet not overwhelming and finally, as complex as a cigar could possibly be. My recommendation is to go with the largest cigar that you are comfortable with in this blend. For me, it’s all about the Seleccion #1; a large 7X50 Churchill that allows you to experience the full array of flavors that the Habana Seleccion is capable of delivering. Up front the Habana Seleccion is rich in flavor and medium-bodied. After a few draws the real fun starts as the flavor begins a gradual transition from smooth and woody to spicy and robust at the half-way point. From here on out it’s full-throttle all the way as the cigar gains momentum building strength with each puff. From one draw to the next the Habana Seleccion is constantly delivering new and exciting flavors. For fans of Cuban cigars or for those of you wanting to know what all of the hype is about, look no further! The Habana Seleccion is easily comparable to the Partagas Serie D #4 or even the, dare I say it (GASP!!!) Cohiba Siglo VI in terms of robust flavor and complexity.
What still remains a mystery is how well this cigar will age. I purchased a box immediately after these landed on our dock and I put them away for a 3-4 year nap. I have high hopes to unlock even more potential from this exquisite new release but only time will tell.
Steve R

Fonseca Habana Selección

Steve R
Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve written a review on a cigar. Truth be told, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything! I’ve been away on vacation, enjoying the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks. Warm, sunny days, mas Corona (no Keith, it’s still not a beer in my book) and plenty of R&R.
Anyway, it’s good to be back at the office. Especially since a box of Manuel Quesada’s latest creation was awaiting my return: Fonseca Habana Selección. The box itself is a treat for the eye. Sporting the traditional, Cuban artwork of yester-year, the purpose of this blend was to pay homage to Fonseca’s heavily celebrated Cuban heritage. After opening it up and removing the colorful vista, my mouth begins to water as I foster the pleasant aroma, while fixating on the milk-chocolate colored beauties inside. Grown in Nicaragua and cultivated in 1998, the Habana Criollo wrapper is flawless. Silky smooth with attractive veins and a leathery texture. Inside, a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan binder secures a blend of Cuban-seed Dominican ligero and seco leaves, each aged for a minimum of 5 years.
To put this cigar to the test, I paired it with a strong double shot of espresso. Ristretto, my favorite flavor from Nespresso’s lineup of pods – if you’ve never seen a Nespresso machine, do a little research, it’ll change your life. Most cigars have a tough time standing up to this hearty espresso roast, but the Habana Selección holds its own and then some. As predicted (based on appearance and feel), the cigar performs beautifully. Slow and cool, each sample opens with a creamy, rich earthiness that methodically builds into a heavier, more robust finish. A toasty sweetness is left behind after each puff, even beyond the midway point, where a slight spice builds behind a pleasant, nutty character. With 2 inches left, I begin to feel full in the belly, as if I am on the last leg of a nice-sized meal. This is saying a lot – those of you that have seen me eat know there’s a 400lb man hiding deep inside of me, trying hard to get out. This satisfying fullness is a wonderful bonus to the well-balanced array of smooth, hearty flavors provided by each sample.
Look, Manuel is a stickler for consistency. Maintaining a legendary brand like Fonseca is no easy task, and sales on the Legends MATASA is a clear indication that his expertise is no secret. If you want to truly enjoy the art of one of the industry’s top cigar masters, the Habana Selección is an excellent route to take.