Arturo Fuente February 9th, 2005 Steve R 86 Share: Arturo Fuente, one of the most widely known names in the cigar industry. On a daily basis, I come in contact with enthusiasts that live and die by the Fuente name, swearing off all cigars unless it has this infamous signature somewhere on the band. Why? Beats me, there are so many great cigars out there it’s hard to believe a true enthusiast would limit himself to just one maker. Personally, I’ve yet to find the attraction to Arturo Fuente cigars. From the Gran Reserva to the Opus X, I just don’t see what all the hoopla is about. But, I am always willing to take a retest, so I’ll give the Gran Reserva another go. Considering it’s the top selling Fuente, I figure this line will be the brand’s best representative. I picked up a 5-pack of the Double Chateau, an attractive over-sized toro wrapped in a cedar sleeve. I am a stickler for cedar sleeves. Anyway, it smells pretty good. The pleasant, slightly sweet aroma hints at a flavorful, balanced cigar. So far so good. And so I move on. It lights up like a champ and instantly burns even. The flavor off the start is nice. I am picking up some toasty, woody notes lent by the cedar sleeve and a little bit of pepper. Not much though. The ash burns white and firm, and the cigar emits an abundance of white smoke. Great construction. Unfortunately, the flavor just couldn’t keep up. The cigar became rather dull, losing most of the luster I noticed from the first 5 minutes. This not only disappoints me, it scares me, since the Double Chateau is 6¾” long and still has over 5” to go. As expected, based on my past experiences with this cigar, the flavor does not return. After the initial burst (read tease), the cigar becomes quite uneventful. I just puff air until I’ve decided on something else to satisfy my palate. I’ve noticed this with almost every Fuente I smoke, which is too bad, because they’re made incredibly well. They look great, smell great, and have a pretty band. But, it takes a helluva lot more to sell me than a pretty band with a famous name on it, especially at Fuente-like prices. Today’s test results are the same as before. I still don’t see what all the fuss is about with Fuente cigars. For those of you that swear by this brand, pick up a La Aurora, CAO Black or Pueblo Dominicano. Heck, come to our retail store, I’ll give you one of mine. Bring a friend. You’ll thank me later.