I smoked the Destino al Siglo a last year and was extremely disappointed. Your review is pretty much on par with mine.
Review: Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Gran AniverXario (Sun Grown)
Over the past few months I’ve acquired a few of these in both wrappers, some I’ve picked up at a more reasonable price, others given or traded me, whatever the case… I’ve been fortunate. These were originally made to commemorate Fuente’s 90th Anniversary (hence why the band says 1912 and 2012), however due to packaging and other reasons, they weren’t released until 2008. Like a lot of the higher-end Fuente products, Prometheus was given the rights to distribute the Gran AniverXario, packaging a total of 96 cigars (48 of both wrappers) in 96 humidors. Most assume the value of the humidor to be $1,800, which makes the cigars themselves worth just under $60. I have seen them a few times being sold in retail stores, all well over $60, but I paid $30 or less for those that I bought, which seems to be the going rate on the secondary market. Like a lot of Fuentes, there is more than just a simple story, and like always, I’ll let someone else tell it. Promotheus’ website describes the story:
Carlito Fuente has created a new cigar, Don Arturo Gran AniverXario, in tribute to his grandfather, Arturo Fuente.
These cigars are made with the legendary wrapper leaves from Chateau de la Fuente, the birthplace of a dream.
Carlito Fuente made Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars in 2001 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, which was founded by his grandfather in 1912. He planned to release Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars every year, starting in 2002, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary. However, these cigars were never released.
Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars have been aging in the Fuente aging room since 2001. These 7-year-old cigars will finally be presented in the Limited Edition Fuente Story Humidors produced by Prometheus.
2008 is the 96th Anniversary of Arturo Fuente Cigar Company, and each Fuente Story Humidor will come with 96 Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars.
(Left Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Gran AniverXario (Natural), Right in Sun Grown)
There are a few other details that are quite interesting, Moki of Vitolas.net (one of the foremost experts on all things Arturo Fuente, has this to say:
Note that these two cigars are not the same vitola; the Natural cigar is 1/8″ longer than the Sun Grown cigar, and it has a slightly larger ring gauge. These cigars were not rolled at the same time, the Natural cigar was rolled a year later.
The Natural cigar has a red ribbon on the foot, while the Sun Grown cigar has cedar and a black ribbon on the foot; both cigars have a slight box press to them. The Natural cigar appears to use an aged Opus X Rosado wrapper (as with the Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario cigars), and is the same vitola as the Opus X Perfecxion X cigar, except it is 1/8″ longer.
The 48 Sun Grown Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars are in fact Don Arturo Destino al Siglo “13″ cigars, the long rumored Fuente 90th anniversary cigars.
In addition, the Prometheus marketing materials state that the Don Arturo Gran AniverXario cigars have been aged for 7 years… meaning they were rolled in 2001, the same year the Don Arturo Destino al Siglo “13″ cigars were rolled.
The wrapper the Natural cigar is an aged Opus X Rosado wrapper similar to the CigarFamily 10th Anniversary cigar. Despite being a slightly different size than the Sun Grown cigar, the Natural cigar actually is the same AF13 blend, but with an aged Opus X Rosado wrapper. The Natural cigars were rolled a year later than the Sun Grown cigars.
The Natural cigar is actually somewhat of a mystery, as even the Prometheus marketing materials seem to refer to this as one cigar, which suggests that the inclusion of this Natural wrapper cigar may have been an ad hoc decision.
- Cigars Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Gran AniverXario (Sun Grown)
- Country of Origen: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: Chateau de Fuente Sun Grown
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: AF 13 blend (mix of Opus, Don Carlos, Hemingway, and 858 tobaccos)
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 46
- Vitola: Corona Gorda
- Date Released: 2008
- MSRP: $59.38 (Humidors of 96, $7500; humidor value est. $1,800)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
This wrapper looks more like a cross between a Connecticut Broadleaf and the Ashton’s VSG wrapper. The two Sun Grown renditions I smoked sported a wrapper that was a bit duller than the Destino Al Siglo 13s I’ve seen, but that honestly is probably my mind playing tricks on me. (I should point out, this wrapper all comes from a specified thirteen acre plot at Chateau de la Fuente, hence the “13″ in the Al Siglo.) It’s got an okay sheen, but nothing to ride home about, with average veins. For whatever reason, these seemed to have a bit better resistance and a bit less packing than the Natural renditions of the Gran AniverXario and these all seemed to be without the rolling imperfections, which is always nice when we are talking about a $60 cigar. It shouldn’t be shocking, but after removing the cedar sleeve, the aromas off the wrapper are a medium-full mixture of cedar on top of barnyard. The foot of the Sun Grown Gran AniverXario is an interesting mix of cherry, herbs and brown sugar. Each time I took a cold draw, it initially reminded me of BBQ sunflower seeds. Below that is some sweet nuts and cocoa.
Oak and earth take over, while a similar sourness and toasty note from the first third. The Gran AniverXario’s finish is tobacco, earth with notes of harshness and no sense of depth. I continued to poke holes with the draw tool of the day, and the the draw still continued to tighten. I managed to loosen the draw up enough to continue smoking, but smoke production never topped medium. Aroma changed from a interesting tobacco note to a more woodsy flavor. I should note the light ash burned evenly into inch chunks, unfortunately those are the two least important burn categories.
- As was mentioned above, this is the same cigar as the Destino Al Siglo 13, you can read Steve’s review here, which includes some thoughts from Brooks at the bottom.You can read my review of the Don Arturo Gran AniverXario Natural, here.
- It’s a bit concerning to me that not only was this cigar released again in the Destino Al Siglo 13 form, but also in the Gran AniverXario size, but in five different vitolas. I’ve talked to some people at Fuente, and they claim that the cigars released in 2011 tasted different than these, but I’m not really willing or wanting to find out.
- Steve mentioned in his review that he would have loved to have smoked one when they are made, I agree with that idea, as these were supposed to be released for the 90th anniversary, and it’s less than a year away from Fuente’s 100th anniversary.
- Final Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The Bottom Line: I wish I could like this cigar, but the reality is, it’s bad. I think I prefer this more than the Natural version, hence it has a bit higher score, but they both are sticks that shouldn’t cost more than $3. What becomes rather apparent, more so than the Natural version, in the Arturo Fuente Gran AniverXario Sun Grown is how much this cigar is passed its prime. There are rays of hope underneath the construction issue, but the cigar clearly has lost all the complexity that it once seemed to have, which is a shame. Rumor has it these will be included in the 2011 edition of the Fuente Aged Selection, I would pass.
Final Score: 66