Review: Fonseca No.4 (ER Benelux 2010)
Today we will be taking a look at the very first Edición Regional cigar for the Fonseca line of cigars. Fonseca is a current pre-revolution brand that currently has only four Standard Production cigars to its lineup. The Fonseca brand was registered in 1907 and is made up of mild to medium body cigars. All of the Fonseca standard production cigars were released pre 1960’s and this is the very first year they have had a special release of any kind. The tobacco used for the blend of the Fonseca cigars is said to have come from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba. The cigars are very unique in that every one is wrapped in tissue paper with the band being on the paper and not on the cigar itself.
As of now the Fonseca lineup looks like this:
- Cosacos – 5.3 x 42 Corona
- Delicias – 4.8 x 40 Petit Corona
- Fonseca No.1 – 6.4 x 43 Lonsdale
- KDT Cadetes – 4.5 x 36 Short Panetela
- Aromas – 5.5 x 40 Corona (discontinued in the 1980’s)
- Invictos – 5.3 x 45 Perfecto
The brand new Fonseca Edición Regional is from the Benelux region being distributed by Cubacigar. It’s a handmade tissue wrapped Corona Extra that looks everything like a regular Fonseca except for the second regional band and the larger size (all Fonseca production cigars are quite small in comparison). The cigar comes packaged in boxes of 25 and there were 1,600 boxes made (40,000 cigars total).
Lets get to it, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed: Fonseca No.4 (Edición Regional Benelux 2010)
- Country of Origin: Cuba
- Factory: Carlos Balin
- Wrapper: Cuba
- Binder: Cuba
- Filler: Cuba
- Size: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Hermosos No.4 (Corona Extra)
- Price Paid: $15.00
- Date Released: 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,600 Boxes of 25 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
I have to say that I am a fan of these Fonseca wrapped cigars. The presentation is great they are covered in a soft white tissue paper making the bands look that much brighter and defined. It really adds a level of enjoyment you can’t get with other cigars. The paper is torn back to reveal a nice Colorado Shade wrapper with a tight seam and a spongy feel. Part of the wrapper is torn at the foot and I can see that the binder is VERY dark; much darker than your average binder. This cigar is obviously band less once you take off the tissue paper and it gives it a very rustic look. It’s amazing how different a cigar looks without a band it almost gives you a blind sense even though you already know what the cigar is.
The prelight aroma is a faint tobacco aroma with a bit of hay and some coffee and some leather at the foot. prelight draw is that nice Cuban sweetness, a mixture of rich tobacco, cedar and earth.
Starting off in the first third the cigar starts off very mild but picks up after a few puffs. The initial profile is very toasty with cedar and thick creaminess. There is a nice amount of spice kick through the nose and the finish is dry and a bit woody. Towards the end of the first third the cigar rises to a low medium body but not much strength at all.
Coming into the second third the profile has intensified a bit. There is still a solid cedar flavor in play but the creaminess has died a bit, in its place is a rich coffee flavor, dark like black coffee. The spice through the nose has completely subsided; there are dark chocolate notes on the finish. The Burn and draw is spot on.
Finishing up in the final third the cigar gets even better. The creaminess comes back, followed by a lot of cedar, mellow chocolate, as well as touches of floral notes. There is a rich espresso, coffee bean type flavor on the finish that is great. The cigar is a solid medium body at this point with a nice complex and balanced ending.
- I had heard conflicting reports on this cigar going into it and I wasn’t expecting much considering Fonsecas aren’t my favorite cigar, strength wise, but I enjoyed this regional quite a bit. It had a lot of youth in it but it also had a lot of flavor and complexity. Even though it was quite mild at times in body and in strength it had big rich flavors to make up for it. The flavors were rough around the edges but they were certainly present and that’s all you can ask for out of a young Habano, the refinement and balance will come with age.
- I loved the size of this cigar. I think a Corona Extra or a Robusto would be a great addition to their full production lineup, it would probably help them in popularity given the demand for a thicker cigar these days. Although part of me rejoices in the fact that they are one of the very few lines that are holding on to that old school cigar profile of thin gauge cigars. It gives me hope.
- Construction was top notch. I don’t believe I had to touch up the burn once and the draw was great the whole way.
- Final Smoking time was 1 hour 35 minutes.
The Bottom Line: As I stated before, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of this cigar but it impressed me quite a bit. It has a solid flavor profile with a nice balance of toasty flavors and a mellow sweetness. There was a nice amount of spice at times to give it even more depth, and the final third was a wonderful end to a good cigar. This would be an absolute perfect morning or mid day cigar a cigar that’s full in flavor but mellow enough that you don’t need a full stomach to smoke it. I certainly plan on grabbing a box of these because I want to see what they do in a few years.
Final Score: 83