I was lucky enough to recieve one of these at Big Smoke Las Vegas last November from the Fuentes. After reading your review I am tempted to free it from my humidor! I will make sure to smoke it slow.
Review: Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo Double Robusto (Prerelease)
Destino al Siglo, destiny of the century, was supposed to be the theme of 2012 for Arturo Fuente. The famed Tampa-based cigar maker was founded in 1912, making 2012 their 100th anniversary. It was no secret that Fuente was going to do something big for 100 years, the company originally slated the Don Arturo Gran AniverXario for this.
Then there was the Destino al Siglo 13, a cigar released for the 90th anniversary, and as pointed out in Steve Valle’s review, “a pre-released version of what may become a special anniversary cigar for Fuente, the name of which will be ‘Don Arturo Destino al Siglo.’” Fuente has confirmed, this is not the blend being used on the production cigar.
By the summer of 2011, the chatter surrounding Fuente had turned simply to what was planned for the 100th anniversary, which was said to be a lot. Or as I described:
I cannot stress how much much the phrase “next year” was mentioned both in the Cigar Family and the Prometheus booth, Carlito has apparently been working for years on the releases for 2012 and has all of the Fuente employees already excited.
Eventually, we learned there were at least six different cigars Fuente planned specifically for their 100th anniversary. The known projects are:
- Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 Aniversario — A slightly larger versions of the popular 8-5-8 with a special Dominican wrapper.
- Casa Cuba — We broke the story here and showed off the cigar here. This is expected to be a regular production release with a lower price point. Don Carlos Fuente Sr. is behind this project.
- Destino al Siglo — A special secondary-banded version of the Gran AniverXario cigar with a completely different blend.
- Don Arturo Aniversario — Six vitolas of the annual release with a special wrapper.
- FFOX Angel’s Share
- FFOX ForbiddenX 13 — Released in late 2011 and again in mid 2012 in extremely small quantities.
And then it all came to a halt. Due to a variety of reasons, including a late 2011 fire and some other non-tobacco issues, it was announced that Fuente would delay its celebrations until “year one,” 2013.
The Destino al Siglo is the project least-known about and easily has the most confusion surrounding it. It is a specific cigar crafted with a special Dominican wrapper that has never been used before and grown by Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. specifically for the Don Arturo Aniversario. Frank Seltzer gave a bit more details on the cigar on the JR Blog a few days ago:
There will be three new brands for the Fuente portfolio. The Don Arturo Aniversario Destino Siglo will be debuting in the Spring. It will be a high end premium, according to Carlito, “with small production because of the kind of quality, the special tobacco we are using. The cigar itself it is all entubado and the runs will be very small like the Opus X. It is going to help the retailers and help us. These are products for retailers and there are only so many Opus X we can make but the tobaccos on these will be different so they are going to have another product that they can depend upon like the Arturo Fuente Anejo Fuente Opus X. There are going to be as hot and as sought after as the Opus X. Ongoing but it won’t be available very day.”
At the 2012 IPCPR show, the cigars were shown off, but much like Casa Cuba at the 2011 show, not handed out:
Sources at Fuente tell us the packaging is essentially complete, however the bands exact coloring is not correct.
The Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo has been handed out by members of the Fuente family to a few individuals, and at least one event, but there has also been a host of cigars banded with the Destino al Siglo band sold through various Prometheus sets. In addition, the Fuente Story four-pack distributed by Prometheus is named “Destino al Siglo” falsely leading consumers to believe the sets included the Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo cigars.
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo Double Robusto
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Size: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Double Robusto
- Est. Price: n/a
- Release Date: Spring 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4
There’s a slight box-press that gets much more pronounced on the Robusto proper vitola. It’s a near seamless dark brown Dominican wrapper. It’s difficult to describe. It’s not as light or read as an OpusX, much redder and darker than Don Carlos, not a Magnum R and not at all like the ForbiddenX 13 wrappers. Aroma-wise, the Don Arturo Aniversario presents a sweet barnyard, vanilla and leather. The foot of the Destino al Siglo is much larger in terms of flavors, with great sweet cocoa, gingerbread, some fruits and a familiar sweet barnyard and leather. Cold draw from the Fuente is on the south side of full with a sweet vanilla, leather, earths, cedars, gingerbread, some fruitiness and a distinct chili pepper on the back of the tongue.
The Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo begins the first third with a very Dominican aroma in the air, while the tongue starts with a sweet fruity note, before a heavy dose of milk chocolate and cedar take hold joined by some nuts and floral notes. Smoke production is above average, but it doesn’t matter. The flavors are big, highly developed and flowing. It’s an orchestra finishing with some grassiness and herbal notes. But those are just the first few minutes. The Destino al Siglo sees a great creaminess, a really distinct pine note, maple syrup and a plethora of spices. Ultimately, I’d say a core of nuttiness, floral, Dominican cedar, touches of sweet cocoa and vanilla. It’s interesting.
By the second third of the Destino al Siglo I’ve realized the cigar isn’t smooth, it’s big and bold, but works. While there’s a touch of harshness before the middle point, it disappears replaced by a core of earth, floral and some spicy cedar notes. The cocoa, fruits and vanilla are all sadly gone, although the dynamic between the first two portions is wonderful. There’s an interesting dark coffee note that comes and goes as well. As for the construction, draw and smoke production are good with the latter slightly above average. The ash speaks for itself.
The final third of the Destino al Siglo sees the lighter notes return, although my palate definitely is not as sensitive as it was in the prior third. Vanilla, spices, floral and cocoa join the cedar from the early third. The largeness of the Fuente’s flavor has settled down, but this is still a full cigar. As you see and is mentioned below, taking the band off is a mess. The only sour note of the whole cigar.
- Do not smoke these quickly. You will be punished. Take your time with a minute and change in between draws and the flavors come out in their full glory.
- There is not a company known for going batshit crazy with the glue like Fuente. That’s the way to describe it, there’s no way around it.
- A lot of times cigars get damaged because of the way we at halfwheel photograph the bands. If you take them off in a normal manner, the risk of destroying the wrapper is lessened. This would not have been the case here. This example saw the bands glued to the wrapper:
- Once again, this is not the same cigar as the Destino al Siglo 13.
- Tatuaje released a rather similar looking book earlier this year for early versions of the Cojonu 2012 Capa Especial and Reserva. Habanos has also done it a few times.
- I find this tastes like a mixture of a lot of other Fuente products. A bit of the OpusX cedar, Don Carlos sweetness, complexity from ForbiddenX 13.
- You can see more Destino al Siglo branding in the form of Fuente’s IPCPR 2012 booth.
- When the production of the cigar is described as “runs will be very small like the OpusX.”—I find it a bit misleading. There are close to one million Fuente Fuente OpusXs released each year. Destino al Siglo is expected to be a fraction of that.
- Fuente hasn’t been making cigars for 100 years. They didn’t roll between 1924-1946.
- Interestingly, the boxes use trays that are identical to the boxes that the cigars for the special Prometheus humidors are shipped. When Prometheus ships these special humidors, the cigars are shipped in a separate box. Here’s an example of those trays:
- It’s worth repeating, slow down.
- While most of the Fuente 100th Anniversary projects were delayed, there were a few that got out. Namely, ForbiddenX 13 and Un-Named Reserve.
- Strength is medium-full.
- Seriously look at that ash:
- Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by Arturo Fuente.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes on average.
The Bottom Line: There are a lot of special Fuentes we smoke that aren’t good. I still don’t understand the first release of the Gran AniverXario. I find Casa Cuba to be a bit bland. There was this, this and this. The Don Arturo Aniversario Destino al Siglo is not that; this is a great cigar. I mentioned that the best cigar I smoked at IPCPR 2012 wasn’t actually available for sale—this was it. Brooks mentioned to something after the rest of this review was written, between this and Angel’s Share, Fuente has two releases scheduled for next year that are not only highly-anticipated, but also great cigars that fit into the portfolio perfectly. There’s not much point explaining this any further. Fuente makes a lot of cigars, a lot of great cigars, but this is something special.
Final Score: 93