About two weeks ago, we started hearing rumblings of a brand new Fuente blend that was being shipped to retailers. Almost nothing was known about the blend or size before they started showing up to stores, but we quickly confirmed that it uses a Sun Grown wrapper, and includes the same filler as the Don Carlos line of cigars. While the exact number of total Unnamed Reserve released is unknown judging by the numbers of boxes that the retailers we talked to received, there were not many sent out.
We broke the story on December 20th:
Arturo Fuente has one last surprise before the end of the holidays, the Fuente Un-Named Reserva 2012. Much like last year’s last minute ForbiddenX 13 release, Fuente is shipping an extremely limited supply of special cigars to some of its top accounts. The Fuente Un-Named Reserva 2012 measures 5 3/4 x 48 with a Sun Grown wrapper over Don Carlos fillers.
Representatives from the company began taking orders yesterday and the cigars, which arrived in Tampa on Wednesday, are expected to start shipping today. Retail pricing is around $9.00 and supply of the 25-count boxes is said to be even more limited than last year’s release of the ForbiddenX 13.
Fuente began this winter’s batch of ForbiddenX 13 and Don Carlos Lancero al 13 earlier this month.
The boxes that the Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2012 come in look like this:
Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2012
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
Wrapper: Sun Grown Rosado
Size: 5 3/4 Inches
Ring Gauge: 48
Vitola: Corona Gorda
MSRP: $9.37 (Boxes of 25, $234.28)
Date Released: December 2012
Number of Cigars Released: n/a
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Fuente Unnamed Reserve is a great size in your hand with a very dark brown wrapper that has an astounding amount of tooth to it when you run your finger down its length. It is overtly spongy when squeezed and has a slight, but noticeable, box-press to it. The wrapper is oily, and smells strongly of sweet leather, raisins, barnyard and wood.
The Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2012 starts off the first immediately with strong notes of leather, gritty earth and toast. There is a great raisin sweetness that is pervasive in the profile and really brings the flavors together nicely. It also has the perfect amount of black pepper on the retrohale and a tad bit of spice on the lips. Both burn and draw are phenomenal so far and the strength ends the first third at a mildish medium.
Coming into the second third of the Unnamed Reserve, the profile has become quite a bit more creamy with dominant notes of oak, leather, espresso and hay all fighting for position. The raisin sweetness from the first third is thankfully sticking around at a constant level. Smoke production is above average and the burn and draw remain excellent. Overall strength is increasing and ends the second third slightly above the medium mark.
The final third of the Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve continues the creamy trend with that same wonderful and perfect amount of black pepper on the retrohale, although there is no spice to be found on the lips or tongue. The raisin sweetness is still very evident—albeit noticeably reduced from the levels in the second third—and other notes of dark chocolate, coffee, leather, licorice, hay and oak are distinct on the palate. Construction is wonderful to the very end of the cigar and the strength ends about halfway between medium and full.
- Fuente calls these the “Unnamed Reserve,” as it says on the box and even the ribbon wrapped around the cigars. I am not sure if they are trying to be ironic, or purposely obtuse, but there is something odd to me about naming a cigar “Unnamed” anything since the very fact that they put that specific name on the box means it is, in fact, named that. Sigh.
- In fact, there is even an addition to the regular Fuente box, a hand written note, albeit reproduced, on the top right of the inside top label that reads “Sin Nombre,” which translates to “Nameless” or “Without a name.”
- Interestingly, you might remember that in our story where we broke the news on this release, we called it the “Un-Named Reserva”, when the real name as seen on the boxes is “Unnamed Reserve.” The reason for the discrepancy is simple: the packing sheet sent to retailers with the box name on it had the former name, and not the latter, as seen in this photo:
- I love the slight box press on these. Just enough to stop the cigar from rolling around, but not enough to really take away from the overall look of the cigar. They feel great in the mouth as well, which is a combination of the decent ring gauge and box press.
- The wrapper is an amazing dark espresso brown—almost black—and toothy as hell. A very well constructed and good looking cigar, and the red foot band and metallic band contrast wonderfully.
- In the Fuente world, a red foot band usually means the cigar uses a Rosado wrapper, but honestly, that just does not seem to be the case any more.
- Both the burn and draw were excellent on all samples I smoked of the Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2012. Never a problem with any of them.
- Unlike the Forbidden 13 and OpusX Toast Across America Figurado samples I smoked this year, there was no issue getting the bands off these. They came off cleanly and easily, with no damage to the wrapper at all.
- This is the second year in a row that Fuente has released a new blend right at the end of the year, and I wonder if this will become a yearly event from now on.
- If you would like to purchase some of the Fuente Unnamed Reserve, your best bet is the secondary market, but be prepared to pay a premium for them.
- I also find it interesting that the box says “Unnamed Reserve 2012 Release,” which could just be the name, or an indication there will be further releases in the upcoming years.
- The cigars come in cellophane in the box, which were removed for the photos above.
- The final smoking time for all samples averaged around one hour and 30 minutes.
The Bottom Line: For the most part, I have never been a fan of any of the Fuente cigars that use a Sun Grown wrapper, as I feel like the nuances of the blend can sometimes be overwhelmed by the overt flavors coming from that specific wrapper. I am happy to report that is not the case with the Unnamed Reserve. While you can taste it, the profile is extremely rich, creamy and tartly sweet throughout the smoke with the perfect amount of black pepper on the retrohale. In my opinion, it is not as good as the recently released—and quickly sold out—W. Curtis Draper 125th Anniversary, but it is close, and that is saying quite a bit.