In late 2015, Arturo Fuente released two cigars paying honor to the Fuente family’s then patriarch, Carlos Fuente Sr.

One was the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Personal Reserve Robusto; the other: the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark. The Eye of the Shark is a smaller version of Fuente’s No. 77 Shark size, which is one of the most desirable in the Añejo blend. Both the Shark and Eye of the Shark are notable because they have a round cap and a square box-pressed foot.

The first release was highly sought after and the company released a second batch around one year later.

Here’s what I said when I reviewed the Eye of the Shark back in October 2015:

Every few years, Fuente digs deep into its vast arrays of tobacco and puts out something special, this is most certainly one of those times. The Shark has never been my favorite size, oftentimes producing harsher versions of the Añejo and Fuente Fuente OpusX blends than other vitolas, but here, it works. I’m not sure the aging potential will be fantastic on these, but it really doesn’t matter, they are smoking beautifully at the moment.

Despite my initial comments that I wasn’t optimistic about the aging potential of the Eye of the Shark, I was wanting to smoke another. I took one out of my box from the 2015 release and was greeted by a familiar sight. There’s leather, saltiness and some bittersweet cocoa. The foot has a slightly stronger aroma, though no more than medium-plus, with oatmeal, bittersweet cocoa and dried cranberry—it smells like a Nutri-Grain bar. The cold draw has meatiness, barbecue sauce, oatmeal, a touch of pepper and some more of that Nutri-Grain bar casing.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
  • Wrapper: n/a
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: n/a
  • Length: 5 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Eye of the Shark
  • MSRP: $11.25 (Boxes of 20, $225)
  • Release Date: Oct. 12 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

It starts somewhat dry and earthy, with buttered popcorn and some additional raw butter. It’s very savory thanks to the varying butter flavors, something that continues into the first third. It’s more of an unsalted butter and buttermilk mixture this time around, along with some woodiness. There’s some mild Kit Kat bar-like peanut butter, breads, some sourness, a bit of grittiness. The second third is very much a continuation of the first third, though now with some powdered coffee, a bit of nutmeg, orange peel and a slight increase in sourness. The retrohales are incredible clean, with lots of walnuts hitting the nasal cavity and an odd pepper on the throat. As the Eye of the Shark reaches its conclusion, there’s creaminess, poppy seed, walnuts and a doughy characteristic. At the last inch, there’s a new spice mixture that I can’t really pick out besides saying it’s relatively mild in flavor and much stronger in sensation.

Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye of the Shark

Construction is very good with one exception, a touch-up just past the halfway mark. Flavor is medium-full, body is mild-medium and construction is very mild.

92 Overall Score

The Eye of the Shark is harmonious. Fuente is known for its bigger, bolder blends—OpusX and an Añejo—but even some of its less potent blends, Magnum R, Chateau, even the regular Don Carlos, have an edge. This—albeit well over a year old—is different. It reminds me much more of Casa Fuente, a symphony of flavors all trying to work around one another. The Eye of the Shark is smoking fantastic right now and I’d highly recommend pulling one out and sitting back to enjoy a nice spring day.

Original Score (October 2015)
Redux Score (April 2017)
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.