For many years, the holiday season meant two things for Arturo Fuente fans: Añejo and OpusX shipments, but a few years ago, the company added another wrinkle: Unnamed Reserve.
Since 2012, the company has sent retailers Unnamed Reserved, although what exactly Unnamed Reserve is remains a mystery. Some years, it’s been a single cigar, other years, it’s been multiple cigars in the same box. The sizes, pricing and blends have changed—although the company has remain essentially mum on the entire process.
For 2015, retailers were sent two sizes: a 5 1/2 x 48 corona extra and a 6 x 50 toro with pricing set at $324.88 per box. Each box contained 10 of each sizes, similar to the manner in which the 2013 release was packaged.
That means there are now six different cigars released under the Unnamed Reserve name.
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2012 (5 3/4 x 48) — December 2012
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2013 Robusto (5 1/4 x 48) — November 2013
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2013 Toro (5 3/4 x 50) — November 2013
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2014 (6 x 60) — December 2014
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2015 (5 1/2 x 48) — December 2015
- Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2015 (6 x 50) — December 2015
- Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Unnamed Reserve 2015 Corona Extra
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: n/a
- Binder: n/a
- Filler: n/a
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Corona Extra
- MSRP: $16.24 (Boxes of 20, $324.88)
- Release Date: Dec. 21, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: n/a
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The cigars look close to the original release, certainly darker than the last three cigars, although based on vein structure, I wouldn’t say the wrappers are the same. One sample has a fair bit of glue on the wrapper, a Fuente signature trait unfortunately. For a company that spends so much time and effort on its packaging and cigs, I don’t understand how so many cigars are continually doused in glue. Aroma from the foot is sweet with some oatmeal cookie and some chocolate milkshake-like flavors. The cold draw retains the oatmeal, but it’s milder and now joined by some citrus.
It starts medium with some barnyard, leather, brown rice, creaminess and some peaches through the nose. The draws on my sample vary from average to slightly open. The first third adds some sweetness and toastiness along with lemon and a bit of pink salt. There’s Worcestershire sauce and some harsh nuttiness towards the back, which pairs okay with sweetness. On the finish, the Unnamed Reserve shows nutmeg and some coffee, although it’s somewhat short. I’d put the flavor at medium-plus, strength at medium-plus and body at medium-full. Construction is great.
It’s definitely a progression as opposed to a transition. The lemon flavor is replaced by a generic sweet sugar flavor. Things get a bit toastier, but otherwise, it’s much the same. Midway through the harshness reduces itself, but other than that—it’s pretty much like the first third. The largest change is the retrohale, which is now pushing due to both the overall intensity as well as a big uptick in harshness. Flavor and strength remain medium-plus while the body is still medium-full.
There’s even less change in the final. The mouth of the Unnamed Reserve 2015 Corona Extra gets even toastier, but other than that, I’m hard pressed to find any noticeable changes from the middle portion. Construction is still quite good with a solid draw, great smoke production and an even burn. With an inch and a half left the smoke production begins to reduce itself and the flavor is paying for it, meaning I end up putting down the cigar a bit earlier than planned.
- Fuente didn’t provide guidance on any price difference between the two sizes although many retailers chose to sell this cigar for a bit less than the toro.
- It would seem as if Fuente has increased production, retailers seem to be receiving a few more boxes than they did in 2012.
- The cigars are also not selling out like they did originally. I was at a shop a few months ago that still had a full box of the 2014 release.
- One of the five cigars we purchased has what appears to be a beetle hole. Given the cellophane is undamaged and the time of year combined with how long I’ve had the cigars, I’m led to believe this problem was likely caused before the cigars ever arrived to me, or a store. And I most certainly hope that’s the case.
- While I wouldn’t say Fuente’s construction is really ever problematic, there are some cigars that are just far superior to others. This is one of those examples. Despite what the final third photograph shows, the burn for all but that third was flawless inch-long chunks of ash.
- I doubt we will ever know what the Unnamed Reserve is or was and I’m okay with that.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 35 minutes on average.
This year’s Unnamed Reserve, at least the Corona Extra vitola, is good, but not great. While I enjoyed smoking the three cigars I did, I would be hard pressed to buy another, not at $16. This is the fourth year of the Unnamed Reserve line and while I found the 2013 rendition to be a good cigar, it’s been a series of above average cigars with price points that don’t match. I cannot say I’d smoke this cigar over most of the company’s Don Carlos, Hemingway or Gran Reserva lines without factor pricing; and when I do—it becomes a no-brainer.