Fonseca has just four cigars in its regular offering and this marks the first time the brand has gotten an Edición Regional offering.

In true Fonseca form, the Hermosos No.4 used for this release is wrapped in tissue paper, something that is common form from the brand as a whole. In this case, the cigar has been commissioned by Cubacigar Benelux b.v., the distributor for Beneleux, a geographic region that covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

As for the release, it is limited to just 1,600 boxes of 25.

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  • 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)
  • Est. Price: $15 (Boxes of 25, $375)
  • Date Released: 2010
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,600 Boxes of 25 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)

I am a fan of these tissue wrapped-wrapped Fonseca 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 a typical Cuban binder. This cigar is obviously bandless 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 me a blind sense even though I 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.

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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.

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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.

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Final Notes

  • I had heard conflicting reports on this cigar going into it and I wasn’t expecting much considering Fonsecas aren’t my favorite cigar, 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 Cuban cigar, the refinement and balance will come with age.
  • I loved the size of this cigar. I think a corona extra or robusto would be a great addition to the 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 one hour 35 minutes.

83 Overall Score

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 I 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.

Steve Valle

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.