For those of you that don’t know…
As just about any serious cigar smoker (collector) knows, the Fuentes are the undisputed kings of rolling one-off (or as close to one-off that it does not matter) cigars.
Quite a few of these special blends (for example: the Short Story Maduro, Best Seller Maduro, Don Carlos Senior Blend, etc) have been given away at the annual CFCF (which stands for the “Cigar Family Charitable Foundation), which is put on every year to benefit the Fuente’s school for children and help fight poverty in the Dominican Republic. Typically, there are less than one-hundred of each blend given out every year, and most cigars are only given out once or twice at most.
Thus was the case with the Hemingway Untold Story Cameroon. The brother version of this blend (i.e. with a Maduro Wrapper) is a regular release (or as regular release as any Fuente cigar is), but this version, rolled with a “rare” Cameroon wrapper (and I don’t know if it is the same African Cameroon that is used on the other releases of the Hemingway blend) was only given out at CFC in 1999 and 2002, and less than 100 were given out each year. My research turned up no other mentions of this blend, so we are left to assume that there were 200 or less of these cigars released into the wild (and that was ten years ago).
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- Cigar Reviewed:Arturo Fuente Hemingway Untold Story Cameroon
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
- Wrapper: Cameroon
- Binder: Unknown
- Filler: Dominican Republic (Hemingway Blend)
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 53
- Vitola: Figurado
- Est. Price: $100.00
- Release Date: 2000 & 2002
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 (See Above)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The cigar itself actually looks great which is cool, considering the fact that it is over 10 years old. It has a light brown wrapper that is fairly rough to the touch, and (amazingly, considering it’s age) still smells strongly of spicy cedar and a touch of chocolate. It is quite firm when squeezed, but not so firm as to think it will cause a problem. There are also a few major veins noticeable. Predraw notes include a bit of spice and an extremely strong Aged woodish flavor.
The First Third starts out with the same aged woodish note (oak) that was in the predraw. However, underneath that flavor was a very bitter undertone that was difficult to ignore. I can taste just a hint of something else, (sweet?) but it is lost in the bitterness.
The Second Third had the same almost overwhelming bitterness, but interspersed with that was a flavor of what I would call rotting wood, as opposed to a clean cedar that we use to age cigars in. There was a bit of leather (old, again) as well, but not enough to make a difference in the profile. Still no pepper or spice at all.
Same, same, same… Rotting wood, rotting leather — very unpleasant, and the cigar started to get hot near the end, so I was unable to nub it. There was a tiny bit of spice on the tongue at the very end, but by that point it was too late to help anything.
- In my research, I found one (and one only) mention that is cigar might be a totally different blend, made just for CFC. While that is technically possible (the Fuentes have been known to cook up all sorts of blends after all, even in the same vitolas as some of their other releases), all if the real documentation (including comments from people who these were handed to) point to them being the Hemingway blend.
- Having said that, if you had handed me this cigar blind and told me to smoke it, a Hemingway blend would be the LAST thing I would guess.
- As said above, there are quite a few of the Fuente blends that have started out as giveaways at CFC events that have made it (eventually) into regular production. Examples include: Short Story Maduro, Opus X Shark, Opus X Magnum O, and the Opus X Black Orchid, among others.
- This is not the first cigar with an aged Cameroon wrapper I have reviewed, see my review of the Partagas 150 C here.
- In order to do this review, I waited until I had one sample from each of the two releases so I could make sure to give it a fair shot.(The review and photos are based on the cigar released in 2000 for those wondering.) Sadly, it did no good, as each of the two samples were essentially identical in both profile, flavors and suckage.
- This had a VERY dry profile, and the finish was quite short.
- As bad as the flavors of the cigars were, the draw was excellent on both samples, and the burn was not bad. I had to touch up each of them a few times, but nothing major.
- This was a fast burning cigar, (despite the size) and I was done with both of the samples in just a little over 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The Bottom Line: This was one of the most monotonous cigars I have tasted in a long time. Unfortunately, the one overriding flavor that was present was an old, bitter woodish note, almost like rotting wood. I could sense other flavors in the FAR background trying to get out, but I assume they never made it to the forefront due to the age of the cigar/wrapper, which is made even more interesting considering I have smoked 10 year old Short Stories that have been amazing. I really wish i had smoked this when it was fresh, because at this point, this cigar is expired, and is no good for anything except the novelty of owning a rare Fuente.
Final Score: 60