Fonseca’s Bold New Cubano Exclusivo Debuts at ProCigar

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SAG Imports is bringing a bolder flavor to their Fonseca line of cigars, a line generally known as being geared toward the milder palate.

The Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo will debut during the 2013 ProCigar Festival, being held February 17-22 in the Dominican Republic. According to Terence Reilly of SAG Imports, the Cubano Exclusivo uses a Dominican Havana Vuelta Arriba (HVA) wrapper on top of a Dominican binder and a filler consisting of Connecticut broadleaf, Dominican and Nicaraguan leaves.

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The new line will be made at the MATASA factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic, the factory owned by Manuel Quesada where many other SAG Imports cigars are made. The Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo is scheduled to hit retail shelves in April and will come in four sizes with an MSRP of $6 – $9. The box-pressed cigar will be banded with the traditional Fonseca logo band as well as a secondary ring.

Hostos Fernandez Quesada provided these pictures of the Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo:

Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo Box 1

Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo Box 2

While specific vitolas in the new line have not been confirmed, you can see that there is a 5 1/2 x 52 Robusto. One attendee at ProCigar said that there is also a Belicoso and “every cigar I’ve seen/smoked was at least a 54 ring.” When asked to describe the flavor, he said:

The cigar itself is really interesting. Mild-medium, medium strength. FULL flavor. Healthy tobacco spices. Lots of woodnote, mouthfeel and texture to the smoke. DECEPTIVE. Not nearly as strong as it tastes. Intended to move ‘novice’ smokers to richer flavor profiles and not kill them. Incredibly beautiful silken rosado wrapper with very little to no tooth, aggressive trunkpress.

The initial report of the Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo first appeared on CigarAficionado.com.

Update: Hostos Quesada provided details on the four sizes that will comprise the Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo, all of which are box-pressed:

  • 5 ½ x 52 – Robusto 
  • 6 x 46 – Corona Gorda 
  • 6  ½ x 60 – Gordo 
  • 6 x 52 – Belicoso 

Update (February 25, 2013): The following press release was sent by SAG Imports:

February 25, 2013 — We are really excited about this project.  We’ve been trying to figure how best to take advantage of the brand recognition of Fonseca without suffering from the perception that all Fonseca’s are mild.  The Cubano Limitado is not a mild cigar but we changed the look and taste so much many people don’t realize it’s a Fonseca.

What we developed captures the best of both worlds in terms of both the cigar and the presentation, something instantly recognizable as Fonseca but clearly distinguishable from any Fonseca currently produced.  We are calling it the Fonseca Cubano Exclusivo.

The bands and packaging utilize the imagery and design of both the classic Fonseca and the Cubano Limitado, as well as pay homage to the Cuban roots of the brand.  In terms of taste, the cigar falls into the low medium range with cedar and floral notes prominent.  The goal is to offer greater intensity of flavor to those who find the classic Fonseca too mild while still providing the smoothness and balance that appeals to those already loyal to the brand.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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