The A. Fuente cigar company is one of the best cigar producers in the world, or should I say, they produce some of the best cigars in the world. Both statements are true and the company is creative and resourceful. This is evidenced by the creation of a special blend called the “Anejo”, which is Spanish for ‘aged’ and since this cigar contains tobacco aged for several years it is an appropriate name. The Anejo is coveted by many Fuente fans almost as much as the Opus X. Well, it could actually be an Opus X, or at least the very first one’s were. The way the story goes, during the 1998 hurricane season, Chateau de la Fuente suffered heavy damage to their tobacco crop. This resulted in a serious shortage in the leaves used as the wrapper for the Opus X. Rather than not produce the Opus X, the Fuente’s decided to take the Opus and wrap it in a different leaf, a rich maduro. Now the cigar is blended slightly differently, and although the exact make up of all the Fuente cigars are kept a trade secret, it is said that there is an interesting combination of tobacco from the Opus X, Hemmingway and Don Carlos that is in fact the current Anejo. The original wrapper is the same as the original Anejo born out of the tragic hurricane, but a creative and resourceful Carlos Fuente Jr. gave the industry another great cigar. The Anejo No. 48 is a 5 ½ ” x 46 size cigar that comes wrapped in cedar which is held together with a red cloth band and placed in a cello wrapper for additional protection, a very classy introduction to what I hoped would be a great smoking experience.
Draw and Construction
On first examination, after removing all the gift wrapping, I noticed that the cigar was spongy to the touch, not what I expected, which had me second guessing the humidity in my humidor. The cigar’s appearance was dark and rustic without any visible flaws. Since the ring gauge was in the 40’s, I took a nice plug out of the head of the cigar with my 7mm punch. The draw was better than I thought it would be, from what I expected for a possible over-humidified cigar, or at least one that was as soft as this one. I am no longer smoking in the dry climate of New Mexico. At the time of this review, I was on a tour of duty in San Antonio where the humidity is quite ample, so I needed to adjust my humidor accordingly. The ash was light grey and the smoke almost pure white. The ash came off right in the middle of the cigar leaving a little more that 2 ½" left to smoke. The total smoking time was one hour.
Flavor and Aroma
This cigar really surprised me. I am not a fan of the Opus X (I know, you are all shocked). In fact, when we got some sent to us while I was in Kabul, I gave them all away to troops that had never smoked a top rated premium cigar. I actually choose to smoke a short fill over the Opus. Anyway, this was extremely smooth without any of the harshness that I attribute to my recollection of the Opus. Both the flavor and aroma gave off a hint of sweet spiciness that I frankly never experienced before. It is a very subtle smoking cigar. The was also the aroma of cedar, of course, from the cedar tube which was a nice compliment to the overall smoking experience.
When I try to determine the value of a cigar, I first ask myself if I really liked it, or was it just okay. Then I look at what I paid for it and ask myself, was this just to try a couple, or will I buy another one. Nope, not this one. For a box of 25 you are spending $325, and for a five pack around $70. Do the math and that is $13 or $14 per stick, and I am certain that the singe stick price I paid was around $15. This is a good cigar, but just not that good to skip lunch for. The Hemmingway in my opinion is a better cigar and will be the subject of one of my future reviews.