As a slight departure from my typical cigar review, I occasionally like to pair a cigar with a specific libation, and review them both. I have previously recommended a number of excellent drinks that can accompany any cigar, so the decision to pair a cigar with a specific drink in this type of review was based on something in addition to the taste. In this case, the reason for the pairing is apparent. Although the company that makes Fonseca Port in Portugal shares the name of the Fonseca cigar brand made in the Dominican Republic, they are not related. However, Fonseca 2000 Late Bottled Vintage Porto (Compare Prices) is an excellent libation that can accompany any cigar, including the Fonseca Classic 5-50 natural cigar, which measures 5 inches in length with a ring gauge of 50, hence the name "5-50".
The Fonseca 5-50 cigar is mild to medium in flavor, with a nice creamy texture. The cigar started off somewhat bland, but then improved about one-third of the way down. Although the cigar can be categorized as mild to medium, the overall taste was closer to medium than mild. The sweet and substantial flavor of the port wine complimented the taste of the cigar beautifully. Port is considered a fortified wine, which is made by adding brandy to red wine, resulting in an alcohol level of about 20%.
Draw and Construction
The cigar was well constructed, and had a smooth draw. The burn was even, the ashes were long, and the cigar did not go out during the test. The cigar looked and felt like an expensive cigar, although those qualities are of little importance to me in determining the overall worth of a cigar.
There are many styles of port wine, but the best value (quality at a reasonable price) is usually found in the Late Bottled Vintage, with most brands typically priced between $15 and $20 per bottle. The same is often true of mid priced cigars, good quality at a reasonable price. The Fonseca 5-50 cigar is priced at less than $4 per stick, when purchased by the box. As usual, single sticks can be priced significantly higher. Although this cigar can be considered a good value, it just makes the grade.