Arturo Fuente Don Carlos | Cigar Review

Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican
Size: 5.75 x 52 “Double Robusto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.35 MSRP


I strayed from my normal procedure reviewing this cigar. I had some severe construction issues with the first one that had me abandoning it with about a third to go. So, I took a break and lit up a second cigar so I could compare them. The 2nd Cigar notation is the break of the original first cigar review. I should also mention that I generally spread my cigars marked for review in two or three humidors so if I have a problem with one, spreading them in different humidors will show me if it is the cigar having issues or my humidification…my version of quality control.

I got a swinging deal on an auction site on a 5 pack of these sticks. In a B & M, they go for double digits. And still too high online. But not that day. I got the 5 pack for $28.00. And no one bid against me. Two months later, I got the same deal.

Filler leaves for the Don Carlos are always aged for 10 years. The cigar is named for the patriarch of the family, Don Carlos Fuente Sr.

The cigars are made at Tabacalera A. Fuente in the Dominican Republic. According to the web site, the most important thing about this blend is consistency of flavor, construction and the flawless wrapper.

The 5 pack has been resting in my humidor for two months.

Construction is very consistent. Right down to the schmears of roller’s glue speckling all of my cigars.

Some seams are very tight and others not so tight. The color is exactly the same on all five cigars: A matte finish medium brown with only the slightest bit of oiliness. The wrappers feel toothy in some places and like satin in others. The triple cap is consistently well done on all of them.

The cigar is packed nicely. Not jam packed, nor has it any soft spots. Perfect amount of give.

I find the wayward glue schmears and inconsistency of the seams an in direct opposition of the Fuente Mission Statement.

I clip the cap to find aromas of hay, cedar, sweetness, dried fruit, baking spices, spice, and pleasant fresh bread out of the oven aroma.
Time to light up.

Very nutty and sweet. The flavor of raisins. The draw is spot on sending plumes of smoke into my work space in the dining room.

In just a matter of two minutes, the cigar gets a huge canoe. I wipe out half an inch of the cigar to correct it.

The char line seems to behave itself now.

2nd Cigar: Starts off very spicy with red pepper. Also, very nutty. With a touch of sweetness. The char line tried to make a run for it but I caught it earlier than the first cigar and corrected it.

2nd Cigar: The cigar is burning very quickly and in only a few minutes I have smoked over an inch.

2nd Cigar: I am getting similar burn issues. After only 10 minutes, the second third begins. The flavors are exactly the same as the first cigar. A crack forms near the cap..above the cigar band. I have chosen not to correct any further burn problems. It is what it is.

2nd Cigar: As in the first cigar, the cap becomes disheveled and must be clipped back a bit.

Nearing the second third so quickly doesn’t allow for much analysis. But I can say this: The cigar maintains that wonderful nuttiness and sweetness. A small amount of black pepper coats the back of my throat.

It is an enjoyable cigar on just one or two levels. What strikes the palate is the earthiness of the tobacco. Added to that is sweetness and spice and dried fruit with a little dash of supportive players.

I am just past the beginning of the second third and some creaminess appears along with an upsurge of spice that is now red pepper.

As I hit the halfway point, the cigar greatly expands its flavor profile: Cedar, sweetness, spice, creaminess, raisin, butterscotch, cocoa, baking spices, and leather.

2nd Cigar: The flavors expanded much quicker than the first. I am really beginning to doubt Fuente’s claim about construction consistency. The wannabe canoe is on the back side of the cigar. Fortunately, the flavors are consistent from the first to the second cigar. But that crack above the cigar band has me worried that when I remove the cap, it might travel.

The char line just refuses to cooperate and I refuse to torch it again.

I use Boveda packs to humidify my humidors. And to make sure everything is hunky dory, I use three Xikar digital hygrometers in each humidor. Check and balance. So any thoughts of this folderol being the fault of the humidification is incorrect.

And in a blink of an eye, the last third begins with an expansive and delicious grouping of flavors.

The last third is, by far, the sweet spot of the cigar’s flavor profile.

The cigar band had too much glue and was a struggle getting off.

2nd Cigar: The band puts up a smaller struggle. Luckily, I don’t need to use an X-Acto blade to remove it thereby saving the wrapper any nicks.

Here is what I am going to do. I just can’t believe the poor performance of this cigar’s construction so when I complete the review, I am going to take a break and light up another one, come back to the review, and compare them.

The tiny nick created from cutting the band (First cigar) off makes a complete mess of the wrapper and is no longer smokeable.

This is where I stopped the first cigar and will continue with the second stick.
2nd Cigar from here on:
This stick is much more potent than the first. While the first never got above a medium body, the second has moved to medium/full at the halfway point.

The dichotomy is that while I am frustrated with the nature of the construction, it continues to be a very flavorful cigar.

The last third begins and continues the same flavor profile except that the spice has moved down the list of prominent flavors: Cedar, sweetness, creaminess, caramel, spice, raisin, cocoa, baking spices, and leather.

My prediction was correct. The wrapper crack near the cap is now traveling about an inch.

I am very relieved that I did not spend the retail price for this cigar. Instead of disappointment, there would be anger.

Most online stores are not very user friendly when it comes to returning cigars. First, the cigars must have the original cellos on them. And waiting two months makes returning them, cello or not, impossible. They will just tell you that it is your fault and that the cigars were not properly humidified. Lose/Lose.

Of course, there are some stores that are stand-up companies and will accept returns no matter what.

The crack now runs the entire length of the 2” left on the cigar.

With 1-1/2” to go, I toss the cigar.

And now for something completely different:

Sex was lousy on the first 6 week tour of England and the Continent.

Why? Because management shacked me up with the chick singer who was a goddess to the fans. A nice looking girl but a skank.
I used to get endless poking because I showered every day. Something Americans seemed to do exclusively.

Now I am not making this up, but the band only showered on Saturdays before a concert. So you can imagine what it was like in the dead of winter in a closed car with my four band mates on a Friday. By then, they were riper than a two week old banana.

The chick wore the same G string the whole week. No one changed underwear! I could understand taking a G.I. bath in the sink, but to not clean themselves at their naughty bits or change underwear daily. Holy shit!

I became the baby sitter of the chick singer. Because it was a secret kept from the band that she was being weaned from her heroin problem and the band swore never to go on the road with her again if she had this recurring problem. So confidence was placed on my shoulders to keep the secret and my mouth shut. I was so excited to be an instant rock star, I complied.

The band attracted mostly male audiences because of the chick. And I didn’t have the skill of pulling women yet.

And the chick singer was always horny because she was always high on methadone which is what they used to wean people off heroin.

I put up with it the first week. But pretty soon, even an excited 24 year old from Long Beach, CA became disgusted.
Once after sex, she walked over to a sink in the living room…yeah, I know that makes no sense…pulled her G string off and took a pee in the sink. I ran over and yelled at her to at least turn the water on. For chrissakes!

Her G string could stand up in the corner of the room all by itself. She tried to get me to go down on her and there was no way. I would never have survived it. I would have gotten Ebola or something.

She got used to no reciprocation. And I was getting very frustrated with the situation.

Fortunately, she and the drummer took up relations. So by the second tour, the drummer stayed in her room and I bunked with the filthy guitarist. But at least, I didn’t have to smell his stanky pussy.

I imagine the drummer got her squared away eventually because a couple years later they were husband and wife.
(In response to a comment below, here is the reaction she got from young men:)

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7 replies

  1. I have a 5 pack resting in the humi, glad I only paid $6 a stick. Will see if they canoe on me to.

  2. Haha! Great story!
    I bet Road life can get pretty nasty like that.

  3. “Her G string could stand up in the corner of the room all by itself” . . . Monty Python couldn’t come up with better lines.

    • I actually wasn’t trying to be funny. One night she threw it across the room and went to the corner of two walls and just stood there. Plus, I touched it once and it was hard. Yuck.
      What cracked me up that first tour was that I was overwhelmed at the way the young boys clammered to touch the hem of her garments. I thought to myself if they only knew. I should post a photo of this fan reaction.

    • I found a photo of the infamous G string. I am posting it now.

      • She is an attractive face pasted on Lance Armstrong’s body. As for the infamous G string, I just had lunch and am trying to hold it down. Thnx for the ill timing 😉

        • You have to remember that this photo was taken during her withdrawal period. She was an addict when I met her. She got off the stuff.
          Now she looks like Mama Cass.