This is an oldie but goodie for many of you as it was released in the latter part of 2012. It is new to me.
This is one more high premium in an ever growing list of J Fuego blends. I have reviewed the Sangre de Toro recently which I thought was a wonderful cigar. And from word on the street, this is even better.
This is a limited edition cigar and only 750 boxes were produced of each size.
The sticks come in three sizes: 5.5 x 52 box pressed belicoso, 6.5 x 54 box pressed Toro, and 4.875 x 49 robusto.
The appearance is striking with a very reddish hue of the wrapper. Reminds me of the red rocks of Sedona. The wrapper is marbleized and mottled reinforcing the look of ancient rocks. The box press is mild with soft shoulders. The cigar bands were attached a bit skewed and not lining up. Minor technicality. Seams are tight. A gazillion small veins. And a very toothy feel. Almost like sandpaper. The triple cap is perfection.
I clip the cap and find aromas of chicken broth. I know that sounds crazy and we all know I’m Jewish but that’s what I smell. I also smell spice, cedar, leather, hay, wet wood, and a bit of sweetness. That is really strange.
Time to light up.
First off, the draw is great. The stick is jam packed with tobacco. Almost hard. And then I get a taste of apple cider. What is that Christmas drink? Mulled wine. The spices usually used for mulled wine are cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace. And I get a tad bit of all of those within this new for me flavor. Now as far as I know, apples aren’t used in mulled wine so this is a bastardized version. Although I do taste the nutmeg and raisins and cinnamon. Not sure what mace tastes like.
The burn line starts off a bit wavy and I touch it up to avoid issues later in the cigar.
Red pepper begins to burn a hole in my tongue. Sweetness follows. The mulled wine spices become potent and not to be ignored. The spice continues on an upward trajectory until my tongue hangs out of my mouth like our dog.
The strength starts off at classic medium bodied. The cigar has been in my humidor for 2-1/2 weeks and it is the first one I’ve smoked. I took a big chance because all I have is two of them. But the short aging time turned out to be great.
Have you ever read a review, or a description, that says the flavor is caramelized sweetness? I have. I have no idea what that means. I know what caramelized onions taste like. But not caramelized sweetness. I gotta get hip and jive with industry descriptions.
The stick moves into the second third. Nothing has changed. I would have thought it to be a flavor bomb by now. Did I smoke it too soon? The Sangre de Toro’s flavors were like an avalanche and hit flavor bomb status by this point in the de Familia. Don’t get me wrong. This is a flavorful cigar, just no plutonium in the mix. And both cigars got the same amount of humidor time.
Is there any better feeling than checking your humidor(s) and finding that your humidity level is perfect? I don’t think non-smokers, or mooches, really understand the angst we serious smokers go through to get that perfect choice of humidity. It is maddening sometimes. My method of recharging Boveda packets still works like a charm. In fact, I am recharging a big amount in Tupperware right now. Saved me a fortune in repeat purchases. I prefer to soak then in the propylene glycol/water mixture you can buy online, but in a pinch, distilled water will work fine. I’ve got the same 40 Boveda packets I’ve had for two years.
After some serious thought, (is there any other kind?) I wonder if this cigar just ain’t meant to be a flavor bomb. It is to be gratifying on a different level. Into the second third a bit, the flavor profile opens up a tad. And it seems the cigar really wants to please me and meet my needs.
The sweetness takes over the list. With spice and creaminess right behind. I’m sort of surprised I don’t taste chocolate. I taste coffee, but no chocolate.
The halfway point does its magic. The flavor profile explodes. All my Jewish anxiety and neuroses went for naught. I am an impatient old coot. I want when I want it. And this stick made me wait for it.
OK. So I’m a schmuck.
We have a flavor explosion. Here are the flavors: Creaminess, sweetness, spice, mulled wine spices, apple, coffee, raisins, cedar, leather, and something new: cocoa.
This is what I love about reviewing and smoking at the same time. You get to watch me make a complete ass of myself in real time. Where else can you get that level of stupidity?
The cigar is a candy bar. And as I type that, a nougat element appears. A creamy, chocolate nougat. Almost mousse-like. I bought a box of some sugar free protein bars at Costco last week and there are three flavors. This cigar tastes like the Caramel cream bar. And yes, I now taste some caramel. But not caramelized sweetness.
This is quite the big step for J. Fuego. He seems to primarily put out sticks that are damn near house brands. And, as of late, he begins to strut his stuff, and really show off his talent. He needs to do this more often. I’ve reviewed the Origen Maduro and the Corojo Oscuro. Both solid cigars but not high premiums as I consider the Edición de Familia Belicoso Fino to be.
Ever since the stick took off, there has been a subtle peanut flavor.
The stick is now very complex with a very nice balance and long finish. It really does taste like a candy bar in the chewy finish.
Let’s talk about the price point. $10 is a lot of dough for a cigar. Most of us don’t take that lightly. The cigar either has to give us a blow job or take us down the yellow brick road high on peyote. In the end, I find this an excellent cigar. But I find there are plenty of $7 sticks just as good. Would I buy this cigar? Probably not.
The last third begins and all is good in the land of Oz. The strength really hasn’t changed that much. It clings to medium bodied. Which is how the J Fuego web site describes it. I find it refreshing. I’ve reviewed so many medium/full and full bodied sticks lately, I’ve become used to going to nicotine hell.
The cigar finishes and not a hint of harshness or heat. This was a very pleasant experience. I imagine that a bit more humidor time will allow the cigar to hit flavor bomb status earlier than in this review.
This is Fuego’s best blend yet. And if he continues to feed the experienced smoker with blends like this, well, he has my vote. But Jesus, sir, lower the damn price. Too much competition out there selling superb cigars for much less.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS