The Judge By J Fuego | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina Maduro
Binder: Undisclosed
Filler: Undisclosed 4-Nation Blend
Size: 5.5 x 46 “Villainy”
Body: Full
Price: $3.35
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Today we go slumming and take a look at The Judge By J Fuego. Someone has to.

J.Fuego makes a lot of cigars for other brands. He also makes a bushel full of house brands for the various big online stores. His own brand named cigars tend to be on the inexpensive side. I, personally, have found most of them to be one dimensional. I have my fingers crossed with The Judge. It certainly has gotten plenty of PR so maybe there is something behind it all.

This cigar made its debut in 2013. The Judge comes in 5 sizes and is priced from $3.35 – $4.90 by the box of 20.

It’s a rustic stick hidden by a near coal black wrapper. It is lumpy and bumpy. Loads of veins. If you roll it like a pool cue it jogs up and down and stops on its own very quickly.

The single cap is nicely done and I am assuming single cap due to the price. The wrapper has a mostly matte finish with just a hint of oiliness. It’s a nice solid cigar without any noticeable soft spots.

I clip the cap and find aromas of earthiness, hay, barnyard, and leather.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are sweet. Then a rich chipotle-like spiciness. The draw is excellent. After less than a minute burning, I can see that “V” at the char line meaning it is going to canoe on me if I don’t act fast.
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I should add this is my first one. I got a 5 pack on Cigar Monster and paid approximately $2.75 each. I’ve had the 5 pack in my humidor for a little over 6 weeks or so.

Cocoa climbs aboard. The tobacco, so far, reminds me of a Nicaraguan profile. But I’m just guessing.

The strength starts the proceedings at classic medium body.

At the 1” burned point, the ash disembarks the mother ship and all of a sudden flavors explode.

Here they are: Spice, creaminess, sweetness, cocoa, leather, cedar, raisins and toasty.
The Judge By J Fuego went from 0-60 in short order.

This definitely tastes like a Nicaraguan blend.

More flavors show themselves: Graham cracker, sharp cheddar cheese, nuts, marzipan, and something fruity.
The sweetness factor quickly becomes a marzipan candy bar from Belgium.
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The spiciness is a combo of red pepper and Chipotle. With more emphasis on the red.

The flavor profile is itching to become a flavor bomb but it is like a man on a London street chasing a moving bus and can’t quite get the grab rail in his hands. Been there, done that. Just like everyone in London has. Those buses stop for no one.

Coffee with almond flavoring enters the picture.

This isn’t a half bad cigar. And then I notice a small part of the wrapper has come loose. I don’t know if it is from being moved around in the humidor (Trim those nails) or it felt the need to break free. Born free. As free as the wind blows…as far as you can outrun a lion…or something like that.

It just dawned on me. This is a house brand. Only Famous Smoke carries The Judge By J Fuego.

The second third begins.
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The flavor profile sort of just lays there. Like a flounder. It started off very promising and then the rug was pulled out from under it. I was afraid of this. Just not a Fuego fan. He just doesn’t put out real quality stuff. And this cigar falls under the aegis of yard ‘gar.

The flavors are pleasant but as a whole, The Judge By J Fuego does not sing to me.

They are playing Zappa on the classic rock channel on TV. No one plays Zappa. Loved him going back to the 1970’s. In fact, in 1977, friends and I attended a New Year’s Eve concert at UCLA starring Zappa. And Zappa only.

He had a huge band. And man, was he loud! Even for me. He played for 3 hours…nonstop. NO breaks between songs. One just morphed into the other. At one point you felt like you were going insane.

And then it was over. He wished the crowd a happy New Year and “I don’t doing fucking encores so go home.” And that was it. Going from deafening decibels for three hours to what seemed like complete quiet put half the audience into shock. Me included.

That bit of torn wrapper near the foot has now burned away.

I am at the halfway point.
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The Judge By J Fuego is going nowhere fast. The strength is still at medium bodied. Should be at least medium/full by now since the description on the Famous site says it is full bodied.

I was hoping for the best. Instead; disappointed. Just another mediocre blend by J. Fuego. How a guy can make a fortune blending mediocre cigars is beyond me…..er…oops…Gurkha, Patel, et al.

The price point. 5 packs are $4-$6 a stick. Even the box price seems too high. This should have been a bundle cigar that says FUEGO on it and given a price of $39.95.

Why they chose to make a big deal out of this blah cigar is beyond me. It does not deserve the PR machine behind it. But look at the packaging. It is meant to lure in the young and dumb smokers without a palate.

Ooh..a man pointing a gun on the cigar band. It is almost insulting.

The last third begins and the flavor profile perks up.
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Here is the list for the last time: Creaminess, cocoa, coffee, spice, caramel, marzipan and leather.

It is exactly the way The Judge By J Fuego started. Perky flavors. Some hope it would be a good blend. And then the middle of the cigar dashed all hopes.

Except for the beginning of the cigar, the char line has been on point. And no more wrapper issues after that one time. There is some review I took a look at and the fella said this cigar had a triple cap. It is hard to fathom wasting talent on this cigar to put a triple cap on it. But the cap(s) are so flawless that I can’t tell.

The Judge By J Fuego is a nice cigar now. The strength hits medium/full. A bit of nicotine shows up.

Could it be that 6 weeks of humidor time is insufficient? No idea. But the flavor dropping out in the middle doesn’t bode well considering that the beginning and the end have a robust flavor profile.
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The bottom line is that The Judge By J Fuego is market aimed at newbies. Not the experienced smoker. Newbies will like this cigar just fine. There is no complexity or balance. The finish is short.

Nothing to challenge the palate.

I’d just as soon put the cigar down now that I have less than 2” left. But the Cigar Reviewer’s Union mandates I finish the cigar no matter the hardship it creates.

Well boys and girls, you can strike a line through The Judge By J Fuego instead of underlining it.

Mind you, this is the first cigar of the day for me. When my palate is the freshest. Who knows what The Judge By J Fuego will taste like down the road by afternoon or evening.

I am near the end.
“This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end”

With 1-1/2” to go, the cigar goes flat once again.
I’m done. Stick a fork in it.
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6 replies

  1. Most of the Judges I have encountered in many years of lawyering have similarly unattractive qualities.

  2. You got to hand it to the PR folks probably yacking it up and slapping each other on the back on this one.
    How many people will appreciate the subtle irony when reaching the halfway point…going to remove the band…looking at the picture,and…what the…? I really am being robbed!

  3. You fellas do put a big smile on my face…

  4. The only Fuego cigar I used to like was the Gran Reserva Corojo #1 in the original and corona size. The other sizes in this blend sucked! I stopped smoking them when he raised the prices on them. I never thought much of his 777 or his sangre de toro. I wanted to try his new Americana but I feel his price is to high. So no more fuego for me.

  5. I tried one of these and had a different experience. I smoked while walking the dogs at the park, walked past some canada geese and stopped to tie my shoe. Lit the cigar and had to double check that I did not inadvertently pick up a pice of goose shit and light it. Cheers and good review

  6. Many more fish fish in the sea, thankfully!