inktome tela de arana by Fonseca | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran Criollo ‘98
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 6.5 x 46
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $6.40 Exclusive to Small Batch Cigar

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Today we take a look at the new Small Batch Cigar: inktome tela de arana by Fonseca

The cigar is aged 6 years and is paper wrapped.
Being the schmuck I am, I took the wrappers off not allowing for a proper photograph.

The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is the absolute definition of rustic. Everything about it is sloppy: Seams, loads of wrinkles, lots of veins, exposed roller glue, way out of round, and sloppy triple caps. But wait….there’s more…on the good side of the coin.

The most important thing done to the cigar is right on the money: It is packed tightly and not a single soft spot.

The wrapper is very oily and is smooth as silk.

The description says it is 6.5” but once the paper is removed, the actual cigar is only 5-5/8” long. I have a 5 packs and each single one is exactly 5-5/8” long.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cinnamon, hay, anise, and cedar.
Time to light up.

BTW- This is my absolute favorite size in a cigar. Good things will happen.

I get a blast of red pepper. Then another blast of green pepper, brown sugar, and creaminess.
The draw is superb.

There is a meaty quality. Very savory.
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The strength is a strong medium body.

The char line is not behaving. I smoked one a couple days ago and the burn line was perfect. Murphy’s Law I guess.

Cocoa and coffee enter the arena.

At the 1” mark, the char line marches to the step of a disciplined burn.

There is an elusive sweetness. More than just the brown sugar. It’s fruity. Like me. But I can’t put my finger on it quite yet. I will.
The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca finds its complexity after only 1-3/8” is burned.

Flavors round out and become very smooth. The ash is rock hard and seemingly, going nowhere….until it’s time to fall on to my lap.
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The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is for the experienced palate. There is such a nice subtlety and layers of nuanced flavors that is a fun smoke.
“Find the popes in the pizza” kind of cigar blend.

The strength tamps down a bit to classic medium body.

The second third begins.
Each puff brings more complexity.

Here they are: Creamy, spice, coffee, vegetal notes, caramel, sweetness, leather, fruit, brown sugar, cedar, oak, and anise.

The price point. Who are we kidding? $6.40? After the 10% discount, it is only $5.76.
Worth much more.
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The inktome by Fonseca comes in four other sizes and a sampler pack. SBC only sells the cigars in 5 packs:
inktome chelicerae: 6.75 x 48 Salomon $9.00
inktome colmillo: 4.25 x 44 Petite Corona $5.50
inktome veneno: 6.5 x 40 $6.00
inktome viuda: 9.25 x 48 “A” Size $9.00
inktome mix: All 5 sizes. $36.00 for 5 pack

The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca has put the metal to the pedal now.
Flavors are going bozo crazy. And the spiciness ramps up.

And now we are back to medium/full.

Now I don’t know if this cigar was blended for SBC or just given exclusive rights to it? It is sort of a pre-release just for SBC? Or will it stay at SBC forever or until the cigars run out. There is no information if this is a limited run or a regular production line. Andrew at SBC is keeping his cards close to his chest on these matters.

The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is a slow burner.

I reach the halfway point and I’ve invested a good 35 minutes in the smoke.

There have been no construction issues. The char line, while not perfect, is doing well. No wrapper issues. Nicely done.

The creaminess and coffee make a surge and hit the beach ahead of the other flavors.
The fruitiness is black currant. A more intense raisin-y flavor.
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The back ground is all black licorice. I like that.

The sweet spot has been unearthed right here. Man oh man. What a superb stick.

I feel very lucky to have good cigars to review most of the time. It is a real bummer to have to write a negative review. Makes the reviewing process of around 3 hours a very long time. I look back over the last couple weeks of reviews and only find one dog turd: Montecristo Relentless.

I’ve been practicing my new fretless bass like a madman. I got the new flat wound strings that make that baby growl. I also play upright bass. Don’t have one now of course. But all uprights use flat wound strings. The other type of bass strings is round wound which give the bass a much brighter sound. I want deep. I don’t want to play lead guitar on the bass. Same goes for the upright. Big difference in cost of strings between a bass guitar and an upright bass. The bass guitar runs around $30 or so. The upright is around the $130 range. Ouch. But then the upright strings are about 6 feet long. While the bass guitar strings average about 3 feet.

The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is a very nice cigar. Good balance. Nice long finish. Complexity. And for a measly $6.

I get some allspice elements now. Goes well with the anise. Tastes like Easter.

The last third begins.
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This blend is very, very good. I’ve never been a big Fonseca fan but I definitely like this blend.

The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is a strong medium/full body.
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The inktome tela de arana by Fonseca is a delightful cigar blend. I have no qualms of highly recommending this fine cigar.

If you buy some, make sure to tell Andrew, at Small Batch Cigar, that the Katman sent you. Thanks.
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And now for something completely different:

Any of you old enough to remember the folk music phase in the 1950’s and 1960’s? As an old fart, I was there and played 5 string banjo.

My teacher was famed Nitty Gritty Dirt Band banjo player John McEuen. At my last private class, he told me he was letting me go to join the Dirt Band. They were really big in the 60’s with a couple hits. I went to high school with their blues harp player. He got kicked out of school in his senior year for sporting long hair.

nitty

OK. Meandering has a point. Do you remember the New Christy Minstrels? They were huge with lots of hits. The movie “A Mighty Wind”, by Christopher Guest, made fun of them in the flick. They were this huge, squeaky clean 9 piece band. A neuftet. LOL
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mighty-wind

Will Teague was one of the original members of the NCM. And back in the early 80’s, he formed his own band called The Will Teague Band. His son and daughter were in it and one of the kid’s friends who played killer guitar. Will wrote a ton of beautiful, hooky songs. And decided to record an album in my studio. He was a bitter guy as he watched all of his compatriots move on to stardom in other big rock groups.

He insisted on doing everything his way. He had absolutely no idea of what the current music scene was. And hence, he was doing it back asswards.

The rhythm section was left out and to be recorded when they were done. You always record the rhythm section first and then layer on top of it.
They hired me to play bass. Will asked me to get them a good drummer.

Will almost shit a brick when he saw Hal Blaine walk in the door. I hired a good friend, Steve Hodges, to provide a drum kit for Hal to play on. Steve Hodges went on to play with everyone, including the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

I played all of the songs back to Hal. He made copious notes. We had 15 tunes. Hal read his charts as we recorded. He only needed to do it once.

And after the first three songs, he came into the booth and was blunt as hell. He told Will that their sense of rhythm was horrible and he would have to perform magic to bring the song together so it sounded cohesive. Will’s face fell. I told him not to do this; or at least use a click track so they would play in time. But noooooooo…..

Hal went back into the studio, put his cans on, and twirled his finger telling me to roll tape. Yes, back then we used 3” recording tape. No computers. All analog.

It took him less than an hour to play, and complete, three songs.

The Teague Family clapped like crazy when they listened to the play back. I just smiled. And Hal gave me a sly wink.

This went on for a week. Hal got paid $200. LOL. He did this as a favor to me. He turned down huge paying session work that week to do my project. What a pal!

The Teagues paid me $500 to play bass.

Owning your own studio has lots of perks. Like adding my bass lines when I was alone.

I would come into the studio around 9pm and sit in the booth with my bass and the recording gear. I would plug my bass direct, meaning no amp was used. I got a really nice tone that way. No boom. And with a 24 track board, I could really manipulate my sound.

It took me a week to finish my part. I would record into the wee hours of the night. Sometimes til 5am. I was focused big time. The songs were very complex with a ton of chord changes and it was up to me to come up with my own lines. I did some of my finest playing on that album. I pretended to be Joe Osborne….Hal’s partner in crime who was part of the famous L.A. Wrecking Crew. I was melodic and I was in the groove and I was in the pocket. And if I goofed up, I just ran the tape back and did it again.

It took a week because I was still running a recording studio 7 days a week. I had to sleep sometime.

I kept Hal’s charts as a collectible. They probably have no value to anyone else but me but it takes me back to a time when I was Hal’s partner. And the memory that the great Hal Blaine was my friend.
hal

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