I have been fortunate enough to smoke a few of these over the years and I felt it was about time to review the cigar. Supposedly the cameroon wrapper that is typically used on Don Carlos cigars is switched out with a Dominican Shade grown wrapper which is used on the Opus X. The bands have “2006″ but were released in 2008 signifying 2 years of age after rolling on the cigar. Production count was around 9000 cigars for the release in 2008. The Edicion de Aniversario was produced in 3 different vitolas:
Robusto (5 1/4 x 50)
Double Robusto (5 7/8 x 52)
Toro (6 1/4 x 48)
Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario Double Robusto
Wrapper: Dominican Shade Grown Rosado
Binder/Filler: Dominican Republic
Size: 5 7/8 x 52
Vitola: Double Robusto
Days in Humidor: 6 years
Smoke Time: 1hr 40min
The Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario comes cedar wrapped and I needed a knife to remove the tape holding the sleeve together. I did initially try removing it with some force but didn’t want to damage the cigar. The wrapper has aged well up to this point and as a testament to the quality, there are no holes or tears on the cigar. Even though the Dominican wrapper has some dark spots scattered though out, I feel it gives the Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario character and more appeal. The triple cap feels seamless and I couldn’t find any soft spots at all. Some of the veins feel prominent and the cigar looks to be more toothy around the head. The Edicion de Aniversario feels light for the size but firm and certainly looking forward to smoking this beautiful cigar. Even though I feel Fuente sometimes goes over the top with the designs, I feel the extravagant double bands fit the occasion well.
I made a perfect cut across the head and I think this is more of a testament to the construction of the cigar versus my cutting prowess. The cold draw was very smooth, very close to a perfect draw. The burn started out even with some jaggedness in the second but it would come close to correcting itself soon after. However, I was smoking outdoors and there were some breezes coming through at various times. The other few that I smoked recently had razor sharp burns so this won’t have a tremendous impact on the experience. The Edicion de Aniversario puts out a good volume of smoke though it does diminish slightly near the end of the cigar. The ash is bright white and gently tapped it into the ashtray when it was 1.25 inches long though it didn’t show any signs of falling off on it’s own.
The wrapper has aroma similar to cedar and sweet aged tobacco while the foot of the cigar reminded me of dried raisins. The initial few draws is of wood, leather and some pepper. The strength of the pepper has obviously diminished quite a bit since the release as it is more mellow and smooth. The first third tastes like dried up raisins and espresso with a long finish that’s just very smooth. The retrohale was of cinnamon and very spicy. The Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario is easily a medium bodied cigar approached full. However, I can’t stress enough that even though there is the strength behind every draw, it’s not “in your face” or blasting you with pepper, almost very elegant.
In the second third, the flavors get a bit sweeter as the raisin and cedar notes are a bit more noticeable. The profile feels creamy as I also pick up some nuts and leather. The intoxicating aroma of the cigar just smells like wood and nuts. The spice is slightly more prominent in this third and it does pick up as I entire the last part. The flavors are consistent and very good now, though it hasn’t changed from the second part. Hazelnut, leather and spice are the main notes. The cigar finishes in the full bodied category even though it might be harder to tell just because how balanced the cigar is in terms of strength and flavors.
- The Don Carlos Edicion de Aniversario is full in terms of complexity and strength. I think this cigar is very smooth that smokers may not realize the true strength . The flavor notes are delicious, unique and consistent. I didn’t notice any harsh notes or bitter flavors at all.
- There are some notes in the cigar that might remind you of the opus x wrapper. Whether or not the Dominican Shade wrapper makes this cigar or not, I couldn’t tell you, though 6 years of age will have a tremendous impact on the flavors even moreso.
- Everything about this cigar from the construction, appearance, burn, draw and flavors were perfect. The Edicion de Aniversario was very balanced in terms of flavors and none of the notes overstepped their boundaries. The spice/pepper were flavorful but not overwhelming.
- Even at $32 a stick, I would still buy them because these do not disappoint. Some of the higher end Fuente cigars have been hit or miss with the construction or burn, but I have yet to experience anything negative in regards to the Edicion de Aniversario.
- There are very few cigars that absolutely “wow” me. This one has done it on every occasion in which I have smoked it. Needless to say, it’s my highest rated cigar to date.