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Cigar Review – Fonseca Cubano Limitado Robusto

The other day, Terence Reilly of SAG Imports (makers of Fonseca, Casa Magna, and Quesada cigars) stopped by for a visit and was nice enough to give us a bunch of samples, one of which was the Fonseca Cubano Limitado Robusto. Since we’ve been having such nice weather this week, and since I’d tried the Belicoso size from that line and enjoyed it thoroughly, I figured that today would be a good day for another review.

Like many cigars with the words “Cuban,” “Cubano,” or “Habano” in the name, the Fonseca Cubano Limitado line was developed to match the spicy, rich, and balanced flavors of classic Cuban cigars. The first thing I noticed about this stogie was the oily sheen of the Honduran Cuban-seed wrapper, which was almost seamlessly rolled all the way up to the nicely applied cap. Right out of the cellophane, the cigar gave off distinct aromas of leather, pepper, and coffee. After clipping the cap, the pre-light draw had all of those flavors, plus a little bit of baking cocoa.

After going to work on the foot with a Xikar Element for a few seconds, this solidly-rolled stogie was ready to go. The draw had a bit of resistance but was generous nonetheless, and the first few puffs were very powerful with pronounced notes of red pepper and leather. About a half inch in, after the pepper cooled down just a bit, I started getting a slight hint of sweetness and the same dry cocoa I got in the pre-light draw.

Nearing the halfway point, the pepper subsided and gave way to a malty flavor, like caramel or butterscotch but without the excessive sugary sweetness. Along with this, I got a hint of bread along with a nice wave of oaky vanilla that made me wish I’d smoked this one with a good single malt. Up to this point, the ash had held on for about an inch at a time. It looked fairly gnarled with pronounced black stripes, but was very solid and didn’t flake.

As I reached the end of the smoke, the pepper and leather from the first third came back dramatically and lasted until I set down the nub. This is definitely a no-nonsense, no-frills smoke—don’t expect any exaggerated candy sweetness, because this cigar means business and offers robust flavors from beginning to end. That said, though, the spice never became overwhelming, and I didn’t get the tarry harshness towards the end that I sometimes get from stronger cigars.

As far as Manuel Quesada’s blends go, I’ve only had this and the Casa Magna Colorado. But I can tell you with confidence that if you like a big, spicy, and full-flavored smoke, you’ll be happy with pretty much anything in SAG Imports’ lineup. Take this with a grain of salt since I’ve only smoked two Cuban cigars in my life, but I personally think that the Fonseca Cubano Limitado line replicates the flavor profile of those cigars more accurately than anything else I’ve ever smoked. I’d like to thank SAG Imports for providing us with the samples, and I look forward to trying more of their smokes in the future.