The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2006
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso
Mighty Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia. makes about 35 million premium cigars every year. A fraction are Don Carlos cigars, made to honor Fuente's chairman, Carlos Fuente Sr. While Fuente has been identified with its powerhouse Fuente Fuente OpusX blend, the Don Carlos is entirely sublime, blended for balance by Fuente Sr., Carlos Fuente Jr. and Rick Meerapfel, the late tobacco grower who brought back the glorious Cameroon leaf used to finish most Fuente cigars. The Belicoso is a considerable smoke, with a chunky 52 ring gauge and a length of 5 3/8 inches. Fuente, which has eye-popping reserves of tobacco leaf, uses some of its oldest tobaccos for this blend. As with all great cigars, the Don Carlos commands patience: it's a slow-starting blend that begins dry, but soon turns into a masterpiece of complex elegance, with notes of coffee, cedar and a long, rich finish.