The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2004
Arutro Fuente Don Carlos No. 2
The Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 2 came on the market in 1997 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest cigars made in the Dominican Republic. It was also one of the best examples of a non-Cuban cigar crafted in the classic Montecristo No. 2 shape. The 6-by-55, Cameroon-wrapped cigar is a notorious slow starter: the first half inch or so is typically uninspiring and hardly indicative of the complex, delicious flavor that's to follow. Fuente has impressive inventories of aged tobaccos, and it reserves its oldest leaves for use in the Don Carlos line, which is named after family patriarch Carlos Fuente Sr., who created the blend with his son Carlos Jr. and tobacco grower Rick Meerapfel. The cigars were impossible to find during the boom years of the 1990s, and while still not a common sight in cigar shop humidors, they are much easier to find than in years past.