Carlos Fuente Sr. Makes His Private Blend Public

Carlos Fuente Sr. Makes His Private Blend Public
Photos/Roberto Muñoz/Pindaro
Don Carlos Personal Reserve and Eye of the Shark should be reaching stores around the holidays.

If you haven't been lucky enough to try a cigar from Carlos Fuente Sr.'s personal stash, you might get your chance soon. In celebration of his 80th birthday this year, the Arturo Fuente company patriarch has released his private blend to the public under the brand name Don Carlos Personal Reserve, and they should be reaching cigar stores around the holidays.

It's a slightly adjusted version of the commercially available Don Carlos blend, although altered to Fuente's personal taste. Boxes of the Don Carlos Personal Reserve cigars are sitting in Fuente's Tampa warehouse waiting to be staggered into the market.

"Each generation of the Fuente family has created their own blend," explained Sam Mendez, general manager of the Fuente cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. "The founder, Arturo Fuente's personal cigar was a 6 inch by 47 ring corona gorda. The Fuente family started producing it commercially in his honor as the Flor Fina 8-5-8. Of course the Fuente Fuente OpusX is Carlos Fuente Jr.'s personal blend. But Carlos Fuente Sr.'s personal cigar is the Don Carlos Robusto. He continued to secretly tweak the blend, but only for his personal use."


The Don Carlos Personal Reserve comes in a 5 inch by 50 ring Robusto with a suggested retail price of $14. A box-pressed belicoso called the Don Carlos Eye of the Shark ($11.95), measuring 5 3/4 by 52 will also be released around the same time. The Robustos come packaged in glossy black boxes and feature an all-Dominican blend save for the wrapper, which comes from Cameroon. The Eye of the Shark however, comes in glossy red boxes and the company is not yet disclosing the particulars of the blend.

Attendees of the IPCPR trade show this summer were able to get a sneak preview of the cigars, as they were on display behind glass in Fuente's pavilion booth.

In addition to the Carlos Fuente Sr.'s 80th birthday, this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Don Carlos brand.

"These cigars are delicious!! I bought a box plus 6 sticks. I have read bad reviews but I really like this cigar. I did notice a slight bitter taste for just a couple of draws on 2 of them but it was instantly gone and the nutty, woody, earthy, leathery vanilla flavors delighted me for the rest of the smoke. I saw someone say this was a Cameroon wrapper. It tastes like an Opus X wrapper to me. I read somewhere else that it is the Opus X, sun grown wrapper. Either way, it's great! When I first started smoking cigars, someone told me you can't go wrong with a Padron. I will tell YOU that you can't go wrong with a Fuente! And this one is definitely reminiscent of the Opus X line." —August 31, 2016 01:27 AM
"Ahh David, you are many talented cigar makers in the Fuente family. Thanks for the reminder and looking forward to your report...lucky guy :) " —October 13, 2015 17:46 PM
"Mike--I think you are confusing Carlos Fuente Sr., who is alive, with the late Arturo Fuente. I expect the cigar to taste different from Casa Cuba due to the blend. I will try one soon and report back." —October 7, 2015 20:31 PM
"Wonder if they will taste similar to Casa Cuba which was I believe the late senior Fuente's last blend? " —October 7, 2015 19:43 PM
"Looking forward to trying these. Wonderful story Greg. I'm curious as to when these will actually hit retail stores." —October 2, 2015 15:23 PM
"Looking forward to trying these. Wonderful story Greg. I'm curious as to when this will actually hit retail stores." —October 2, 2015 15:23 PM