Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso
Belicoso
93
points
Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
52 52
Medium
Medium
Tasting Note
This complex belicoso starts earthy and leathery before taking on a graham cracker character buttressed by vanilla bean, brown sugar and a profoundly nutty finish.
Body Medium
Size Figurado
Ring Gauge 52
Length 5 3/8"
Filler Dom. Rep.
Binder Dom. Rep.
Wrapper Cameroon
Issue Cigar Aficionado – Oct 01, 2015
Price $11.75
More Reviews of this Cigar
Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Jan 01, 2016 | Score: 94

There aren't many cigar brands using high-quality Cameroon wrapper today. It tends to be quite expensive, rough in appearance and temperamental during the fermentation process. But the Fuente family doesn't seem to mind, and there was no better expression of Cameroon wrapper put to market in 2015 than that of the Don Carlos Belicoso. Its wrapper-to-filler ratios resulted in a perfect combination of the Cameroon cover leaf's sweet-and-sour properties along with the Dominican binder and filler, which gave the cigar a zesty, nutty quality full of shaved almonds and candied orange peel. The brand was named after Carlos Fuente Sr., patriarch of the Fuente family. The factory, Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia., is the largest family-owned cigar-making operation in the premium cigar business. Fuente Sr. recently turned 80 years old, and the Don Carlos is said to be blended to his personal taste. The combination of Cameroon and Dominican tobacco has been its hallmark since the brand debuted 30 years ago. The portfolio currently has seven sizes, including a slightly larger torpedo, but there's something about the precise dimensions, ratios and combustion rate of the Belicoso that makes it stand out. They are aged for no less than a year, and the dark chocolate aroma so prevalent in the aging room certainly emanates off the cold bouquet of each cigar, and recurs on the palate as well. Refined and delicious, it's also enhanced by a nutty, sweet-and-sour finish.

Issue: Cigar Insider: Oct 07, 2014 | Score: 91

Initial puffs of this short torpedo are bright and zesty with citrus and spicy cinnamon. Underlying notes of leather and cashew become more prominent.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Dec 01, 2013 | Score: 91

A well-constructed torpedo with a reddish-brown wrapper. Notes of coffee, cedar and earth come through before a toasty finish. Balanced and flavorful.

Issue: Cigar Insider: Jun 25, 2013 | Score: 91

A well-constructed torpedo with a reddish-brown wrap- per. Notes of coffee, cedar and earth come through before a toasty finish. Balanced and flavorful.

Issue: Cigar Insider: Aug 24, 2010 | Score: 88

Though the wrapper of this belicoso is a bit dull in color, there are mild, yet distinct notes of wood, caramel and pepper on the palate. A flavorful cigar.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Aug 01, 2010 | Score: 88

Though the wrapper of this belicoso is a bit dull in color, there are mild, yet distinct notes of wood, caramel and pepper. Tastier than it looks.

Issue: Cigar Insider: Jan 24, 2006 | Score: 92

A very good-looking torpedo with a chocolate-brown wrapper. Well-balanced notes of coffee, cedar and earth come through before a toasty finish.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Aug 01, 2002 | Score: 89

An attractive belicoso with a roasted, peppery flavor and a hint of black cherries. This is a well-balanced smoke. Medium to full bodied, with a pleasant, earthy finish.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Oct 01, 2001 | Score: 87

This attractive belicoso is tan, toothy and firm. The draw is superb, and the smoke is cedary sweet and a bit meaty. Some odd notes on the finish.

Issue: Cigar Insider: Apr 01, 2000 | Score: 89

This belicoso has some rough spots on the wrapper. It has a full draw, and some inconsistency in the burn. It's spicy and musky, medium to full-bodied.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Oct 01, 1999 | Score: 90

Complex flavors of leather and spice dominate this medium to full-bodied cigar. It has a touch of earthiness, and the tobacco taste seems sweet. It has a spicy finish.

Issue: Cigar Aficionado: Jan 01, 1970 | Score: 90

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.

Cigar Aficionado's 100-Point Scale
  • Classic: 95-100
  • Outstanding: 90-94
  • Very good to excellent: 80-89
  • Average to good commercial quality: 70-79
  • Don't waste your money: 0-69
100-Point Scale