A Fuente Gran Reserva Short Story Review Assignment

The Arturo Fuente Short Story is one of those cigars that everyone should try at least once. One of the smallest cigars that Fuente makes, it is packed with flavor and is a favorite out of the Arturo Fuente line. Considering how many different smokes Fuente makes, that is saying something. In fact, quite a few people I have talked to mentioned that it took them quite a while to try a Short Story, based almost solely on it’s size, but after trying it, many of them decided to buy a box.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Size: 4 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • Est. Price: $3.00-$5.00

While many people just call this cigar short, I prefer to think of it as stout. Everyone of the many I have smoked have had a perfect construction and this one is no different. There is a very sweet smell to the light wrapper before smoking, one that is nice, but a bit odd coming from a tobacco product. As I take a prelight draw, that sweetness is confirmed, albeit intertwined with a great tobacco flavor, not too much or too little, just enough.

The cigar lights easily, and unlike some of the larger cigars with this shape, the burn and draw is perfect from the start—quite a few sticks with this shape and shapes like it burn unevenly and have problems with the draw until you get over the hump of the fastest part of the cigar.

The first third has that great tobacco flavor I mentioned earlier, intermingled with a little bit of pepper, but just enough to make the smoke interesting, not overwhelming at all. There is a little bit of sweetness, but not enough to really enjoy.

During the second third, the pepper remains almost constant, but a wood flavor starts to dominate the stick. I know a lot of reviews mean cedar when they say woodsy, but I tasted wood, not necessarily cedar and very distinct difference in taste that I enjoyed quite a bit.

The final third is pretty much the same as the second third, which is not saying much, since it is such a small, sorry, stout cigar, but the pepper picked up a little bit and it started getting hot at the very end, but close enough to the nub that it did not effect the smoke at all.

Final Notes:

  • As mentioned above, the construction, burn, draw and smoke were great, one of the best of any cigar I have reviewed.
  • The ash stayed on the stick for quite a while with little effort, and I—as I am sure many of you who have smoked one—made a game to see how long I could keep the ash on. The answer? Almost to the nub.
  • The Final smoking time was 47 minutes and I was taking my time.
  • This is one of the best short smokes I have had, and I would not hesitate to have a box around for times when you need a great smoke, but not a lot of time.
  • The band on the Short Story is the same general band as is on most of the Arturo Fuente cigars.
Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story
May 31, 2009
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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Perfecto
Size : 4 x 49
Wrapper : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Hand-Made
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing Arturo Fuente Hemingway cigars...

Today we've got the first dual review in our series of 6.

Joe K: Early on in my cigar smoking, Arturo Fuente’s Hemingway line sparked my interest with its diverse shapes and shades coupled with consistently positive mentions among various members of the cigar community. Making it a point to acquire and try at least one of each vitola, I began with the highly acclaimed Work of Art Maduro. Finding it enjoyable, I wasted no time in taking the second step along that journey with the equally reputed Short Story Natural.

Stephen: It was the first nice weekend of the year. Temps in the 70s and I was heading to the park for a walk. I thought what a perfect time to try another one of these fantastic cigars. I have smoked 3 in total.

Joe K

Stephen

Appearance:
Since first seeing the Hemingway Short Story it struck me as an interesting cigar. The signature Hemingway perfecto tip sets it apart from other figurados. Its nut brown hued wrapper has minimal veins but is a bit toothy lending a somewhat rugged appearance. In the past, when I have looked at these smokes, the coloring is very consistent and uniform. The two sticks I received for this review however, have some odd discoloration on them. It almost looks like as though they got wet at some point or mold had been brushed off because areas of the wrapper have a somewhat tiger stripped appearance alternating between the actual color and a lighter, more dusty hue. As I have seen these smokes in the past absent of such and also found this same patterning on a couple of other smokes from this vendor, I did not deduct from the rating for this. Overall, the unique shape catches your eye, has a very complimentary and classy band and the wrapper’s hue is just gorgeous.
Appearance:
The Cameroon wrapper is a nutty brown color. The usual good looking A. Fuente label was present. There were a couple minor veins but certainly nothing to complain about.
Construction:
Measuring in at less than five inches, one would think that this cigar would feel out of place when held. In fact, the contrary is true. A dense build and balanced design actually proves quite comfortable. When pinched there is a slight give but the barrel snaps back into place. Cutting a clean sliver off of the cap produces an absolutely perfect draw without the tightness found in some other small vitolas. Throughout the entire smoke a very tight, light gray ash was produced and only required ashing at about the halfway point. An easy light, thanks to the perfecto tip, gave way to a sharp burn remaining throughout the extent of the stick. An amazing feel, exquisite draw and perfect ash earn this cigar a perfect rating for construction.
Construction:
The Hemingway Short Story features an African Cameroon wrapper with Dominican filler and binder, the same as the other vitolas in the Hemmingway line. The Short Story is perfectly rolled from the expertly applied cap right down to the little nub on the foot. The excellent burn was razor sharp and was about close to perfect. It had dark gray ash that held on for an inch. It burned for about 45 minutes.
Flavor:
My Short Story experience actually took place after our Easter day meal, the highlights of which consisted of a greens and brie salad, rosemary rubbed lamb and lemon thyme potatoes. Not toting any other smokes along, I was somewhat worried that the Short Story would not withstand the flavors of the meal; how wrong that was. Prelight, the cigar has a very barnyard smell that left a tingling sensation in the nose akin to white pepper. Initial flavors however, are faintly sweet with toasty undertones reminiscent of tomato soup and unsalted saltine crackers. This sweetness, noticed in other Hemingway vitolas, carries throughout the entire cigar but is nowhere near as dominant as its Work of Art Maduro counterpart. Tobacco and toast come and go throughout the first third and produce a very mild smoke. For the second third, faint coffee hints present themselves. A new grass flavor and the aforementioned sweetness compliment and balance this out very nicely. Moving into the final third of this smoke takes on a medium body and the toast and sweet flavors reassert themselves to combine into a vanilla flavor. Accompanied by oak, it remarkably takes on a profile reminiscent of a fine Cabernet Sauvignon. For such a small smoke to have this much complexity blew me away. The flavors are so unique and perfectly balanced that this is deserving of another five of five rating for flavor.
Flavor:
There is just a taste of sweet tobacco and earth on prelight. You have to be careful while lighting the nub not to scorch the cigar. Initial taste was hard to tell until it burned past the small nub. Initially I am getting earth, leather, and some woodiness with a hint of spice. The second half is more leather and woodiness. It is very mild on the retrohale.
Value:
At roughly one dollar per inch, the cost of this cigar is meager compared to the enjoyment it brings. Simply put, this is a great buy!
Value:
This is a very well constructed cigar with good flavors. It was very consistent in every cigar I smoked.
Overall: (4.75)
With almost perfect ratings for all four categories and this stick’s being available for roughly five dollars, I say do everything within your power to track down a couple of these to try. A box is towards the top of my list with the intent of smoking about half now and trying a couple each year thereafter to see how they progress.
Overall:
The Short Story is well balanced and smooth. There is cedar, a little spice, leather, and nice tobacco flavors. The Cameroon tobacco is a nice combination of spice and sweetness without overpowering. I think this is an excellent cigar. I am also considering the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story box worthy and I may just go out and grab a box for those times when I want a quick, reliable smoke.

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