The Don Carlos cigars gets its name form the legendary Fuente Patriarch, Don Carlos Fuente Sr. The Don Carlos cigar has history dating back to 1976 when it was originally sold. Eventually is was gone from the market when the Fuentes lost everything to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, but re-emerged 1986 for the European market. That cigar used tobacco from the 1984 crop tobacco and until 1997 was only available in two vitolas Robusto and No. 3. In 1997 switched to tobacco from 1986 crops and added the Presidente, Double Robusto, No. 2, and No. 4 sizes in 1998.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.
The blend uses a Cameroon wrapper with Dominican binder and fillers. The No. 3 size is still around today and is significantly more affordable than the larger sizes. It is a classic corona and measure 5 1/2″ x 44. Emmett chose this cigar as a part of his battle of the bands sampler because it is such a classic cigar at a good price, and a perfect example of cameroon.
Vitola: Corona Length: 5 1/2″ Ring Gauge: 44 Country of Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Cameroon Binder: Dominican Republic Filler: Dominican Republic Factory: Tabacalera A Fuente y Cia Blender: Carlito Fuente Number of reviewers: 4 – Vance T.(Vance) Matt Cade(CadeTNCC) Sean F.(fullermaine) James H.(Keikan Jim) Price: $9.75 Age: 7 Months Release Date: 1997 Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
“This is a good-looking little cigar with a neatly applied triple cap. The cigar sports some well-defined veins as well as a few visible seams however this does not distract from its appearance. ” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“While the cigar’s wrapper itself reveals little in the way of aroma when sniffing the foot directly there is a faint sense of charred wood present.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
Flavor: 94 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“As I cut the cigar for a pre-light exploratory I’m beginning to feel a bit more optimistic. The draw is perfect and I’m getting some interesting impressions from the cold draw. There’s still the mustiness I picked up on the aroma but it tastes more like the dustiness of an old book than damp carpet in an old basement. On top of that, there’s an interesting saltiness. Plus, I just like the way a petite corona feels in the mouth.
As I light up I’m even more encouraged. Immediately I’m met with a unique saltiness that quickly fades into a present, but less prominent, position as I continue to puff. As the salt fades into the background a pleasant, warm sweetness emerges, reminiscent of cardamom and chamomile tea. The combo strikes a nice balance in the medium body, medium strength range, though I’d love to see a bit more spice come through as we move along. Also happy to report that the construction seems right on point, with the ash dropping at the 3/4″ mark, and a sharp burn line.” –Vance T. (Vance)
“There’s a touch of sweetness on the cold draw prior to lighting this attractive cigar on fire. Upon ignition, mild pepper, and a toasted bread note show up first on the retrohale, with gentle cedar and cream arriving via the draw. Soon a hint of mint joins the retro and it especially makes a nice dancing partner for that creaminess I’m experiencing on the draw. Construction is great early on with a smooth draw and straight burn line.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
Flavor: 95 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“A few bouncing notes this go around. Notes of burnt maple, black pepper, and burnt toast make this a very interesting smoke.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Getting into the second third, there is a shift in the spice profile. While at first, this was a major pepper bomb, I am now getting a nice cedar zing and a little citrus in the mix. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of pepper for the pepper lovers out there but the added notes truly enhance this complex little cigar. ” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
“Moving into the final 3rd the vanilla cake has transitioned into a sweet buttercream note and the anise picks up ever so slightly in prominence. As I puff I get a nice toasted wheat bread aroma off the warm wrapper and the combo is really beautifully balanced. The pepper is nowhere to be found but it’s been replaced with a spicy cinnamon note. Draw and burn remain solid and I find myself wishing I had another to light up as soon as this one’s done.” –Vance T. (Vance)
“Things remain fairly consistent in the final third, with the toasted bread note and mint coming through the nose (the pepper does come back albeit far toned down) and the draw is still producing that great combo of cream and gentle cedar. That cake icing flavor does come back but, again, it vanishes in a heartbeat… dammit. Construction has been fantastic overall, not great, fantastic.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
Overall Impressions – Arturo Fuente Don Carlos No. 3
“The draw is great throughout the smoking experience. ” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“Even burn from start to finish with a nice grey ash.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Construction overall was excellent throughout the smoking experience, there were zero issues whatsoever. ” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“As I smoked through this delicious cigar, my prevailing thought was: “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I was not looking forward to this smoke after I completed my pre-cut assessment, but it smoked flawlessly, was smooth, balanced, and presented some really unique and inviting flavors. It also speaks to the importance of appearance for manufacturers as, depending on my familiarity with the brand, I likely would have passed by this one on the humidor shelf based solely on how it looked. I’d gladly pay $10-$12 for this smoking experience again.” –Vance T. (Vance)
“I want to smoke another one of these refined, delicious cigars immediately. I’m so curious to see if the flavor profile is consistent amongst other samples because if they are – it is without a singular doubt box-purchase worthy. Seek this excellent cigar out immediately before I buy them all!” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“A nice quick smoke to relax with. Sweet and spicy notes with a subtle hint of oak. A great cigar to add to your humidor or pair with your favorite cup of coffee. ” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“This diminutive cigar packs a punch much greater than its size. Excellent flavors combined with premium construction lead to a near-perfect smoking experience for this cigar lover. ” –James H. (Keikan Jim)
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.
Blind Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente | Don Carlos No. 3
Blind Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente | Don Carlos No. 3
"I want to smoke another one of these refined, delicious cigars immediately. I’m so curious to see if the flavor profile is consistent amongst other samples because if they are - it is without a singular doubt box-purchase worthy. Seek this excellent cigar out immediately before I buy them all!" -Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)