Reviewing cigars is a great hobby for a number of reasons, not least of which is that as a reviewer, I get to smoke a lot of the newest product on the market, discover new brands, and develop my palate. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good reasons to turn to regularly return to the classic brands that have defined the industry since the mid twentieth century. In the case of today’s post, that’s Arturo Fuente, more specifically the Hemingway Signature Maduro which is rightly understood as a classic among industry veterans.
- Cigar Reviewed: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: 7 x 47 perfecto
Appearance & Construction
The Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro features a classic Fuente band (I’ve always found the similarities of the bands confusing), with a slightly sandy textured maduro wrapper that has plenty of oil and some pronounced veins.
The outer wrapper smells of barnyard, vegetal, and savory spices. Par for the course for Fuente. The draw is very tight, an 8.5/10 in terms of restrictiveness, but that’s mostly due to the tapered format, so we’ll see how the construction changes as the cigar burns.
Flavor & Smoke Characteristics
The Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro ignites and immediately produces wonderfully mild but thin flavors of creamy chocolate. But as soon as the tapered end burns, the draw suddenly opens up and smoke production kicks in full blast. Notes of floral, barbecue, espresso and cocoa powder come together to make a unique, dessert-like initial impression. Each time I puff, I’m greeted with white and red pepper, but the finish is creamy and lightly sweet, making for an excellently balanced experience. The retrohale is chock full of red and white pepper, along with some wood and vegetal notes.
Overall, the kick off of the Hemingway Signature Maduro strikes the balance between sweet, savory, and spicy quite nicely, though the wood note at times is a little bit abrasive.
As the ember burns past the first inch, the ash continues holding on with a perfectly shaped point. The strength and body of the cigar are now past medium and getting close to full. There’s plenty of sweet cream up front, with some bitter wood, but most of all lots of finely ground white and red pepper. The aroma is excellent, with more sweetness than the palate.
The ash continues to hold all the way up to the end of the first third. The flavor shifts away from bitter / savory and toward sweet, with a distinct dark chocolate note peeking through the more aggressive spice and pepper notes. It’s quite nice, and especially so because just a few puffs layer, the chocolate is joined by sweet cinnamon, adding nice complexity.
Remarkably, the ash holds almost to halfway. Smoke production never let’s up, and the cigar continues providing cool, flavorful smoke. At halfway, the pepper of the cigar finally subsides, though strong spice remains on the tip of the tongue with each puff. At the same time, soft mushroom emerges.
At this point what I find so interesting about the Hemingway Signature Maduro is that, though there is plenty by way of flavor complexity, there’s nearly as much complexity in the different textures I’ve experienced up to this point. This really enhances the experience and is a testament to the craftsmanship at work on this cigar.
The final third of the Hemingway Signature Maduro brings it all together. Nearly perfect construction, great smoke production, and a very complex flavor profile. Lots of spices on the tip of the tongue, cream coating the palate, and supporting flavors of mushroom, espresso, cedar, and hints of dark chocolate. Strength at this point is full, providing one hell of an ending to the experience.
The Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature Maduro is a classic cigar for a reason. Impeccable construction, rich and complex flavors, and a real journey of strength and texture. It’s the kind of cigar that has so much going on that it isn’t the best beginner cigar, but veterans of all preferences will find much to love.