Company: Arturo Fuente
Line: Hemmingway Short Story Maduro “AF SSM”
Size: 4 x 46/49 Perfecto
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Price: As low as $6.50 up to $9.00
The Arturo Fuente Hemmingway Short Story Maduro are one of Fuente’s rare and limited cigars. If I am not mistaken, the last time it was released was in 2002. During the 2011 IPCPR show, if retailers bought twenty or more boxes of Fuente, they could purchase one of only 1,000 boxes (of 25) of the Short Story Maduros.
I have always liked the Hemmingway line which was released in 1980 in an all perfecto line. The Hemmingway was one of my first cigars to smoke and really enjoy, thus it has turned into a staple in my humidor. I particularly like the perfecto vitola of the Hemmingway lines and the Short Story & Best Seller have been my favorite sizes. I like the smaller vitolas due to they are a great quick smoke that has very nice flavors that aren’t too bold and a nice medium smoke that can be enjoyed anytime of the day.
1st Look: A nice deep dark brown broadleaf leaf drapes the SSM. A small slight vein runs through the cigar with no tooth to it. The feal is firm with a slight give to it. The small foot of the perfecto smells of chocolate, a chalky powdery chocolate aroma. This time, I chose to use a V-cut to cut the cap. This makes a nice draw, thats a little tight but should open up once the closed foot burns off. The prelight draw reveals a chalky flavor, similar to that of the aroms of the foot, but less announced. Lets toast the “nipple foot” and see how it smokes.
1st Half: I like the perfecto vitola for the fact that they light up quickly witht the small “nipple foot”. They usually burn evenly if toasted properly. The first few draws, I get a slight bittersweet chocolate, with a faint untertone of cinnamon. The draw starts off a little tight, but one the foot opens up, the draw gets alot better. If you get to try one of them, don’t try to overdraw on it, let the cigar’s draw open itself up. The tangy and somewhat bittersweet cocoa lingers into the first quarter of the cigar and stays pretty consistant. I still get the faint taste of cinamon or cedar during the very first part of the draw that quickly fades out. The ash on the SSM is very tight with a white/grayish ash. No flakes and no “lap ashing” issues.
For years, I didn’t care for too many maduro cigars. Now that I look back as to why, I realize its was due to the fact of smoking alot of “not so good” maduros that tainted my tastes towards them. Since then I have tried a good number more of better maduros and have grown fond of them. The SSM is a medium body/flavored smoke so far. Getting towards the halfway point, the tangy/bitter fades off and more of the sweetened cocoa shows through.
2nd Half: The chocolate tone gets slightly darker going into the last half of the SSM. The flavors stay pretty consistant between the halves. Not an overly complex smoke, but deffinately consistant. Working into the final part, it seems like the chocolate fades out and the bitter cedar-cinamon tastes hits the tip of my tongue. I’ve only had this cigar for about a month. Maybe with a bit of rest, the tangy-bitterness tones would ease off. They aren’t bad, but would be a little better if they were not there at all. Then the chocolate/cocoa/cinamon notes would shine through nicely.
Final Thoughts: Fuente makes mostly natural Cameroon wrapped cigars, the Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro is a very nice change of pace. The Short Story Maduro is a nice 45 minute or so smoke that would be nice during any part of the day. I wish they would have came out with it earlier this year. The shorter smokes are more my speed for the Summer time heat. But I think I will let the rest of these that I have rest till next summer. If you like the regular production Fuente lines, ever see them in a Maduro, grab more than one! They are good right off the truck, but probably even better with some age to them. The SSM is not my favorite maduro, but with some age, I am sure it could make its way to the top of the list.