Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Arturo Fuente Curly Head DeLuxe - Cigar Review


Just a note, really. I have reviewed this offering's unbanded brother HERE.

The difference, for those wondering, between the regular and Deluxe Curly Head is that of short and long fillers, respectively. Each are floor sweepings of other Arturo Fuente blends. Who knows, there might be an Opus X Lost City in yer stogie. Or, it might be just that -- lost. THIS is a stogie, my friends.

For now, we’ll call it

The Cigar:
Arturo Fuente
Curly Head Deluxe
Cameroon Natural Wrapper
Dominican Republic binder & filler
Parejo shaped, Lonsdale sized
6.5 x 44
A rough ‘n’ ready visual appeal that not all will find appealing. There are veins, seams, knicks, divots, scratches. There are dings, blemishes, imperfections. Too, there are dents, marrings, and the occasional whoopsy. I believe I actually saw a hiccup and would not be surprised if a bugaboo went undetected. I grew bored of tallying.

There are a couple of spots packed not as firmly as most and a peek at the foot gives no hint toward density because the wrapper is pulled over-end and sorta kinda just squished down. It looks like a belly button, or perhaps a sphincter, puckered Young Republican tight.

To the nose, there is the much more universal appeal of surprisingly rich tobacco, although in an uncomplicated manner. Pardon me as I choose to not sniff from the belly button/sphincter foot-end.

The band I should state, is nice a enough adornment. I looks a tad like a Professional Boxing championship belt -- one of lesser importance. “Ladies and Gentlemen, the 146 pound Champion of Flatbush (when Vido is in Jersey)! …”

Gentlepersons, let’s light the dang thang.

Voluminous smoke with mild yet rich tobacco. Traces of vanilla and peanut on the first warm pull. I feel as though the horse left the gate in a helluva hurry -- then remind myself that they are supposed to. A second pull is retro-haled and a nice caramel is displayed alongside a deepening and warming vanilla. It very much puts me in mind of Cracker Jacks; those caramelized peanuts found within.

A third pull is very creamy, very caramel on the draw. The finish is Cracker Jack with a touch of baseball mitt and who the heck took me out to the ball-game? Who took me out to the crowd? Whomsoever did done so, Thank You!

The burn corrects itself from ridiculously jagged to terrible to feh. The ash is grey and is already looking to dump. Excuse me as I lay a hankie in my lap and enter

Act I:
I daresay this is perhaps the quintessential cigar smoking experience in terms of familiar (I will not say rudimentary) notes. Those notes are now a tobacco that is not complex, but is indeed nuanced. It is on the slight side of medium bodied with draw notes of Cracker Jacks, baseball mitt, with a finish of vanilla followed by a leggy caramel. Simple. Good. Kap like.

To my surprise the Curly Head Deluxe has yet to clump ash, however, the burn is getting a bit Helter-Skelter once again. I knock an inch of grey powdery ash off against the side of my tray in hopes it will accelerate an evening out of the burn. It quickly does indeed adjust itself.

The flavors are the same, the burn has slowed, and we are coasting in a decidedly uncomplicated manner unto

Act II:
Along with the slower burn came a less profuse smoke output, although it is still noticeably above average and from off the foot smells of a nice leather.

The finish: the vanilla now stays in stride with caramel and the two last easily onto the next pull. It is not sickly sweet, but too it is not clean. Some pepper would be nicely received, but has yet to RSVP to my invite. The draw notes are the same as already mentioned and do not seem to be evolving into the crescendo of a transition -- an occurrence that would greatly surprise me and be almost incongruent with this whole darned thing.

My keyboard is SURPRISE an ashtray, as a clump of still grey/blackish powder goes boom.

We are now in the dead center of this Fuente offering and it has warmed some, which has caused it to hint at a bit of mottling. Thus far it only deepens. The draw does tighten a tad now…

I should note that the Lonsdale size, whenever I smoke it, reminds me that it is indeed the perfect size for myself. I do like an extra long Panetela, but there is logistical perfection in the Lonsdale. I simply feel a bit less of a dandy than I’d prefer.

At this point, the draw has tightened and I am forced to Old Timer a bit more off the head and stumble upon a stem which was affecting the pull. It looks like I’ve avoided having to employ a toothpick to unplug.

There’s now a dustiness, however, which threatens to dampen to bitterness. Flavors have mingled and a distinct sour note joins and overwhelms the finish. Interestingly, the ash has whitened and is now displaying toothiness. There’s just no forecasting scraps, gentlepersons. Especially and interestingly -- those of the long filler variety. This is because their distinct tastes last longer through a portion of the stick, than the short filler alternative, which tends to simply mottle a tad.

I let it burn in my hand and pull only very occasionally, in hopes of meeting the final third in a subdued manner as opposed to a fit of bitter rage. I am rewarded the return to better pull and burn I was after, now I must be cautious of its granting.

A final second act pull offers some butter and a creamier mouthfeel than before. This aids nicely the finish, which has substantially lessened its sourness. I do believe we are back on track.

Act III:
The first draw of the final act is of a cocoa laced buttercream ending in leather and a hint of Cracker Jack which carries into the finish and births a vanilla note of newfound richness. It’s now a caramel alone which lasts strong into the next pull. I must say, the mouthfeel is quite pleasant, as are the flavors on my palate. They are not delicate, but surely they are gentle.

A retrohale shows a touch of white pepper which meets well, the creaminess. I begin to feel this offering really and finally -- truly flex. As I am duly impressed.

I have discussed ad naseum, the flavor, and to a lesser extent, body. Insofar as the strength, I do find some room to gripe as it nowhere near approaches even the lowest end of medium. One does like a lunch served with a buzz -- but one too cannot always afford that time away from the day.

This is a lovely midday excursion which won’t leave you far from home and household chores. I almost want to mow my lawn. Almost. has passed.

NOTICE: the burn needed a touch-up halfway through the final act. Upon doing so, a note of orange blossom honey protrudes, which is a near grapefruit on the retro-hale. I feel for a second time (this time more pronounced) that someone handed me a different stick.

It’s as if someone poured Mogen David into Manischewitz, and handed me the glass saying “Is this Manischewitz or MG?”

The softer notes of vanilla and especially caramel have left. There is still a leather trace, it lays sharply on the tip of my tongue on account of being soaked in citrus. The retro-hale is now a tangy grapefruit with a very good bit of dry white wine sourness. Some vague floral notes are on the draw now, they put me in mind of the wildflowers alongside highways ramps.

I tilt my fedora back and gaze toward the sun, somewhat puzzled.

It’s all white wine and citrus now. The finish is almost unpleasant as the sourness goes from crisp to near bite. I believe there is a white pepper in the far back. I too believe we left the ball-game for good.

It’s all about the finish now, a sharp citrusy affair with notes of dry white wine which lasts even longer than the previous already lengthy finish. The draw is short and is a floral affair of that orange blossom honey.

This Fuente is driving me cuckoo. Fine enough ingredients, blended with a blind eye wielding a broom.

The smoke off the foot is a very toasted version of the draw. Grilling pineapples over charcoal comes to mind.
In my misspent youth of last Tuesday, I was reknown for my prank phone calls. A favorite was to call a Bowling Alley and ask if there were lighter balls for me on account of my bad back. I would talk until the opportunity arose to turn the conversation to my flamboyantly displayed disgust over the suggestion I play with children’s balls.

“I won’t abuse a child, kind sir!”
To which one clerk droned dryly, “Is this some sort of practical joke?”

Well, is it? Answer me now, dammit, as in the final pulls a mint note takes hold and birds stop in the air, midflight. As a cow jumps over the moon at midday. As now -- and finally -- it appears we are attending a double-header and a bag of Cracker Jacks are thrown into my lap, expertly, from some four rows away.

Oy vey, is that CINAMMON???
I need a rest.

As stated, these are made from the unused remains of other finer Fuente offerings, and writing about them is as taxing as penning a transcription of a Glenn Beck meltdown. Or, for the not overly caucasian -- a Busta Rhymes track.

There are nuances, there are complexities, and there are moods which require stabilizing pharmaceutical interventions.

Nerves of steal and a glass of water. Glass of water, optional.

Final Grade: Huh?
(Would and will smoke again.)

I shall have something bland for supper tonight. The taste bud equivalent of resting your tootsies on an ottoman after a long, very long, walk following a missed bus.