Fuente Casa Cuba Pre-release Review
The cigar that has been talked about for the last two IPCPR’s is once again set to have a release date soon. According to Fuente reps, the Casa Cuba should be making an appearance later this year or early next year and for many that appearance won’t come soon enough. Halfwheel announced the cigar right before the show last year by employing some trademark surfing. Further research yielded a stronger likelihood that the cigar would indeed see the light of day and at the IPCPR last year it was confirmed. Fast forward to today, and the cigar was still proudly displayed at the IPCPR, but not many were being sampled out. Luckily it pays to have a retailer on your rotation of staff writers and our main man Paul was able to get us a sample of this highly anticipated line.
The difficulty in rating any IPCPR stick is that it is a prerelease sample and the question always is, whether or not the cigar will remain the same when it eventually comes out into full production. With that caveat, we will give a short review on our initial take of the Casa Cuba. The first thing I noticed about the cigar is that it has a slightly oily sheen over its medium brown milk chocolate body. There are also some vein protrusions, but nothing that stood out as unsightly. As I continued the inspection of the cigar I noticed its firm pack and as I clipped the cap, I was welcomed by a firm draw. Don’t get me wrong though, as firm as the draw was, it wasn’t unpleasant and offered just the right balance between being firm but also loose enough to allow air to freely flow through the channels. Taking in the aroma of the foot and wrapper revealed a sweet hay note mixed with a very faint hint of ammonia.
On to the exciting part of actually smoking this rare treat. Right off the bat, an initial cayenne pepper spice kicks off the experience. The cayenne spice is a lingering spice that rests on the tongue. At the same time there is a fair amount of floral sweetness. Almost immediately, the smoking experience reminds me somewhat of a muted rested Opus. Towards the midpoint, the spice builds and the sweetness transitions into something else. To be honest, it was hard to peg the sweetness for it was not really saccharine nor was it really a floral sweetness; in fact, it lied somewhere in between. As the back third rolled around, the spice lingered and the floral note came back for a short revisit before being wiped away by a rising heat issue. Yes, the ending got a little hot, but otherwise the cigar was a great smoke throughout.
The Casa Cuba is a real interesting cigar, especially when the retail price point on it is supposed to be relatively moderate. If you are a fan of sweetness and spice with a medium + body, then the Casa Cuba will be a great choice for you. At the end of the day a lot of people will most likely ask, “What does it compare with in the rest of the Fuente line”? Well, Paul’s answer to this question was probably the best. He said “if an Opus X and Ashton Cabinet got together at a Motel 8 and made some bad decisions, the resulting love child would be the Casa Cuba!”, and I’ve got to say that I largely agree with that assessment. Is the Casa Cuba exactly an aged Opus X? No, but it has that spice and floral temperament that comes with an Opus, albeit in a more muted format. Is it exactly like an Ashton Cabinet? No, it’s quite a bit stronger and more complex, but it does have that creamy and consistent factor. So at the end of the day, if the pre-release is anything like what the production stick will be, then everyone is in for a real treat!