March 02, 2013

Cuenca 5 Anniversary (7x54)

Video review HERE.

The Cuenca 5 Anniversary is made by A. J. Fernandez. The blend was chosen by Miguel Cuenca, then a group of 5 seasoned smokers at Cuenca Cigars in Hollywood, Florida, among them Ana Cuenca, were part of the tasting process.

"Our goal was to blend a cigar with complexity and a lot of flavor. We did not want to come out with a mild blend; we love spicy and full bodied cigars. We also love to be different. Did you notice the absence of the "th" in 5? We like it like that way, and 5 is a great number for us."

Cuenca 5 Anniversary will have an initial batch of 500 boxes. All boxes will be signed by Miguel Cuenda. In 2013, a full like will be released using this same blend.

Cuenca 5 Anniversary is a 7 x 54, torpedo box pressed, with carefully selected dark Habano wrapper from Nicaragua. It was aged and cured by A. J. Fernandez, the creator of San Lotano Cigars, a good friend of the Cuenca Family. They come in an elegant cedar box which contains 10 cigars.

Cigars will be initially available in 20 different cigar stores in the Continental U.S. and Europe. By mid 2013, the whole line will be available to 50 U.S. and European stores.

This cigar is very dark and extremely well made. I love the look of this cigar. The band is quite ornate on foil. The Cuenca's are obviously very proud of this cigar.

The cigar feels dense in the hand and as you can see the density is not lacking.

The test draw after cutting the cap was just a bit firm but very workable. The initial flavors were sweet cedar and leather. The pepper is a 6 or 7 on the pepper scale. I can tell there are a lot of flavors that want to jump out so I let it sit for a minute to come into it's own. 
About 1/2 inch in the flavors indeed are popping. The sweet cedar now has an orange candy-like flavor combining with it. There is also some richness. The leather is still strong and the pepper is now set at a 7. The flavor combination is very nice. The finish is a toasted cream type flavor with some lingering pepper. I am also getting a hint of another flavor; a sweet-type flavor, but I need to let it develop.

 Only about another 1/4 inch further and the mystery flavor that has appeared is maraschino cherries. Yes, there is a cherry flavor which reminds me of maraschino cherries. It's not overbearing but it's sort of like the cherry on top of a sundae; it's there is just the right amount. The leather and pepper remain pretty much unchanged.


 At the 1 inch point you can see the even burn. This cigar has the signature leather that A. J. Fernandez cigars have but it's not an overbearing leather. The fruit-like flavors are in a greater percentage than the leather, which for me is nice. The cigar is medium bodied at this point.

Just past the midpoint and 1 hour into the cigar the only change is the leather has now moved to the lead flavor. It's not harsh or overbearing but it's now slightly ahead of the cedar/citrus/cherry notes. The finish is a toasted cream which feathers into a straight cream.

 With only a couple inches left. The leather is still prominent and it's creamy. The cedar is your primary sweet flavor but it's lost it's richness. The orange and cherry notes have pretty much disappeared. There is also a charred oak flavor. The cigar is still medium bodied.

 The cigar lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes. This has been a very enjoyable cigar. I thank Miguel and Ana for sending 2 of them to sample and report on. The flavors were very nice. I absolutely loved the first half of the cigar with the sweet cedar, orange, and cherry notes. The leather was perfectly proportioned. The second half had more leather and less orange and cherry notes but the cedar remained very good. The pepper stayed very consistent at a 7 in intensity. The finish was very pleasing. The cigar ended up medium bodied. I urge you to try these. Look for them at selected shops and online.

Score: 92

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