Best of the Best 2012: Cigars: Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro

If there is proof that big things come in small packages, it is the Arturo Fuente Hemingway Short Story Maduro ($6.75), a diminutive figurado measuring only 4 inches in length, with a ring gauge of 42/49. This cigar is a muscular bear hug of a smoke, packed with bursts of burned oak, ground espresso beans, and a mesmerizingly spicy-sweet undertaste that repeatedly draws the Short Story Maduro back to your lips for just one more puff. Anyone enjoying it for the first time may be pleasantly surprised to discover that it is easily a 45-minute smoke—and a rival of cigars almost twice its size.

 

This lengthy time under fire is the result of the Short Story Maduro’s well-cured tobaccos. The dark, leathery maduro wrapper exudes luxury, in spite of the Connecticut broadleaf’s characteristically rough-hewn texture. (Typically, the Hemingway-series cigars have African Cameroon wrappers, but occasionally a maduro version is released as a limited edition.) Maduro wrappers, by nature, must be thick enough to withstand the strain of longer fermentation: The stacks of tobaccos generate natural, compost-like heat, which is part of the curing process. The longer the fermentation, the darker the color, and, as a testament to the Fuente family’s penchant for excellence, the Short Story features only the best blemish-free tobaccos.

 

The cigar’s all-Dominican binder and filler tobaccos, which also contribute to a longer burn, are grown on the Chateau de la Fuente farm in the Dominican Republic. In the field and in the factory, quality—not quantity—is a way of life for the Fuentes. Only 200 Short Story Maduros were released in 1999 and 2002 combined. Thereafter, production ceased—until late last year, when 1,000 boxes containing 25 cigars each were released to select Fuente retailers.

 

The Fuentes’ Hemingway-series cigars possess a shape that is difficult to make in any size, and the process of hand-rolling tobaccos in the confining space necessary for the Short Story requires the talents of only the most skillful torcedors. With its rounded head, slightly tapered body, and pinched perfecto foot, the Short Story makes clipping effortless and lighting a one-match affair. The petite powerhouse deserves a gigantic ovation as this year’s Best of the Best cigar.

 

Arturo Fuente, www.arturofuente.com

The special release contains a blend of Cognacs aged for up to 35 years…
The 23-year-old scotch won a Best in Show award at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition…
Photo by Chelsea Curtis
New York’s Club Macanudo played host to an evening of Martell cognac and Cohiba cigars…
The full-flavored whiskey takes its character from the distillery’s picturesque natural...
The Mandarin Oriental New York hosted the exclusive event at its 35th-floor MObar…
Photo by Antoine Bagot
The finest Cognacs are deeply flavored, richly textured, and best discovered on their native ground...
The $3,000 Platinum pass ensures the finest food, drink, and access…
In honor of the hotel’s 125th anniversary, the ultra-rare scotch comes with a piece of England’s...
Scott Torrence evaluates, assesses, and drinks some of the greatest vintages in the world...
The cucumber-infused spirit inspired the giant green airship, which is taking to the skies of major...