Arturo Fuente Curly Head (Natural)

Back in July my cohort Walt reviewed the Fuente Curly Head Deluxe Maduro. At the time I didn’t realize there were two kinds of Curly Heads. The Deluxe that received a pretty poor review from Walt and the cigar I bring you today, the Curly Head (Natural). This is a great change of pace thats a bit easier on the wallet than some of my more recent reviews.

Since Walt’s review, I’ve heard from many people on what a nice stogie the Curly Heads are for the beginner smoker out there. Recently I had a bachelor party planned for my future brother-in-law in Atlantic City, NJ. I was put in charge on making sure there were plenty of smokes to enjoy for the aficionados and for the irregular smokers in the group. I accepted the mission and remembering the great things I had heard about the Curly Heads, I picked up a box.

You normally don’t associate the Arturo Fuente name with the term “value”. Lets face it, Mr. Fuente puts out some of the finest, rarest and expensive smokes on the market. So it was much to my surprise on what a great deal the Curly Heads are. For a box of 40 stogies it cost me $62.39 (that includes 5.75% sales tax in the District of Columbia). Thats around $1.55 a cigar! With my deal in hand I left my local B&M with a smile on my face with a little skepticism brewing in the back of my head. Can a $1.55 stogie bearing the Fuente name be as good as I’ve heard?

The naked (no band) Curly Head weighs in at 6.50 x 43. A little rugged looking Cameroon wrapper that was a bit on the beaten up side enclosed the Dominican binder and filler. The medium brown Cameroon wrapper isn’t much of a looker and several visible veins can be seen up and down. I’d have to say the Curly Head looked rugged and very simple but had that rustic/classic look and feel to it. I love the little touch of the A. Fuente imprint on the cellophane wrapper.

Easy enough with the cut. I did notice that the stogies are a bit squishy. I thought it might have been just the couple out of the box that I smoked but all the stogies in the box were soft to the touch. Just to be sure, I went to another B&M and even the box that the B&M had open, the Curly Heads were very soft. More on that later.

The foot of stogie was interesting to look at it. Instead of the clean cut type foot the Curly Head foot looked like the wrapper was a little bigger than the binder and the excess was just pushed in. I’m not good with the digital camera and the above is the best I could do but I guess thats how it got the name Curly Head huh? I was surprised as this made toasting the foot a bit easier. Less than a handful of seconds of using my torch and I was ready to go.

You immediately notice the smoothness of this stogie. You have a nice mild, on the verge of sweet tobacco taste on the tip while you take your first initial puffs. A very nice aroma and lots of smoke. As you progress you start noticing some inconsistencies. At times you get a lot of flavor and other times you almost none. With the dozen I smoked from this box the flavor points varied. Sometimes I got more flavor upfront, other times it was harsh upfront but was amazing at the end and vice versa. Like I said, inconsistent.

Construction also varied within this box. I had some that for the most part were soft but had a few hard spots I even had some that just looked plain awful. I counted two in my box that were green in some spots. Not mold, not plume but like a scrap from a candela wrapper got into the mix Coming back to how soft the Curly Heads are, it made it difficult to smoke for an extended period. Your saliva definitely impacts the wrapper and it turns from soft to soggy. Along with the loose short filler and the soft wrapper used, I will assume quality control on this line isn’t a priority to maintain its low price point.

Even with all these glaring negatives with the inconsistencies in both construction and flavor mapping of the Curly Head, I was impressed with its simplicity. I’m a believer in what I’ve heard from others that this is an excellent stogie for the beginner. Adding to this is the Fuente name. A beginner can walk into any B&M, say the name Fuente and 99.9% of the tobacconists out there will know what brand the smoker is referring to making their job a little bit easier to help a newcomer find a good smoke.