This Tampa Sweethearts NO. 4 comes in at 5.5×43 in both Natural and Maduro wrappers. This one is a Maduro that I received as a gift from Catfishm2 over a Club Stogie, as well as a rather large sampler of other Tampa Sweethearts, a testament to the atmosphere overe there.
I received two of these from Catfishm2, the first one I pulled out of the humidor was hard as a rock. The only place on the cigar that there was any give at all when squeezed was the last half inch near the foot. I was worried this would lead to a tight draw and after the cut was met with just as bad a draw as I had feared. No problem, I return it to the humidor and grab the other. This one is also firm, but not near as much as the first save for the last inch near the head.
The wrapper was nice and dark as expected of a maduro but this one was not as oily looking as others I’ve seen. The appearance of the wrapper was fairly rough with a few flaws but the double cap was perfectly executed.
The draw after toasting the foot was tighter than I like but tolerable. The wrapper was almost surprisingly sweet and continued to leave a slightly sweet taste on the lips for most of the first third. Within the first half inch this cigar was already producing a very impressive ash, light grey almost white, covered with tiny ripples left behind by the burn. Nice medium body with a short finish.
The body built slightly through the second third with the flavors remaining consistent, increasing in intensity slowly. The smoke was slightly earthy with strong cocoa flavors coming and going. The burn and ash continued to be impressive, falling to the garage floor at a little over two inches, missing the ash tray by about three inches. 🙂
The draw never really got much better but about this point the cigar began to produce a little more smoke. Getting into the very beginning of the last third I get little hints of the sweetness I had at the start with the first appearance of some slightly leathery flavors.
With a little over an inch remaining I began to get the first hints of harshness. While a purge often removes the harshness and bitterness of a cigar I often find that it also takes away some of the flavors that have been building and prefer to just set it down when it has given all I can enjoy. I had a few more draws and put it to rest.
These cigars are rolled by apprentice rollers for Arturo Fuente and several of the sizes are exact matches for cigars in the A.F. Gran Reserva line. Aside from the flaws in the wrapper, and the first rock solid cigar with the impossible draw, had this second cigar had an Arturo Fuente band on it I would have never questioned it. The ash was 100% Arturo Fuente. For $30.75 for a bundle of 25 I think you owe it to yourself to try theses. Thanks for the cigars Catfishm2, you never know when I’ll retaliate for such kindness. 🙂