I enjoy the Arturo Fuente Rothschild maduro and since the Chateau Fuente shares so many characteristics I decided to pick one up. That combined with the fact one of my local shops actually has these priced $.50 cheaper than the Rothschilds made this one sure seem like a winner on paper. Both the Rothschild and Chateau Fuente are 4.5×50 and, at least in the maduro, I can’t find any references to any difference other than the cedar sleeve.
The Chateau Fuente comes wrapped in a handsome cedar sleeve with a green ribbon that matches the color on the Gran Reserva band. Even with the cedar sleeve removed, the dark, oily wrapper still had a strong aroma of cedar with one medium sized vein running lengthwise down the cigar like a barber pole. It had a firm feel, giving little when squeezed, but had a very giving draw.
The foot toasted quickly and the first few puffs gave way to a familiar Arturo Fuente maduro flavor with hints of sweetness from the wrapper. There are strong hints of cedar for the first half inch yielding to earthy maduro flavors with strong coffee on top. The burn is even leaving behind the “Fuente ripple” I notice with so many of their maduros. Even left unattended for several minutes this cigar was still burning well after the first draw and producing plumes of smoke.
The second third gave a build to the body to a strong medium, picking up a bit of spice and a little more sweetness from the wrapper. At this point the cedar has disappeared completely and I would be hard pressed to tell that I wasn’t smoking a Rothschild maduro if I hadn’t taken the cedar sleeve off. There is a definite difference, the Chateau seems a bit stronger and the sweetness seems different while still being at the same relative level. I’m just not sure I could pick out the difference in a blind test.
The body continued to build at a steady pace, being nice and full by the time I reached the last third. The spice was much more evident now with some woodsy, though not really cedar, flavors. There was one minor burn problem that I couldn’t get to self-correct and required a minor touch-up but otherwise was maintenance free.
I find the Rothschild maduro, which I usually keep a couple of around, turns pretty quick once I get to the last third while this Chateau Fuente remained smokable a fair bit longer. I smoked this cigar much closer to a nub than I have pretty much any Fuente, save for the Ashton Aged Maduro and a single aged 858 Flor Fina, and as long as my B&M continues to have these priced cheaper than the Rothschild maduros I’ll continue to grab a couple every time I stop in. Any Fuente fans (I’m looking at you cigar family guy :)) know what the differences are between this and the Rothschild maduro?