This past week I was digging through the humidor looking for a cigar to review when I came across a five pack of these Casa Fuego Coronas. Not being sure what they were or where I got them, I went to Google to find out more. One of the first results I found was for a review Walt did on his Walt In PA blog back in 2009. In the lead up to the video review, he mentioned Jesus Fuego approaching him at Cigar Fest and handing him one. Something about that shook a memory loose, and I recalled picking these up at Cigars International’s brick and mortar store when I was in Pennsylvania a few years ago. It seems likely that these cigars were made around the same time as the ones Walt reviewed.
Ordinarily I shy away from reviewing house blends like these, but a follow-up review seems like an interesting exercise. Additionally, I am a fan of many of Jesus Fuego’s creations, and honestly, I was running short on ideas for a review.
In terms of background, there’s not a lot to tell. It’s a CI exclusive that was introduced in 2009 with an MSRP around $4.75, but can frequently be found for much less on Cigar Bid. It’s available in five sizes, Corona (5 1/2 x 46), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6.5 x 52), Double Corona (7 x 50) and Belicoso (6 x 52). And it’s a Nicaraguan puro that’s made in Honduras. Since Jesus is involved, you know you’re in for some Corojo.
Now let’s see how a few years have changed this cigar.
Size: 5 1/2 x 46
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua Corojo
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $4.75
Though the wrapper was a pretty rustic and occasionally had small holes in it, the cigar looked a step up from a bundle stick. It had a band, and it wasn’t tacky. The veins were about medium sized at most. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s not a bad looking stick.
The cigars were solid and consistent to the touch, and the wrapper had an aroma that was a combination of pungent compost, honey and a touch of herbal sweetness. The cold draw echoed that, substituting a distinct woodiness for the compost.
The only significant issue I had with these well-rested cigars was tunneling. Most of them developed some sort of tunnel, but in only one case did it negatively affect the draw or smoke production. (That one had a particularly large tunnel, the rest were much smaller.)
The ashes were a little delicate, but solid. They often looked more likely to drop off at an inopportune time than they actually were. Aside from the stick with the problematic tunnel, the draw was good, the smoke was dense and burn was even.
The Casa Fuego opened up with a very rich wood syrup flavor, and I don’t mean syrup in a sweet sense. If it was possible to butter up a two-by-four and then melt it into a liquid, it would probably be close. As the cigar progressed through the third, I also picked up chocolate and paprika. By the end of the third, the wood took on a very smokey quality, that Walt nailed when described it as being like a campfire.
In the second third, smoky wood, mildly sweet paprika and the occasional salt caramel note made up the profile. In every case I noted a spicy heat beginning to build, but how much varied from cigar to cigar.
Nearing the final third, there was an interesting period where profile turned creamy, and a cayenne-like spicy heat took over. The wood flavor was there, but was more of a background element. The Casa Fuego finished up with a return of the smoky, somewhat charry wood, some more paprika tingles and final blast of pepper.
After reviewing a number of sticks bearing super-premium prices, an inexpensive house blend, available at bundle prices is a nice change of pace.
Comparing my experience with Walt’s, it appears that time has improved these cigars considerably. The flavors were incredibly rich and there seemed to be some depth to it as well. It strikes me as a cigar that would perform well both when you’re enjoying a little quality time, and as a companion when you’re not able to give it your full attention.
Ordinarily I might say that I’d pick up more if I came across them at nearby shop, but I’m seriously thinking about throwing down a bid or two to get another five pack to hide in my humidor. It’s not Jesus Fuego’s best work, but it’s good work that ages very nicely and costs very little.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Possibly
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.