It’s that time of year again. And I’m not talking about trees, lights, shopping sprees and loosened belts. I’m talking about rare Fuente smoke season, where cigar geeks and Fuente fanatics across the country dash to their nearest B&M to see what presents Santa Carlito left on the shelves. This year, along with the annual supply of Añejos, if you’re lucky, you just might find the Hemingway Untold Story Maduro.
The Untold Story Maduro, sometimes abbreviated “UTS” or “UTSM”, like all cigars in the Hemingway line, is a figurado. Lengthwise it fits in between the seven inch Classic and the nine inch Masterpiece, and is actually a larger ring gauge than either. But unlike either of those sticks, no Cameroon-wrapped edition has ever been officially released. The Untold Story Maduro may also be the rarest officially released smoke in the line, at least when it comes to purchasing opportunities outside Casa Fuente in Las Vegas. The results of extensive googling indicate this vitola probably hasn’t been seen in shops since late 2006. And if you have any of those left over, don’t worry, you won’t get the two confused. This release sports the updated band.
As with anything rare Fuente makes, the MSRP is really only useful in gauging how much a retailer is sticking it to you at the register. It’s not uncommon to find them priced at $20, $30 or even more. Finding them for sale under $20, taxes permitting, is about the best you can hope for. But don’t count on walking out with a full 25-count box, these are often subject to the two-stick per person limit.
And now it’s time this story was told.
Size: 7 1/2 x 53
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 2 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $15.85
As you can imagine, the Untold Story Maduro is a big, dark, intimidating smoke. With a cigar this size, you almost have to pencil into your calendar. Zooming in on this monster, the oily maduro wrapper is a little rougher looking up close, with a little mottling, tooth, twisted veins and the occasional hole or other minor superficial damage.
The cigars I smoked for this review were consistent to the touch, and very firmly packed. The wrapper had a potent and pungent cheese aroma, and when I could get one, the firm cold draw tasted of sweet molasses.
The Untold Story Maduro is a good illustration of the tradeoffs of the figurado vitola. Lighting it is quicker and easier than a parejo, but for the convenience you pay the price of a tighter draw, at least until you burn past the tapered end.
Aside from the initial draw irritation, the cigar burned nicely, though not always evenly, and produced long, solid, light gray ashes. With delicate treatment, the Untold Story Maduro might just win that long ash contest.
The only real problem I encountered was significant wrapper cracking near the band of one stick. But it looked worse than it actually was. With the help of a single touch-up, the cigar burned through the damaged spot like it wasn’t even there.
Syrupy, rich chocolate and coffee flavors got the Untold Story Maduro started. A little way into it, as things warm up, caramel, nuts and a touch of spice liven things up a bit.
The cigar transitioned into acidic fruity sweetness, rich caramel and spice and cedar in the middle third. Around the same point halfway into each smoke, the combination of flavors reminded me of a caramel apple with cinnamon, which I really enjoyed.
The spice and cedar really came to a head in the final third, as the overall sweetness of the cigar faded. Hints of pepper, milk chocolate and creamy coffee came through nearing the end as well.
It’s a big, rare smoke, and it carries a big, rare price, most of the time. But it’s definitely worth MSRP.
I enjoyed my time with the Hemingway Untold Story Maduro, it burns well, and has oodles of flavor, but it suffers the problem of being too much of a good thing. Unless you smoke quickly, there just aren’t a lot of opportunities for a busy guy to fit in a cigar of this size into his day. But it’s not a bad problem to have in this case, because there aren’t a lot of opportunities to buy them either. If you treat the Untold Story as the special occasion smoke it clearly is intended to be, it’s definitely worth picking up a few to enjoy when time is right. (At a reasonable price, of course.) Don’t worry if that time is far off, rumor has it these sticks age very well. And I believe it. So pick up a few while you can and set aside a little time over the holidays to enjoy the season.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Probably
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.