Key West “Al Capone” by Rafael Fuente (first impressions)

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Key West “Al Capone” by Rafael Fuente (first impressions)

Key West Al Capone

Several weeks ago, I received a little sampler pack of cigars from Island Cigar Factory, a chain of three cigar shops down in Key West, Florida. They carry a line of their own cigars made at their own factory in the Dominican Republic. The most visually-stunning cigar among the samples they sent me was this little robusto-sized salomon-like figurado with a barber pole wrapper. Named after the infamous Chicago mobster, Al Capone, it was quite unique looking. So, after giving them some time to re-acclimate in my coolidor after their perilous journey from the nearly-paradisiacal Florida Keys to the snowy hills of Virginia, I decided to give the Al Capone a try one sunny afternoon.

(Disclaimer: I’m not 100% sure about the proper name for this cigar & cigar company. I know the cigar itself is called the “Al Capone.” The sample came to me from the folks at Island Cigar Factory, the only place its available. The cigars themselves have no bands, but the band on the bundles says “Key West” in huge letters, and all of the marketing materials say “by Rafael Fuente.” It’s all very complicated, you see…)

Key West “Al Capone” by the numbers:
Vitola: petit salomon (barber pole)
Size: 5.5×48
Wrapper: Connecticut & Habano Mix
Binder & Filler: undisclosed (Dominican?)
Strength: Mild-Medium
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Island Cigar Factory)
No. smoked for review: 1 (first impressions)
Duration: 60 minutes
Source: review sample
MSRP: $5.00 ($125 per bundle of 25 cigars)
Twitter: @IslandCigar
Facebook: Island Cigar Factory

(Video length: 8:28)

Soundtrack: “Improvisation on a Beach Blanket” by Kirkoid
is licensed under a Creative Commons license:

Honestly, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this cigar. I hadn’t heard of Island Cigar Factory before, and I haven’t seen the Al Capone available anywhere else. I generally haven’t been impressed by many “house blends,” especially when they’re not an exclusive size or vitola created by some big-name brand. I’m happy to report, however, that I was pleasantly surprised by this little barber pole figurado. If you ever find yourself in Key West with some time to spare, I recommend you track down Island Cigar Factory and give one of these a try. I know I will.

Charlie has been enjoying cigars since 2000 and generally prefers a medium-bodied, full-flavored smoke. A USAF vet, he currently works as a data scientist focusing on natural language processing and is pursuing a PhD in computer science in his spare time. Originally from Connecticut and now residing in Northern Virginia, Charlie is also a fan of football, science fiction, political philosophy, and single malt scotch. You can contact Charlie on Twitter @greenbacker.

3 thoughts on “Key West “Al Capone” by Rafael Fuente (first impressions)

  1. Great Review Charlie I don’t smoke very many Barber polls my self infact I can’t tell you the last time I have. For the price it seems like a good buy.

  2. Nice review Charlie.. I was gifted one of these from a friend who visited Key West @ Thanksgiving. I haven’t smoked it yet but I think I will sacrifice it tomorrow with coffee. Sounds like it will be a good morning smoke.

    Thanks for the review.


  3. Funny I’m reading this now, I just landed in Key West a few hours ago and am just settling in at my parents house down here, lit up a Tat Black Tubo (brought a killer line up down here with me) and hit up SR and found this review. Not huge on house blends nor barber poles whether it’s Fuente of Viaje, but I will check out some of their other offerings. Thanks always for a great and honest review Charlie!!

    PS: Me being from Philly I always take a trip to Delaware cigars, last time I was there I grabbed a hand full of La Musa Melete Lanceros, brought one down for the trip, Very excited for that one, I still remember your review from the hotel room haha!

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