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Stogie Reviews: Arturo Fuente Curly Head Deluxe Natural

10 Nov 2008

Despite its popularity among Arturo fans on a budget, two years ago my cohort found the Curly Head Deluxe Maduro to be quite disappointing. “Visual imperfections are to be expected from a budget cigar—even one with a Fuente band,” he wrote. “But coupled with a taste that’s harsh and unpleasant at worst and barely tolerable at best, this cigar proved unsmokable.”

Yikes. I tried to forget those words as I smoked two 6.5 inch by 43 ring gauge Naturals for this review. Like the Maduro line, this slightly more obscure option from the Curly Head Deluxe vein is made with leftovers from Fuente premiums and sold at a discount. Boxes of 25 can be found for $45-60.

Rumored to be mild and nutty, the Lonsdale-shaped Natural sports some unusual aesthetic characteristics. For one, the foot is unfinished, with the longer Connecticut shade wrapper somewhat folding into the shorter Dominican binder and filler tobaccos. The cap is also a head-scratcher. Instead of a smoothly rounded head, the tip appears to be bunched and pinched together.

When you add all this to the cigar’s soft feel and haphazard seams, you get the impression that it’s machine-made. I am told, however, that the Curly Head Deluxe Natural is handmade in Santiago, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Prelight aromas are almost nonexistent, and the flavor is mild with hints of butter, almond, and creamy spice. Airy and hollow, this taste doesn’t offer much in terms of enjoyment (let alone complexity). Towards the end of the 75-minute smoke, the aftertaste reminds me of the smell of lighter fluid on charcoal briquettes.

For the rock-bottom price, I’d be tempted to take a cigar like this on the golf course. That is, of course, if the physical properties weren’t so subpar. The burn requires constant maintenance to stay lit and keep straight, the ash is flaky (no doubt a result of the medium-length filler), and the draw is surprisingly tight.

Perhaps my standards are too high for a value cigar, but I expect more anytime I fire up a stogie—an interesting flavor at the very least. There are so many better options in this price range, and I’d much rather spend a few extra bucks per stick before lighting up another Arturo Fuente Curly Head Deluxe Natural. That’s why I give it one and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

11 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Arturo Fuente Curly Head Deluxe Natural”

  1. GeorgeH Monday, November 10, 2008 at 12:44 am #

    Life is too short for bad cigars!!!!

  2. JimmyB Monday, November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    Agreed – a really poor smoke.

  3. Jerry @ The Stogie R Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 4:10 am #

    This is often confused but there are two Curly Heads. One is called a Curly Head which is the one I hear mostly discussed as a good budget Fuente since its rolled by apprentice rollers and with its a decent cigar for the money. Comes in boxes of 40 for $60. Its also a economical smoke I recommend for bachelor parties where a more expensive smoke wouldn't be appreciated.

    Then there is this smoke, the Deluxe which is banded and comes in boxes of 25 for $45ish and as you found out it sucks.

    Fuente Curly Head = Good

    Fuente Curly Head Deluxe = Bad

  4. Jerry @ The Stogie R Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 4:15 am #

    Oh yeah, the Curly Head has a Cameroon wrapper…the Curly Head Deluxe has a Natural or Maduro wrapper. In case you're wondering the difference between the two smokes.

  5. Louisianaman Friday, January 23, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Your guys are full of it. The curly head deluxe maduro is so popular it’s very hard to get. Your guys must smoke only the best cigars on earth and must just review the boutique brands. For the average guy outh there that can’t smoke Cohiba’s or $250.00 box of Montecristo’s, this smoke is a great buy from a FANTASTIC manufacturer. The economy sucks right now and so does your review of this fine moke.

  6. davidL Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Louisianaman, I'm with you. I don't smoke the ultra expensive sticks, but I've smoked enough in the $5-6 range to know a half decent cigar. Honestly, in chasing the "sweet spot" for an affordable cigar, it's been a trail leading me back to the Curly Head Deluxe Maduro. I like the flavor, I like the aroma of the smoke, I like the price…what else is there ? The guys that say it look s rough, I've never understood the need to have a flawless cigar. It's a rolled up leaf for God's sake, just enjoy it !

  7. Bagoh20 Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Maybe I'm a fool, but I love them. I've smoked all level of cigars at all prices looking for what I can consistently enjoy regardless of price. I have experimented repeatedly, thinking I'm just missing something. But I keep coming back to the fact that I just enjoy these cigars the most of any at any price. The cheap price is just an amazing bonus. I've seen connoisseurs of many things fooled by cheaper and better items in blind trials. I think we sometimes train ourselves to like what is expensive. Maybe I just have a broken cigar meter, but if so, thank god for it. I hope you do too. It's a curse to need to pay a lot for something to believe it's good.

  8. Jgarlow Monday, June 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm #

    I have to agree with comment 5, 6, and 7. I work at a cigar shop that sells everything from Cohiba, Trinidads, Macanudo, Gran Habano, Alec Bradley etc. and yet I love the smoke of a A.F. curley head. For the same price I also enjoy an Oliva or a Te-amo nicaraugan blend robusto.

  9. rosomax Monday, July 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    I agree with Patrick – this is a truly horrible cigar, and it's not worth putting the Fuente label on it. An inexpensive alternative, if one must stick with Fuente products, is the Chateau. It's a stubby Rothschild-shaped cigar with plenty of flavor and modest budget.

  10. Wits Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    I’ve been a lover of the Maduro Curly Head Deluxe for nearly a decade now, and I am smoking the last of a box that I put away in 2000. They improve with age so much so that I am really kicking myself for not putting away many more boxes back when I had the chance to buy them for under $50.

    It’s unfortunate that the reviewers didn’t like them; in fact I suspect I might have a different perspective as well if I had the opportunity as they surely do to smoke high-end cigars on a regular basis. But if you get a chance to smoke one with a few years on it, I would highly recommend that you not pass it up. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  11. Steve K Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    Well, I was a Punch London Club maduro addict, and tried these for a change. Guess what? Love 'em. The tast is great, and I think the construction is fine. For the price, it's a great smoke.