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Stogie Reviews: Fonseca Habana Selección Cosacos

15 Mar 2010

Fonseca, established in 1974 when the Quesada family opened a Dominican factory, has built a reputation for mild-tasting cigars anchored by its original Connecticut shade blend. These days their portfolio is a bit more diversified.

The move to attract stronger tastes began in 2003 when Manuel Quesada introduced the Serie F, a spicier blend with aged ligero filler. It is said that the Serie F is only slightly stronger than the original Fonseca—still a far cry from the Nicaraguans that have grown in popularity in recent years.

So Quesada upped the ante again when he created Habana Selección. This blend, the boldest of the Fonsecas, includes a Cuban-seed Nicaraguan binder and Cuban-seed seco and ligero filler tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic. It is finished with a Nicaraguan-grown habana criollo ’98 wrapper and a handsome triple cap.

The five inch by 48 ring gauge Cosacos is a fine-looking specimen, especially for a cigar that often sells for around $5. Once removed from its tissue wrapping, it reveals a smooth, somewhat oily exterior leaf and sweet pre-light aromas of honey and hay. Both of its red and gold bands peel away easily and without incident.

The initial flavor is of paper with a sharp, spicy aftertaste. While strength is immediately apparent, the singular profile leaves much to be desired. Thankfully, the taste mellows into a core of dry cedar and leather with a meaty texture.

Fonseca’s trademark construction is the finest feature of the Cosacos. The burn line is virtually perfect, the gray ash holds consistently for over an inch, and the smooth draw yields abundant tufts of cool smoke.

But construction simply isn’t enough to save this cigar from its uncomplicated, rather dull flavor. I find none of the cinnamon that other reviewers have appreciated. Even towards the end, when the taste intensifies to include a damp earthiness, the Cosacos has a hard time holding my attention.

Perhaps you’ll have better luck. Or perhaps you’ll find this cigar meets your needs as an accompaniment to some other activity like a round of golf or a backyard barbecue. In my book, though, the Fonseca Habana Selección Cosacos earns only two and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. Cigars for this review were provided by Cigars Direct.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Fonseca Habana Selección Cosacos”

  1. Joseph Monday, March 15, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I got some Churchills of the Fonseca Habana Sel. as a freebie with another order. I tried one, shrugged, and put them in the back of my humidor only to rediscover them over a year later. An amazing improvement! Rich on the palate, rough edges disappeared, full of creamy and soft spicy flavors; it's a thoroughly enjoyable smoke now. And the price wasright.

  2. Gregory Zi Monday, March 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    I've enjoyed some Fonsecas, but I agree that the Habana Selection is lacking in the depth department. Still, it's a decent golf course smoke.

  3. Sticks Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    I like Fonseca's natural cigars when I want something light and and a change from a full strength cigar. The Habana Selection was a poor cigar in flavor and mine had construction issues also.