The Eye Of The Shark is based on the original Don Carlos blend from 1976. It features a Cameroon wrapper from the Meerapfel family over binder and filler from the Dominican Republic.
In this article, you will discover the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark as we review it with these talking points:
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- Brand: Arturo Fuente
- Range: Don Carlos
- Reviewed Vitolas: 5 3/4 x 52 Belicoso
- Wrapper: African Cameroon
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera Arturo Fuente, Dominican Republic
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Full
- Estimated Smoking Time: 130 Minutes
- Pricing: $22 / Single [Buy Now]
Arturo Fuente’s Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark is an iconic cigar with a rather unique shape and vitola. A traditional, slightly rounded Belicoso head stretches towards a square foot at the other end of the cigar. Its exact blend is not fully disclosed, however, it has been slightly altered from the original Don Carlos blend, back in the ’70s.
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Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Walnut brown
- Rolling Consistency: Even
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Hazelnut, lemon peel, earth
Cameroon tobacco, obviously, is a rather fragile leaf and not always the most beautiful to look at. Its unique flavor profile thought truly sets it apart, hence one can definitely accept a few little rougher spots here or there. In fact, the toothy texture is something I find quite interesting and gorgeous to look at.
Other than that, the aromas off of the wrapper and the foot are sweet, mineral, and mellow. There’s a lively combination of lemon, baking spice, with a lovely sugary, earthy undertone. The foot, in particular, is offering an elegant mushroom note.
Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark Review
All four cigars smoked for this review had been kept in a closely monitored environment of 69% relative humidity in my coolidor using Boveda packs.
- Draw: Very good draw, slightly on the lighter sight
- Aromas: Cinnamon, mushroom, cedar
The Don Carlos line in general, and the Eye Of The Shark in particular, beautifully conveys delicate nuances, complexity and finesse. It’s a most elegant smoke, carried by a creaminess in combination with an ever so slight hint of musky aromas towards the back of the tasting experience.
These various sensations are encompassed in an overall theme of woodiness, just underlined by a certain minerality, adding just a bit of salty zing. Furthermore, there is a lively citrus connotation that elevates the entire profile and counterbalances some of the dry, woody or sweet elements.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Wood, baking spice, orange zest,
- Retrohale: Bitter cocoa
The first third starts just as elegant and complex as the cold draw and pre-light had promised. There is a rich, luring woodiness, there are succulent, mellow gourmet sensations that continuously enrich the palate perception, whilst the overall strength sits snuggly at the medium mark.
I can repeatedly detect layers of baking spice, with a distinct cinnamon whiff. Immediately though, the citrus freshness with lemon peel, candied orange, and an overall zesty quality brings everything back to a fascinating balance and flavor equilibrium.
Towards the very end, bitter components lead to a peppery finish and Szechuan pepper-like experience, that is both refreshing and interesting, but never over-powering.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Roasted oak, pink pepper, ethereal freshness
- Retrohale: Prune
The cigar picks up a little more spice and character during the second third. The body continues to stimulate the entire palate with full and rich layers, primarily carried by the roasted wood character. Whilst the beginning and cold draw showed more cedar, that woodiness slowly transforms into a roasted, at times even charred oak.
On top of that, pepper spice, which has a fruity undertone, reminding me of pink berries, engages with the cigar’s citrusy freshness forming a delicate balance and finesse. Towards the halfway mark of the cigar, I detect dried fruits, oscillating between prunes, dates, and dried figs.
Overall, the cigar’s full-bodied depth provides a mouth-coating, long-lasting aftertaste without ever losing its very elegant overall profile. It’s almost like fine handwriting that nevertheless, brings loads of richness and layers of flavor characteristics.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Citrus, frankincense, sweet cedar, pepper
Whilst all the previous notes are still very much there in the final third – the woodiness, the sweetness, the citrus, and bitter cocoa – what I find most interesting is an ethereal quality that I can only describe as a combination of celestial frankincense and myrrh.
In the most nuanced and elegant way, it somehow speaks to the overall theme of the entire cigar: the grandness, finesse and elegance, woven into a complex smoke that is both rich and delicate at the same time.
This, in my humble opinion, give this blend and this iconic cigar all the characteristics of an all-time classic.
- Ash Backbone: Solid
- Burn Angle: Slightly wavy at times
- Temperature: Cool and ethereal
- Draw: Ideal
- Final Smoking Time: 130 Minutes
The quality of construction and combustion is excellent. I’ve never had any major problems with Eye of the Shark cigars, even though it is such a challenging vitola to roll and regarding the burn, because of the soft box-press and its square foot.
All the cigars I smoked for this review burned steadily but a little wavy every now and then. As a matter of fact, I had to correct the burn with a few minor touch-ups, but nothing that would concern me in any way, shape or form. The temperature of the smoke is cool, further enhancing the ethereal quality and perception.
It’s all decorated by pristine, off-white ash which is very stable and will only fall off once tipped.
The presentation, the look and feel of the cigar are rather traditional and very much in line with Fuente’s overall portfolio.
There’s that beautiful Don Carlos ring, proudly wearing its black, gold, and red colors. Nothing super fancy but a well-presented cigar and box overall. In that sense, being an all-time classic cigar, it perfectly resembles the smoking experience overall.
Of course, being a more expensive cigar, it’s probably an occasional smoke for more luxurious moments.
Pairing Recommendations With Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark
A pairing I always find myself coming back to – with certain cigars obviously – is pink grapefruit juice, because it delivers salty minerality, a refreshing zing and just the right amount of sweetness for balance. Especially with such an ethereal smoke that has plenty of wood spice, sweetness and candied citrus peel, this makes for an exceptional combination.
When it comes to alcoholic pairings, I’ve been fascinated by the cigar’s interplay with a glass of a well-aged, medium-bodied Amontillado Sherry. Again, it’s the delicate array of wood, nuttiness and dried fruits, which are all combined in a traditional, mature and elegant overall profile.
Thus, a handful of mixed nuts is a perfect finger food snack. If you’re looking for a heartier meal, and of course me being Viennese, I love to pair the Don Carlos Eye Of The Shark with “Tafelspitz”. This quintessential Vienna classic combines boiled beef with the traditional sides of creamed spinach, chive sauce and roasted potatoes.
Alternatively – and probably a little more adventurous, candy floss can be a gorgeous accompaniment to the cigar as well.
Opulence, elegance and finesse – the Eye Of The Shark has it all. What sets the cigar apart from many others is not only its perfect balance, but also how it provides such a monumental finish, whilst at the same time giving you a perfectly clean aftertaste, that makes you come back for more. Whenever I put the cigar down, I feel just in the right mood to light up another one of these beauties.
"If ever there was an expression of elegance in a cigar, the Eye Of The Shark is just that."
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