The 2018 IPCPR was a big show for Felix Assouline Cigars as they introduced a number of new lines to their expanding portfolio. The CSB line was one that had three additional blends added to it and today I would like to talk about the Felix Assouline CSB Fuerte.
The CSB Fuerte is a Nicaraguan puro that uses select leaf from various growing regions in the country. The rich full body blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Nicaragua (Habano Criollo 98)
- Binder – Nicaragua (Jalapa)
- Filler – Nicaragua (Jalapa and Ometepe)
The CSB Fuerte comes packaged in both 10 and 24 – count boxes and are available in 5 different vitolas:
- Belle Anne (7 x 48) MSRP $8.00
- Intrepide (7 x 44) MSRP $7.50
- N’aie Pas Peur (6 1/2 x 52) MSRP $9.00
- Sang-Froid (6 1/2 x 54) $9.00
- Ta Gueule (6 1/2 x 58) MSRP $10.00
Some folks have been calling the CSB Fuerte the “CSB Habano Black” because the band has a black border on the bottom instead of the white border on the original CSB Habano. Talking to Felix. he told me he prefers to call this new cigar the CSB Fuerte. It should also be noted that all Fuerte’s are box pressed where the original CSB collection were round.
For this review, I sampled the CSB Fuerte N’aie Pas Peur, which I received from the company at the show last July. So this has been resting for quite some time in my humidor waiting to be turned to ash.
The CSB Fuerte N’aie Pas Peur is a sharp, box pressed cigar with a heavily marbled, medium brown wrapper. There are noticeable seams and a few veins and it is finished with a well applied cap. The cigar has a silky smooth touch as I run my fingers along the barrel.
There is a single gold and black band that brands the cigar with the letters “CSB” centered in the middle along with “Omega Tobacco” printed across the top and “Felix Assouline” printed on the bottom. As I mentioned, to know which one is the CSB Fuerte, look for the black and gold band on the box pressed cigar.
The CSB Fuerte did not have much aroma along the barrel, but it made up for that with sweet floral and nut aromas off the foot.
I sliced the cap, straight at the shoulder, and took in some cold puffs that I would describe as just a smidgen of snug on the draw. The cold puffs offered notes of earth and nut.
With all the preliminaries out of the way it was time to fire this one up and see what it has to offer. A soft flame lighter was used to warm the foot on this as I drew in the first smooth notes of pepper and butter.
Cigar Review Notes
- Smooth start with notes of butter and light pepper
- Pristine burn to start with a salt and pepper ash resting on a medium char line
- Ash fell early revealing a decent and centered burn cone
- Sweetness and cocoa fill out early profile with a back note of coffee
- Light floral aroma
- Full volume of smoke fills the palate making it enjoyable to retro-hale
- I was once told by a cigar master ‘you should use your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears to understand a fine cigar‘. Besides the great look and early taste and aromas, the CSB Fuerte also has a gentle crackle of leaf as it simmers between puffs. That checks the boxes for all the senses.
- Woody aroma starting to build end of first third
- Toasted oak notes follow as the flavors continue to develop keeping me well interested
- Small wave in the burn but it fixed itself
- Coffee notes evolve into dark espresso
- Smooth spice notes move in to add to the intrigue
- Dryness – tannic notes start wrap the profile nearing end of the second third
- Saltiness enters in the final third along with a growing bitterness
- Medium in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Overall, the Felix Assouline CSB Fuerte N’aie Pas Peur was one of the most complex cigars I have smoked. The flavors and aromas kept shifting and moving spiking a full range of the palate. It did get a a bit tannic and bitter in the final third. From a construction perspective, the burn was terrific all the way with just a mild wave in the second. I see this a box buy especially if you are looking for a rich and complex cigar that does not blow you way with heavy pepper. I rate this a solid 95.
Point Deductions: Mild Wave in second third (-1); Bitterness in Final (-1); Salt and Pepper Ash (-1)
Bonus Points: Buy a Box (+1)