We at C&S are always on the hunt for new boutique lines, blends and brands. When Matthew Hunt (Founder) contacted us, our ears perked up. I got the opportunity to meet with Matt at local lounge here in Burbank, CA. Matt is one of the coolest cats you will meet; humble, nice, smart and well dressed. Matt gave us the skinny on everything FQ Cigars.
FQ Cigars was something that Matt has been after for sometime. Being half Cuban, Matt grew up around cigars and the industry. With some sheer luck, determination, drive and talent, Matt was able to create Fernandez Y Quiroga, LLC (FQ Cigars).
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Nicaragua
WRAPPER: Ecuadorian Habano
FILLER: Nicaraguan & Honduran Habano
BINDER: Nicaraguan Habano
SIZE: 5 X 50
APPEARANCE / CONSTRUCTION:
Two bands are placed on the Phenom; one, in standard placement with a black background and gold lettering and features which has the company logo. The second band is just below the primary band and completely color matching and reads, “Phenom”. When I sat down with Matt (Founder of FQ Cigars) in Studio City, Matt informed me that the bands will be changing slightly once the current ones are completely sold out. On the secondary band, each blend reads, “Phenom”. When the second run is complete, the bands will read, “Phenom No. 1”, “Phenom No. 2” & “Phenom No. 3”.
Construction of the Phenom is dashing! Solid, but not too firm, standard foot, and small spider veins running the length of the body. The Phenom presents an incredible café color wrapper that presents nearly seamless construction. From head to foot, the body is quite toothy and is equipped with a very light oily sheen. FQ Cigars outfits the Phenom with a beautiful double cap head.
Woods and smooth creamy chocolate are the first to dance from the body of the Phenom to nostrils. The foot delivers smooth and powerful notes of rich and creamy chocolate, tobacco and hazelnut. From the aroma alone, the FQ Cigars Phenom is mouthwatering! Cold draw is a bit different than the initial aroma. A plethora of woods and cream followed by a very hidden and pungent chocolate are dispensed. Draw is open and seems to have just the right constriction.
First puffs are not what were to be expected! Notes of a roasted marshmallow are the first to the palate. As the first third progresses, a more pungent than creamy, chocolate presents as the lead profile with touches of woods and hazelnut. The draw has less restriction than I would prefer. The ash is tight and looks great and the burn is nothing but razor sharp.
Second third has a smooth and wonderful transition on the palate. The previous notes of chocolate have really transformed in to rich chocolate and it partnered with notes of cream, light woods and a touch of cashew. Mid third, the ash breaks out of nowhere. Draw is slowly tightening. Burn is still sharp and is yet to need a touch up.
Final third smoothens out in profile and power. Original notes of chocolate rolls out and become more of a follow up note than the lead note. Nutmeg, woods and baking spice all pile on the palate. Draw is just what all smokers look for, open with just the right restriction. Burn is unchanged and razor sharp. The smoke production is dense and smooth.
Every cigar company wants to find that one profile that matches every palate, FQ Cigars delivers that and more with the Phenom. A perfect burn, dense white smoke, smooth draw and a great over profile that has a slow and sneaky transition create an experience you cannot get enough of. From a dealer perspective, this is a must stock item and will bring aficionados back for more. Matt and his team has created something you will just have to experience for yourself.
Be sure to follow FQ Cigars on twitter and Instagram at: @FQCigars. For ordering information , visit CigarHustler.com.