ARTURO FUENTE AÑEJO RESERVA NO. 77 SHARK | CIGAR REVIEW
Updated: Dec 25, 2021
JUNE 3, 2021 - PHIL KURUT, COMEDY - CIGARS - MUSIC
ARTURO FUENTE AÑEJO RESERVA NO. 77 SHARK (5 3/4 x 60)
WRAPPER: CONNECTICUT BROADLEAF
BINDER: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
FILLER: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dark red ribbon at the foot. I already dig the look. You add in the Shark vitola, the nearly flawless rich, dark wrapper, and the detailed but not overdone red, gold, black, and white band, and this cigar begs for you to at least pick it up. Take off the cellophane, put it close to your nose, again, never in it, and you might just get what I do. Raisin, berry, cream, and hay. Spice does a few cartwheels at the back of my nose, which prompts a nose twitch. Shark, you have my full attention.
The dimensions I list for this cigar come from my own measuring. I scoured the Internet, including the Arturo Fuente site, and the listed dimensions are all over the place. I came up with 5 3/4 x 60, which was close to all the random measurements I found. With that being said, I’m not sure it really matters in the grand scheme of things, so I shall now move on.
The band is getting removed prior to light up, as it's sliding around. No complaints from me on that. I much prefer a band requesting to be removed early over a band that has been applied with enough glue and welding that it takes blood, sweat, tears, and some of the wrapper with it.
Right out of the gate, the Shark softly pokes me with spice, earth, salt, plain popcorn, and some cream. The smoke isn’t creamy, but there’s a hint of flavor in there. The nostrils detect some earth and salt, and the finish lays a coating of subtle spice and earth.
The draw and smoke output are getting the job done, and as I proceed a little bit, the burn tends to step out of line every so often, but it corrects itself. The ash brings some snowfall, but it’s holding on well.
A very clean and sweet gentle butter escapes from the foot of the cigar.
As the smoking travels on, I’m reminded of other experiences I’ve had with the Añejo line. They were enjoyable but not jaw dropping. If you’re smacking your head in disbelief, I understand, but I’m just giving you the facts as they have played out for me.
Oftentimes, rare and legendary become synonymous, which they’re not. And, I would venture to say we stick some cigars or other products, for that matter, with the legendary expectation and title without those products or their creators ever asking for it. I find myself doing that from time to time with the Shark here in the first third. Kind of like how some reviewers salivate at the opportunity to prove Cigar Aficionado’s list as bogus. I’ve never been interested in that game. Cigar Aficionado dug those 25 cigars this year? Cool. So, enough of that. Back to reviewing this cigar for what it is. A cigar.
Earth, butter, blackberry, and coffee become the loudest of the quiet voices in the first third. The retrohale brings coffee, and that coffee darkens up a bit in the finish, along with some subtle spice on the tongue and just a touch of fruit, reminiscent of the blackberry but a bit watered down.
The burn did require a little assistance from me. You might call me a hero, maybe even a legend. I’m certainly not willing to call myself either of those things, but I suppose you can.
And, this ash. While it’s holding on well, the flakes are making a mess of my desk.
The second third starts with coffee in the draw, which makes way for mocha as the smoke lingers in my mouth. Blackberry gives a nod as the smoke exits, and earth has the final word.
Coffee in the retrohale has added some dark chocolate to the mix, and the finish keeps in line with the coffee theme but adds its own twist with a touch of blackberry. Cool.
The draw remains unfazed, the smoke output has moved up a notch, and the burn appears to be back on track. The foot aroma has now morphed itself, and it’s giving off wood and blackberry. Works for me.
Blackberry, wood, mocha, toast, and cream all check in for the finale here, and I’m happy to have them. Coffee and black pepper spice slide through the retrohale, and coffee, wood, a gentle spice, and blackberry leave some memories on the finish.
The draw, smoke output, and burn perform flawlessly, and the credits start to roll.
Regardless of my preconceived notions, warranted or not, the Shark proved to be worth hanging out with. Well done.
SMOKE TIME: 2 hrs. 15 mins.
RATING: 3.25 / 4 - The Shark doesn’t really care what you think about it.
Click HERE to watch the video review.