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The Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 77 Revisited

Posted by dabyrdman33 on June 21, 2010

About 6 months ago, I took my first stab at a review of the Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 77 aka “The Shark” and was pleasantly surprised by some of the responses that I received. While I purchased this box as a “special occasion” cigar (I vowed only to smoke them on Christmas Eve & Fathers Day), I went in not expecting to review it again so soon but to merely enjoy the cigar for the moment. At the urging of my buddy Joel Sorrentino (@Mirrorlure7m for you Twitter folks), I managed to scratch some quick notes down for an updated take on the cigar (forgive the grainy photos taken by my cell phone camera in the dark).

I will refrain from stating all of the details in the first review, but if you are interested you can find it here. After six months of aging, the first thing that I noticed was that there was not much of a drop off in the strength of the cigar. It continues to remain in the medium range even though it still starts off as a mild cigar. I also could not believe that a cigar that was already very smooth and mellow could become even smoother and almost velvety. The first flavors that hit my palate were again milk chocolate and sweet tobacco. These two flavors remained dominant throughout the first half of the cigar. The ash was again very firm and held on for the first two inches of the cigar. The construction on the cigar was excellent and while there were some hints of waviness in the burn line, they always managed to correct themselves without any touch-ups. The one drawback that I again noticed as with the first review was the tar buidup while smoking. I ended up having to re-cut the cigar twice and each time the draw opened up again and the flavors began to come through with greater intensity. At about the halfway point, the sweet spice returned on the retrohale and this time I picked up on some notes of coffee and cream.

By the final third of the cigar, I could really pick up on the cognac barrel aging which I personally think brings the distinct sweetness to this cigar. The peppery spice that I noticed in the first review had disappeared and while the strength was there it was a much smoother transition. The cigar was a very rich smoke in terms of flavor, but it was very balanced in that the flavors were not overpowering and seemed to complement each other perfectly. As always, the cigar was a cool burn from the first puff all the way to the nub which allowed me to smoke it well past the band leaving only about a half inch when I finally let it go. Since it is my “special occasion” cigar, I paired it with some Fransac XO 25 year old cognac. The combination produced quite a flavor bonanza of chocolate, citrus, dried fruit, and raisins.

Overall, if you can find a box of these and you are willing to make the investment, I still believe it is a definite no hesitation box purchase. The short period of aging has definitely made them better and I am expecting even more surprises when I re-visit them again at Christmas time.

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts as well.

Happy Smoking

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