Anejo #77 Shark

Posted: 25th May 2010 by Shawn in Arturo Fuente, Non Cuban Cigars

Tonight is a night of firsts for me; sitting under a clear night skiy at the tail end of a long weekend, I am about to partake in my first review completed in its entirety without the aid of sunlight. Additionally , I am also about to partake in my first Anejo #77 Shark.

Amid a backdrop of fireworks bursting in the air and the sounds of families celebrating in the distance, I admire the chocolaty Connecticut broad leaf wrapper, its deeply oiled sheen apparent even under the light of my dimly lit porch. An oddly shaped vitola, the shark measures 5 7/8 x 50 with a rounded body at the head that gradually widens to a box pressed shape with a 64 RG at the foot. Aside from its odd shape, the appearance of this cigar is captivating, as previously mentioned above the wrapper presents beautiful, chocolaty, deeply oiled tones; free of imperfections, some veins run the length of the body. The seams are joined well – barely noticeable at a glance – while exhibiting just the right amount of give when rolled between the fingers, surprising for a box pressed cigar.


Pre light: After moistening the head, I decide to clip about a half inch off the shoulder; this comes off cleanly producing an easy draw. The flavour profile from the cold draw is very mild, producing notes most prominently of mild tobacco with very faint sweet hints and spice. The fragrances from the wrapper and foot are considerably more complex, offering barnyard notes, hints of cedar and a faintly detectable sweet note all melded with the smell of mild tobacco.

Lighting: Putting the single jetflame of my Ronson to the foot produces a quick cherry, lighting almost without the assistance of the draw. I’m taken aback by how mild this cigar is on the light, as previously mentioned this is my first of this line; while I am aware of the spicy qualities that accompany these cigars, this particular smoke presents almost none. In fact, the only nuances that are present amid mild flavours of tobacco are of cedar and some sweet nuances.

First third: As I let the cigar settle into the first third, I sense the draw becoming increasingly more complex. Cedar is now much more prominent and followed by a faint sweetness; flavours of espresso and toasted nut also greet the palette and linger as I expel the draw for a finish abundant with spice. The retro-hale presents nuances of sweet cedar and espresso, a strong but pleasant touch for the first third; holding the cigar in my mouth, I also detect notes of sweet cedar rising in the ambient smoke. The burn isn’t as clean is it could be, but I haven’t encountered any issues serious enough to warrant a touch up from my lighter and the ash holds for a respectable inch before dropping.


Second Third: The flavour profile in the second third remained largely the same until about a third of the way through, at which point a moderate change took place. Sweet notes now head the pinnacle of the flavour profile, some cedar is still present but for the most part has faded; a pleasant spice accompanies these notes; much lighter than normal, it more closely resembles the tang that comes with a finely ground seasoning rather than pepper. Espresso is still present and lingers as the draw is expelled, though the toasted nut previously present in the first third has intensified some and would now best be described as walnut. The retro-hale has changed somewhat, espresso and cedar are still present for the most part, but the sweetness has died off giving way to a heavy spice. The burn has improved immensely throughout the second third, devoid of any issues, it is now the closest to razor sharp as I’ve ever experienced and displays no blistering, holding ash for a good two inches before dropping.

Final Third: Leading into the finale, this cigar pays homage to the reputation that precedes it laying heavily into spice. Espresso and walnut are again present on the finish but the cedar that existed in the first two-thirds is now absent, though pleasant sweet hints linger after exhaling the draw. Espresso now strongly leads the retro-hale, along with a fair amount of spice and a very pleasing floral bouquet that lingers long after I take in the last wisps expelled smoke. The ambient burn remains the same as it has throughout and it is worth noting that draw remains surprisingly cool to the nub. The burn of the cigar was just as exceptional as in the last third, though the ash dropped in small quarter-inch pieces until I let the cigar die out.


Final Thoughts: A very complex and aromatic cigar that built gradually and came through with a strong finish. I would agree that this cigar lived up to the reputation that preceded it, although I will say while I was not let down in the least bit at any point during this smoking experience, I believe that a better cigar could be found for the super premium price tag.

Total smoking time was about an hour and 45 minutes.

Cheers,
Shawn

  1. Cam says:

    is it me or is there a JS error? anyways well done article