Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 77 “The Shark”

Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 77

Arturo FuenteOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Torpedo
Size : 5.625 x 54
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : up to $30 each

Throughout each of our smoking lives, many of us set aside cigars that we label as special to be smoked on rare occasions. One such cigar that repeatedly tops many lists is the Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 77. Resembling a tooth because of its uniquely box pressed torpedo shape, this cigar is more commonly known as the Anejo “Shark”. Sought after by both lovers and collectors with fervor similar to the search for Fuente’s Opus X line, this is one cigar that I have been looking forward to trying for some time.

As mentioned above, the Shark has a unique obelisk shape that is a result of box pressing the original torpedo. Carrying a solid heft, the construction of the cigar is excellent. As this particular smoke was aged since 2006, the oils present on the wrapper’s surface were noticeably transferable to my fingers. A faint texture of tooth and minor veins gives this smoke a natural appearance without being rugged. Even the wrapper and foot emit the faint scent of sweet cocoa.

Moving into the prelight, my Palio guillotine made a beautiful angled cut and the cigar held up beautifully. The prelight draw is perfect and the sweetness noted before comes through with a faint tongue tingle of pepper. A buttery nuttiness comes through as well. Torching this smoke proves to be a bit of a challenge because of its dense construction. Once lit, the burn was slightly uneven but that could be because of the issues getting it lit.

After a few initial puffs the creamy smoke builds and the nut and sweet flavors develop into more defined almond and perhaps vanilla. The overall balance is wonderfully deep and substantial but not powerful. Exhaling through the nose produces a slight tartness that is not unpleasant when accompanied by the sweetness. It actually reminds me of fresh, uncooked, rhubarb.

As the session progresses, the burn remains wavy but controllable. Additionally, a more prominent Cedar flavor develops. The overall strength of this cigar builds and eventually tips more towards a spiced profile, although the almond remains. This lasts for about an inch until the spice tones down and allows the almond, vanilla and Cedar to come back through. Over the last inch and a half the spice continually builds itself but does not become overbearing.

Overall this is a fantastic smoke. While spicy, every flavor present gets a turn to show its stuff and the overall result is perfect balance and harmony. On top of that, the construction of the cigar along with its appearance gives it a certain presence. This is not a cigar that you will forget about when smoking. One unfortunate drawback of this smoke is its rarity. Released in limited quantities only around Father’s Day and Christmas a buyer can expect to spend anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars per cigar. At MSRP I would buy as many as I could find and would be willing to spend a few bucks per stick over that just to ensure I had several on hand. To date, there are only three cigars that I would want to guarantee there was a full box of in my humidor, those being the Fuente Hemingway Short Story, Tatuaje J21 Reserva and now the Fuente Anejo Reserva No. 77 “Shark”.

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★★
Construction : Rating: ★★★★★
Flavor : Rating: ★★★★★
Value : Rating: ★★★★★
Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★★★