Stogie of the Week
Arturo Fuente Anejo #77 Shark
Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro (Aged 5 years, 8 months in Cognac Barrels.)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Vitola: Boxed-pressed torpedo
Size: No. 77 (pyramid/torpedo) “The Shark” (5.8″ x 54)
Age: One year in Paul’s humidor
MSRP: $10.95 (I paid $14 last year, this year I bought a box for $10.99 a stick, they sell online for upwards of $21 a stick)
Fun Facts: This is the only Anejo not wrapped in cedar. More from Vitolas.net:
The Añejo Shark was actually made and named because of Marvin Shanken (Cigar Aficionado owner) and Carlito’s brother in-law, Wayne Suarez.Carlito named it the “SS Shark” because they both loved this vitola and blend;one “S” stood for Shanken and the other “S” stood for Suarez. The “No.77” designation comes not from the ring gauge of this cigar, as it does for the other cigars in the Añejo line, but rather from a more amusing reason altogether. Carlito took his kids to Sea World in Orlando, FL, and there noticed that some of the sharks in the tank had two pectoral fins, which looked sort of like two 7’s. Añejo (which means “aged, refined” in Spanish) cigars were originally released in June 2000 (in a very small batch), and then again in December 2000 due to Fuente being skittish about whether enough Opus X tobacco would be available after the hurricane hit their farm in 1998.
Other Anejo Shark Reviews:
This week we are drinking
Knappogue Castle 12 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Sam Houstin American Straight Whiskey
Paul’s This Week In Smoke
- Viaje Platino Reserva – Sour notes, I like the Oro Reserva better.
- Illusione 68 – One word: “meh”.
- Anejo Shark – Same ones we are smoking now, year old #77, the best in the Anejo line, hard to find, blah blah. I really want to buy another box…
- Tatuaje RC 184 – This is perhaps my most favorite of all Pete Johnson creations. Stogie Santa turned me on to these and I smoked the RC 233 and RC 184. The 184 is one of my all-time favorite sticks, top ten list, just pure blows. The mellow Cuban flavors are just awesome, pours smoke, just all around one of the most enjoyable cigars you’ll ever smoke. They were recently re-released and I bought a box without question.
- Davidoff Millennium Short Robusto – Say what you will about Davidoff, pricy, but awesome smoke! Flavors poured from this smoke making this blend my all-time Davidoff favorite (right next to Colorado Claro). I think what I have found, and our listeners already know, is that I have expensive taste in cigars.
- EP Carrillo Core Line – Cedar flavors, medium body, outstanding cigar for mid-day, fishing, working in the yard, or just relaxing with coffee.
- Alec Bradley Prensado – Great earthy flavors, would buy and try again. Get a 5 pack.
- Padron Family Reserve 44th Natural – This is one of the most awesome cigars you will ever smoke, however, the 44th natural/maduro, and the 45th in the same wrapper combinations are all good. But with a price range from $25-$30 a stick, even my expensive taste and cigar budget can’t justify buying a box of each, or even just one box of one kind. I can buy two sticks at $15 for that price, and you can get some awesome sticks for $15 each.
- La Aurora Cameroon Lancero – Hands down the TOP cameroon wrapper implementation in the world, at least of the ones I’ve ever smoked and I’m not even a really big cameroon fan. The flavors on this cigar are outstanding, in fact, I bought another half a box. Its a light creamy wonderful experience that you can smoke any time of day or night. Damn, I want to go smoke one right now!
- Tatuaje Barcalay Rex – Limited release for one store, a fantastic smoke for $10 but don’t pay more.
- Montecristo #2 (cuban) – Cedar flavors just explode from this cigar, a classic cuban brand and size that will always have a spot in my humi! Buy a box or two.
Tim’s This Week In Smoke
- Arturo Fuente Anejo Reserva No 50 – First time I had tried the Robusto in the Anejo line and I am glad I did. Paired fantastically with a glass of Sam Houstin American Whiskey
- Partagas Menedex Master Series (2011) – The re-release of the 2009 limited edition. The 2009 release is one of my all time favorite sticks with a Cameroon wrapper. Although I agree with Paul on the La Aurora Cameroon Lancero being Number 1! They nailed the blend in the re-release! A larger (toro’ish) size (the original release was grand corona) but all the same great flavors. These should age great! “Box Worthy” IMO
- Oliva V Serie Maduro Especial (2011) – Much better than the 2010 IMO. It had a quite bit of saltiness on the finish that I was not really a big fan of. But a good smoke for the price. A solid “Fiver”
- Casa Fernandez Miami Reserva – Released this year at the IPCPR. This stick is a 5.75 x 54 Toro with a lot of wood, exotic spice, and some burnt caramel on the finish. In the end I gave it a rating of “The Angler” mostly due to its lack of complexity. Enjoyable but nothing I would seek out again. Caveat: I am a bit more forgiving with less complexity in a smaller vitola and would love to try this blend in a Robusto
- Tatuaje Saints & Sinners – One of fifteen cigars shipped as part of Pete Johnson of Tatuaje Cigars memberhip site. This stogie is based on the Black blend and is a Corona Gorda with a Criollo ’98 wrapper. It was “meh”
- Tatuaje RC184 – Most definitely the best cigar I smoked during the holiday weekend. This 184 millimeter retro Cuban lives up to its name. Paul says “The Oasis”! I say “Box Worthy!” We agree this is a fantastic stick!
- Padron 1964 Anniversary Series Maduro Principe – I mean, really? Who doesn’t like a box 1964 Anniversary Padron’s as a gift? Nuff’ said.
Stogie Tech Segment
Cigar Wrapper 101
Some sources state the wrapper can add as much of 40% of the flavor to a smoke.
When talking about wrappers there is a lot of thinks to consider;
- Origin & Type of Tobacco – Different regions are suitable for different types of tobacco. For example, Connecticut Broadleaf often used in Maduros has specific characteristics. The climate and soil contents of the region can also have an affect (i.e. temperature, volcanic ash in the soil, etc…)
- How Grown & Harvested – Shade, Sun, etc… provides distinctive characteristics to the wrapper used.
- How Tobacco is Used – The curing, fermentaton, and aging process and times can vary greatly from one manufacturer to another and have a major outcome on the wrapper they produce for that cigar. Unfourtunately, this is often kept secret by the makers of the cigar.
All of this can affect the wrappers flavor, color, and construction and consequently the cigar you enjoy.
The color of wrapper can often give you a general indication of type of flavors that will be present (but not always).
- Double Claro – These are typically referred to as a Candela. Very light, slightly green. Leaf is picked before maturity and consequently retains some of the green chlorophyll. Not as popular as it once was. Some boutique bends, such as Illusione and Viaje, recently released cigars in a Candela Wrapper. Flavors can often be herbal or grassy nature.
- Claro – Very Light tan. This is your shade grown tobacco. The Camacho Connecticut and E.P. Carillo New Wave Connecticut talked about during Episode 3 are both great examples.
- Colorado Claro – I would characterized this as medium brown in color. This is often reffered to as a Natural which can mean a lot of different things to different manufacturers. For example, Padron’s Natural wrappers are very dark compared to most.
- Colorado – Sometimes called Rosado, it has a reddish tint to it. Often associated with a Corojo wrapper such as with the Illusione Epernay line.
- Colorado Maduro – Darker brown but not quite dark enough to be a maduro. A common wrapper that falls in this category is the Cameroon.
- Maduro – A very dark brown wrapper that has gained popularity in recent years due to its rich flavors. Usually Sun grown, Connecticut Broadleaf is one of the most common examples. More recently tobacco from Mexico and Brazil has been producing some interesting maduro wrappers.
- Oscuro – Sometimes called a Double Maduro. Very black and rich in flavor. Sometimes manufacturers will dye the leaf for this effect, sometimes not. Steve Saka, President of Drew Estate, posted a great post on the ways the color of a Maduro and Oscuro wrapper can be achieved. I could not do the subject justice and recommend you read his post here