Saturday, December 29, 2007

Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 50

Name: Arturo Fuente Añejo No. 50
Size: 5 1/4" X 50
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broad Leaf Maduro
Binder: Chateau de la Fuente Dominican
Filler: Chateau de la Fuente Dominican
Notes: The names of the various Añejo vitolas (ie "No .50") are derived from the ring gauge of the cigar in question:

1. No.50 (5 ¼" x 50)
2. No.46 (5 5/8" x 46)
3. No.55 (6" x 55)
4. No.48 (7" x 48)
5. No.49 (7 5/8" x 49)

There is one exception. 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. Añejos have a blend of Opus X, Don Carlos, and Hemingway filler, with Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrappers that are cured in cognac barrels for 6-8 months as a finish after the bulk of the aging time is done in tightly packed bales.

Appearance: I was lucky this year, through the generosity of a fellow "Brother of the Leaf" (thanks JoeBob), to acquire one of the special holiday released beauties. As most of us cigar lovers know, the Añejo is a very limited release cigar and finding these at all some places can be a bit of a crap shoot, so I feel lucky in getting the single stick. As for the appearance itself, These cigars are a thing of beauty. Firmly rolled and without a blemish or vein to be seen. They are wrapped in an almost black dark chocolate oily wrapper they almost look appetizing. As I mentioned, amusingly, in my review of the Shark vitola:

"That beautiful dark wrapper. Dont you just wanna tear it off and eat it? NowI know that that would probably be gross, but judging by looks alone, wouldnt you want to try?"

Pre-Light: Clip was not big deal with my Credo Synchro Cutter, and the prelight draw seemed just like a well constructed car should. Notes of rich chocolate and that distinctive Añejo note teased the palate and begged for this cigar to be lit.

Burn/Draw: These cigars are a dream to smoke. The light was easy and the burn was even the whole length of the cigar. Also, the cigars burn very slow. this cigar took well over 90 minutes to smoke, making this a long contemplative experience. The draw was just perfect and produced volumes of rich, round, and very flavorful smoke. Languid and delicious. The ash was rather white and held for quite a long time. Just a fabulously constructed cigar.

Flavors: This is a clinic on what a nice holiday cigar should taste like, as I detected many of the flavors one expects from the season. The first third was all spiciness, with sage and pepper floating over an earthy and leathery base. About a third of the way through, it sweetened up a bit, the earthy not became more of a molasses not and the spices became sweeter, possibly cinnamon or nutmeg (this cigar would go great with any of a large number of craft brewed spiced holiday ales!). All the while that delightful Añejo cognac note was wafting in and out. Over the final third the power of the cigar kicked up and the depth of flavor increased, with notes of unsweetened chocolate, and espresso building to the final crescendo. Like I have mentioned before, a command performance of a cigar, and it is a damn shame it isn't more easily accessible.

Now there are a few caveats to this cigar. this cigar burns very slow, and to those who haven't had one before, it is quite a bit stronger than you might initially think. I suggest a nice robust holiday meal before this cigar or you may be unpleasantly surprised. But with that in mind, and the appropriate amount of time set aside, this is the kind of singular cigar experience the cigar lover strives for, and one I think every one should experience at least once. HEARTILY RECOMMENDED!



gallopinggoobie said...

I was lucky enough to come across access to a box of these beauties! I brought one home for my husband and myself. This was my first introduction to a Fuente. We typically smoke RP Vintage 1999, Romeo Y Julieta, Onyx Reserve, Gran Habano...and I must say this is a fine smoke! We will be going back for more (if there are any left!!)

ColbyPants said...

They are one fine smoke to savor, no doubt. Which gran habano do you smoke, I have tried a few of the different lines and like the corojo best so far.

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