Staff Reviews

Arturo Fuente Anejo Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Father’s Day, graduations, 4th of July, or simply hitting the beach or firing up the barbecue this time of year are all perfect causes on the horizon for stocking up on some primo cigars. Of the thousands of cigar brands and varieties to choose from, a handful always stick out, be it for their ratings, their price, their rarity, or their decadence. Arturo Fuente Anejo is one such specimen that reflects a high degree of desirability in every category. The cigar was actually created by legendary cigar-maker Carlito Fuente as a result of unfortunate circumstances.

In 1998, Hurricane Georges ripped through the Dominican Republic devastating the region, in particular the Fuente family’s prized Chateau de la Fuente estates, where wrapper leaf for coveted Fuente Fuente Opus X cigars is grown. Two years later, the Fuentes found themselves confronting a severe shortage of Opus X wrapper. In lieu of halting the already limited production of Opus X, Carlito opted for a creative solution. He elected to use a specially aged Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over his beloved Opus X recipe of vintage Dominican binder and filler tobaccos – but not before resting the selective Broadleaf wrappers inside cognac barrels for an extended period to deliver an added sweetness and distinctive character. Hence, Anejo was born.

Today, the results continue to astound. Arturo Fuente Anejo has gone on to elicit a covetousness in its own right, comparable to Opus X. The blend is typically released to premium retailers in very small quantities twice a year – in the weeks leading up to Father’s Day, and again before Christmas. The wildly popular Anejo No. 77, known as The Shark, remains one of the fastest-selling, most sought-after Fuente cigars on the planet. Today, I am reviewing one of my favorite sizes in the line, Anejo No. 48 – a delectable 7 x 48 Churchill that prolongs the blend’s succulent flavor with an effortless burn and marvelous concentration.

Upon removal of the cigar’s exterior cedar wrapping, Anejo No. 48 is striking right off the bat for its dark and seamless, espresso-bean-hued Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. The cold foot displays an unlit bouquet of coffee beans, vanilla, dried blackberries, and wood with a touch of spice. The cold draw demonstrates a similar character, but the sweetness immediately enhances its complexity when the cigar touches your lips.

Firing up Anejo reveals a cool but rich profile of cocoa, black licorice, plums, and raisins. Overall, we characterize Anejo as a full-bodied smoke, but I certainly describe the intro as easygoing and wonderfully approachable in the Churchill format. Throughout the first quarter, the ash is stark white and spectacular. Notes of sweetened coffee beans, cedar, and raisins converge with a buttery zest around the edges. Anejo has always been one of my favorite candidates for pushing the smoke out through my nose. Its close resemblance to Opus X is evident, but in an entirely disarming fashion. You’re greeted with a chewy amalgam of sweetened cocoa, cognac, and caramel flavors, both in taste and room note. 

I’ve only had to ash the cigar a handful of times as I edge past the halfway mark, and haven’t had to touch up its burn even once – both are a testament to the cigar’s exquisite construction. Woody aromas of cedar and oak intensify slightly while a hint of clove emerges on the palate. Anejo No. 48 is a superb cigar to pair with any slow-sipping dark spirit, particularly a vintage single malt, aged bourbon, or any top-shelf cognac, of course. I’ve also had the pleasure of enjoying Anejo with a vintage port on a handful of occasions.

As the final quarter of the cigar closes in, its Ligero-laden interior surfaces with vivacious spices and a luscious intensity that never ceases to harbor the mouthwatering sweetness of its Broadleaf wrapper. The finish is buttery, agreeable and divine. In every way, Arturo Fuente Anejo delivers the authentic Dominican hallmarks that identify the Fuente family as celebrated makers of the finest premium cigars in the world.

Whether you’re shopping for an amazing blend as a Father’s Day gift or you’re adding to your own collection in anticipation of the perfect cigar-smoking weather the summer season delivers, you simply can’t go wrong with Arturo Fuente Anejo. Pick up a box in your favorite size when they’re available. You won’t regret it.

94rated

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