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Blind Review 2016-04

Blind Review: J. Fuego 777 Silver Maduro (Corona Gorda)

Welcome to 2016 blind review number 4 - Released this IPCPR monday for all to view, a cigar submitted by J. Fuego cigars.


Cigar Weekly has a tradition of doing blind reviews of new and/or boutique cigars whenever the maker asks.

Cigar Weekly's blind reviews are scored by a panel, and averaged using 7 criteria within a 50 point scale.J Fuego logo

Criteria Max Score
Appearance /Construction 5
Burn 5
Draw 5
Aroma 5
Flavor 10
Taste/Aftertaste 10
Overall quality 10
Grand Total 50

How it works: Cigar Weekly members volunteer for the task, and are asked to complete the review by smoking both samples within a two to three week window. They are requested to take copious notes, and then to enter their data into an online form. It's the 21st century, right? We used to use paper…

We do not require that the maker be an advertiser, nor do we charge a fee for these reviews.

We do ask the maker to send the cigars to a central location, and provide $35 to reimburse some of the shipping charges. All cigars are de-banded and shipped to the volunteer reviewers by priority mail.

The results are compiled, scores tabulated, and then the article is written up for publication.

Interested in participating? Well, you need to be a member of the forums! You can register – it’s always free – at

The cigars for this blind review, our fourth of 2016, were offered up by J.Fuego cigars. Not as tiny a boutique player as our last Blind Review, but not a maker the scale of a Cohiba either.  You've probably heard of them, and maybe even smoked a few.  I hope that you'll enjoye our journey through this 777 Maduro Silver! Alright... Let us begin!

The panel:

Tom Smitty (GrouchoM),  Dan Wright (JeepDad), Conrad Belnay (Smokestack Jack), Wayne Scheiman (BigW) and John Bolin (KatDad) formed the panel for this review.

Appearance and Construction:

Color, texture, cap, and bunch are rated here. The consensus from the panel was:

Color: Dark Brown / Maduro were selected

Texture: Medium was concensus, with one vote each for Leathery and Veiny.
(I will say that based on the texture of the remaining samples, all these are accurate. it's a very rich looking yet rustic maduro wrapper.)

Cap and Head: Smooth / Medium were selected. Both values represent quality construction.

Bunch: Firm/even (unanimous)

Average Reviewer Score = 4.9 / 5

Pre-Smoke Comments: (Most positive and most negative)

Tom Smitty: Good dark color with a dry matte finish and was a spongy to the touch. Aroma was cocoa with a pleasant smell of vanilla and bake cookies. It also had smell of dusty ash and malt. Body had a lot of veins. Draw was very loose.

Conrad Belnay: The texture was firm with one soft spot. There was not very much vein running through the wrapper and the cap was well done and smooth. As I looked at the foot end of the cigar, I noticed several different shades of in the cigar. I could not tell if this cigar was log leaf or what we call a "sandwich" cigar. There was one soft spot on the cigar and a flat spot where the softness was. The rest of the cigar felt firm in my hand ad I was getting anxious to clip it and light it up.

All the comments were pretty positive here, not much wrong in the construction department if 'a soft spot' is the most negative comment
in a man made product

The Burn:

The coal, ash and ash structure, as well as any burn problems, are rated here.

Overall Burn: 3 of our reviewers felt the burn was uneven.

Coal: Flat (3 of 5 reviewers)

Ash Color: "Salt and Pepper"

Ash Structure: Solid was selected by 3, typical by 2  (this typically indicates good internal construction similar to other cigars the reviewer may smoke)

Problems: Only one reviewer reported a problem - some 'running' of the cigar (where one side burns faster than the other.)

Average Reviewer Score = 4.0 / 5

While they observed the burn, the panel also assessed the cigar during their smoke for draw and aroma.

Draw and Aroma:

Two of the most important parts of cigar enjoyment (and these are also fairly subjective, though a plugged cigar is a plugged cigar!) are DRAW – how well you can pull through the cigar (the draw) - and AROMA - how the smoke smells, feels and tastes. These are each rated on a 5 point scale. You might ask, "Taste?" Yes, aroma and smell have a huge impact on the overall flavors you get from a cigar.

Draw: Easy (3) with two votes for perfect.

Draw Score: 5/5

Aroma / Room smoke: Subtle was the predominant choice.

Aroma Score: 4.0/5

The “Smoke” is rated on a 10 point scale, and includes judging some more subjective catagories like flavor, body, strength and balance. Remember, these are subjective – you may not agree – so we’ll provide as much detail here as we can.

Richness: Ample (3) or medium (2) was appraisal of our judges.

Balance: Perfect (3) and one dimensional (2) were the opinions voiced here, exposing the variations in our judges' palates.

Strength: Medium Full (2) and Full (2) with a vote for Medium – again revealing palate differences in our judges. The consensus is that most smokers would find this cigar on the medium/full end of the strength scale. In cigars, strength is one of the most subjective and debated characteristics. Most seasoned cigar enthusiasts enjoy cigars in this medium/medium full range.

Body: Generous and medium were the choices our judges tallied here, with one judge counting the body as "Satiating". A Satiating body means he felt that the cigar smoke filled his mouth in a completely satisfying way.

Flavor: The following key words were selected by our judges to define the flavor of the cigar as they smoked it:

Tom generous
Conrad woody, earthy
Wayne Generous, vegital, grassy, woody
medium, earthy, vegital

Over All Smoke Score: 7.7 (out of 10)

The next category goes right after the tastebuds, as our judges are asked to frame the taste and aftertaste of the cigar. I always find this part most interesting! Hope you do too!

Sweetness: Light (3), None (2) were selected

Bittterness: None was selected by 4 reviewers. One reviewer found a light bitterness.

Burn on tongue: Light or none were the values reported. The cigar provided a smooth smoke on the tongue.

Sharpness: Light or None, with one noting Medium. Sharpness is usually detected on the back of the palate

Saltiness: None was the consensus score here (unanimous).  Saltiness represents a mineral like taste in the cigar.

Score: 7.0 /10

Smoke Comments: (Most positive and most negative)

Tom Smitty: Nutty and creaminess settles tounge after a few puffs in. Smoke was generous throughout entire smoke. Muted aroma which was nice. Nice peppercorn and spice (so intense it opened up my sinuses-amazing). Great burn. Flavor muted cocoa graham cracker. Stick burned very slow. It produced great smoke. Absence of cedar is welcomed. Stick was reminiscent of an Illusione Rothechild with punch and flavor. Aroma off the stick is muted a pleasant. Cherry burned hot throughout. Strength is full. Flavor mellowed out at halfway point to a smooth flavor devoid of spice and pepper with a strong nicotine finish. Ash was salt and pepper in color and firm. Flavor was great throughout.

Dan Wright: The flavor comes and goes. When it does appear it is pleasing.

Finally, we ask for a summary / overall impression of the cigar.

In the summary, we ask for the reviewer to judge the 'character' of the cigar. Character, just like with people, is subjective… It’s like, "Would you hang out with that guy?" or, "What do you think about that person?" Reviewers select from key words like common, coarse, elegant and/or pedigreed to share their impressions.

Character: Our consensus leaned very much toward the favorable end, with Agreeable being the most selected response, one reviewer calling the cigar "Pedigreed"

Body: They also scored the overall 'body' of the cigar as Medium, or Generous.

Over all "quality rank" was GOOD, with one reviewer rating Great.

Summary score: 7.9/10

The reviewer’s summary comments:

Great stick without a diverse flavor spectrum, but excellent in construction, flavor and experience. This is a stick that was bold to start, mellows out to a smooth solid smoke as finished was a strong nicotine kick. Simply loved it as a quality smoke, enjoyed the experience immensely. I would definitely buy this stick as a quality smoke.

Not a bad stick

The second cigar of this pair that I smoked was not as asthetically pleasing to the eye as the first one. The taste was the same, and it burned a lot more even than the first. Maybe because it sat for a couple of days longer. Again, I would buy this cigar and have them around to hand out to others that might enjoy a more mild/medium cigar.

Great Every Day Cigar

These ratings are an average of the two smokes. One was significantly better than the other in every aspect. While both were well constructed, one was a one dimensional, powerful yard gar. The other was much better in all categories with some complexity to the flavor and even a better burn.

SO - while some in our panel seemed to prefer stronger smokes, they thought quite favorably of this cigar!  How did it rate?

Total Score 40.5! Outstanding!


Cigar Weekly’s 50 Point Scale

Av. Score  Stars Rating description
0 – 9 1 Not recommended
10-19 2 Below Average
20-29 3 Average
30-34 3 1/2 Above Average
35-39 4 Excellent
40-44 4 1/2 Outstanding
45-50 5 Superior

One editorial comment I'd make now that we have 4 of these completed so far this year.  You may read some comments and say "How did it score that low (or high) when someone said that?" - the fact of the matter is that comments are just that.  The individual comments and impressions (subjectively) of the reviewer.  The scores are objective measurements, as much as we can make them.  Want to discuss?  Join our forums!  You'll like hanging around! And maybe YOU will be part of our next panel!

So there you have it, Followers and Fans - Blind Review 2016 number 004 is in the books! 

 Enjoy a few photos shared by reviewer Tom Smitty:

Jfuego 20160523 215708 small  20160523 221656 small 

Discuss the review with our members and reviewers on the forums!

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