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Cigar Review: J. Fuego 777 Zero Corona

31 May 2011

Like many cigar enthusiasts, I was enamored with the quality and value exhibited by the 777 Corojo when it was introduced in 2009 by Jesus Fuego. That cigar encouraged me to delve deeper into Fuego’s relatively young brand.

J. Fuego by the Miami-based Tabacos S.A. company, as it is called, was launched in 2006 with the help of the Plasencia family. Prior setting off on his own, Fuego had gained industry fame through his instrumental role in developing Rocky Patel’s Vintage ’90 and ’92 lines. Now, his own lineup of creations includes the Natural, Gran Reserva, Origen, Delirium, 777 Corojo, 777 Maduro, and 777 Zero blends.

The latter, the subject of today’s review, hit the scene in 2010 as a milder counterpart to its 777 (pronounced “triple siete”) brethren. It sports the same Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos—two-thirds corojo and one-third criollo—but this time is enveloped in a golden Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.

Four standard vitolas are available: Belicoso, Corona, Robusto, and Toro. I picked up a handful of Coronas (5.5 x 46) at my local tobacconist here in Chicago for about $4.50 apiece. Each cigar comes complete with a nicely executed cap, an oily wrapper with thin veins, and an aroma of hay.

First, what I liked about the 777 Zero Corona. Establishing an even light is very easy and, from there, the construction is better than what you’d expect from a sub-$5 cigar. The burn is straight and requires no touch-ups, the draw is smooth, and the gray ash holds tight pretty well. On top of this, the base flavor of coffee, cream, and roasted nuts is nice.

But this cigar is not without its drawbacks. For one, I found the spice on the lips to be unpleasant at times (I wasn’t expecting this at all). Also, even when smoked slowly, a hot sourness creeps in from time to time that overshadows the profile. And, maybe it’s just me, but I think the Corona tastes a little green and a lot less complex than the 777 Corojo or Maduro.

In the end, the J. Fuego 777 Zero Corona is an affordable choice for those who seek an Ecuadorian Connecticut cigar with more kick than usual. While it has many positives, though, it doesn’t quite live up to the 777 name. That’s why I’m awarding it three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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