Cigar Reviews

Berger and Argenti Classico

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I received this cigar just before Christmas from a fellow BOTL(Brother of the Leaf) named Joe (a.k.a. BlackIce). We had a Santa-Trade where he sent me a fantastic package. I decided to give this one a review since I’ve managed to get myself a couple but never reviewed them. Berger & Argenti seem to be making a good name for themselves recently so it was about time we gave them a solid review to help keep our trusty readers informed!

Currently, Berger & Argenti offer 3 lines, the Entubar, Classico and Mooch. Today’s review will focus on the Classico line which is currently offered in 3 sizes, a Rothschild, Belicoso, and Churchill. Berger & Argenti hails from Miami, Florida and began business only in 2009. The Argenti brothers that started this company have quickly released some quality products and made a name for themselves in the cigar market. They are associated with Tabacalera Esteli in Nicaragua which is run by Enrique Berger. And that’s how the name was born!

A little warning here, it’s crazy cold outside here! Temp is dipping around -12 Celsius (10 Farenheit) and dropping. Although I have a propane heater here, the dry and cold air can suck the humidity out of some cigars. With that in mind, lets see how this cigar stacks up!

Cigar: Berger & Argenti Classico
Drink: Rickards Dark Ale
Vitola: Rothschild (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Equadorian Desflorado Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: $5.50
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

Construction:
• A smooth and oily medium brown wrapper holds this cigar together
• There are some visible veins but they are all smooth to the touch, no large ones at all
• The triple cap is cleanly applied and secure
• There is a slight spring throughout the cigar, not too soft and not too firm
• The foot appears well packed except for one fair sized hole, hoping it doesn’t cause any issues
• A couple of the wrappers I’ve had have dark spots on them, possible just some water spots
• The cut left a nice clean edge but exploded into a million pieces in my ashtray

Burn:
• Toasting was fairly painless, evenly glowed with minimal effort
• The burn started off nice and even and has stayed razor sharp through the first few inches
• No issues in the burn department as I hit the last third, I love it when cigars burn like this
• Great burn the whole way through right up to the nub

Smoke & Ash:
• Initial draws offered a moderate mouthful of smoke
• Resting smoke is almost non-existent, but still gives off a pleasant cedar aroma
• The ash is coming out with a nice white finish and some small zebra striping
• It is staying clean and tightly bound so far, a very nice ash
• Ash fell off into the ashtray while it was resting there after about 1.5 inches
• Second ash still held strong past an inch, this time it fell in my lap but it still held together and I was able to pick it up and toss it back in the ashtray

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper has a soft woodsy aroma to it with a touch of nutmeg spice that tingles on the nose
• The foot has similar notes to the wrapper but a much more prominent spice is noticeable, maybe some pepper thrown in there now
• Pre-light draw was mostly cedar but I did get an odd bitter taste on my tongue, let’s hope it doesn’t stick around
• Initial draws are packed with more cedar and some subtle nutmeg notes
• I immediately noticed a fair amount of dryness on this cigar
• Body is in the mild-medium range and the retrohale has a touch of bite and a cedar finish, not too smooth at this point
• As the cigar progresses, I’m picking up a small licorice like flavor, i hope this develops more
• As I pass the first third, I’m picking up a hint of coffee now, all the flavors are starting to balance together nicely now
• I’m happy to find that the licorice flavors are sticking around and fighting back and forth with the coffee
• At the half-way point, some of the spice is starting to re-appear, more pepper then nutmeg now
• The spice and body definitely started to pick up after passing the half-way mark, thankfully the dryness has disappeared
• The licorice has mostly disappeared now and the spices are balancing well with the coffee and woodsy flavors that remain
• The woodsy and peppery notes have mostly taken control now, I’m getting the nutmeg poking in here once in awhile to change it up
• The cigar finished up in the lower end of the full range

Final Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised with this cigar. I’m always hesitant when trying new brands, especially from such a young company. But it seems that the backing of the experienced factory in Nicaragua has proven to be a wonderful partnership. The cigar had an interesting and enjoyable flavor profile with a fair bit of dimensionality. I think the factor here was the Connectcut wrapper bringing some sweet and smooth creaminess and the Corojo binder adding some spice and body. It made for a well balanced cigar. The construction was also spot-on with great burn and ash throughout. This cigar is definitely worth giving a try, and since it’s priced fairly, could easily make an entry into your regular rotation.

Pairings:
I’ve enjoyed this brew with a few cigars and so far it has not let me down. It is a very smooth drinking dark ale that is modelled after English porters. The Rickard’s brewery is based out of Canada, and in true Canadian form it is brewed with Maple Syrup. The syrup flavors are not overly intense but they are definitely there and taste great along with the coffee and malt flavors. It paired very well with the spicy, coffee and licorice notes of the cigar and helped bring them out. Other good pairings for this cigar would include port, other dark porters or stouts, or a nice strong coffee.




Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he’s not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

7 Comments

  1. Tadd

    February 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Sounds pretty tasty. I have never seen these locally. I am sure I would love it in the AM with coffee. Nice review, and I hope you stay warm with all the snow heading oyour way.

  2. Craig (ArmyGLO)

    February 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I had never heard of these until I won a TBOTLCH 2010 not attending prize bag. Since then I have had several and find them quite nice. Only wish they were easier to find. Thanks for the insightful review.

  3. matt maronna

    February 2, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Sounds like a good smoke, I’ve really dug what they’ve done over the years with the entubar and the exile was one of the first smokes i tried. Great review daniel.

  4. Dalamscius

    February 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    @Tadd – Definitely seek these out! They might be a finish little strong for a morning smoke depending on your tolerance, definitely good after lunch or dinner though. Let me know if you can’t find them and I’ll direct you to a good source

    @Craig – Seems a common theme that it’s hard to find locally but there are some good shops online you can find them at. Definitely worth buying more, I know I will!

    @Matt – I wasn’t too impressed by the Exile but they definitely did something right with this one. I’ve gotta track some some of the Entubar’s, I hear those are great smokes as well.

    Anyone care to comment on how the Entubar compares?

  5. Albert Argenti

    February 18, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Daniel, thank you for taking time out to review our CLASICO Rothschild. This is my ‘go to’ smoke throughout the day, with the Corona Gorda being my favorite vitola in the line.

    The wrapper on the CLASICO is truly unique – it’s an Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut seed ‘Desflorado’ leaf that has been stalk cut and cured. The curing process adds a completely different dimension to this brand’s taste signature.

    I really enjoyed the format of your review and will now regularly pass through here to read about your cigar tasting experiences. Good luck and have a healthy and prosperous 2011!

  6. Dalamscius

    February 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you very much for your comment Albert! I really enjoyed this cigar and I look forward to trying the other cigars from Berger & Argenti.

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