Berger & Argenti Entubar Quad Maduro
Kicking things off on time this week I am bringing you an interesting smoke. Berger & Argenti’s Entubar Quad Maduro.
Berger & Argenti’s Entubar Quad Maduro isn’t anything new to the cigar scene. In fact, it was released last year at the IPCPR show in New Orleans, and the Entubar has been circulating cigar stores for about a year before that considering the company has only been around since early 2009. The thing is, much like many other brands, Berger & Argenti isn’t a brand that’s easy to come by here in El Paso. Not to mention Berger & Argenti is a Brick & Mortar exclusive product. These were actually sent over to me by one of our greatest sponsors, Bonita Smoke Shop.
The Good Stuff: The Entubar Quad Maduro is the second release in the Entubar series. The first being the standard Entubar which carried a Habano wrapper vs. The Nicaraguan Sun Grown Maduro wrapper the Quad Maduro that has been aged in oak barrels since 2002. It runs around $9 – $10 a stick. Here is their description on the blend:
Each deeply aged Nicaraguan filler leaf is carefully rolled into itself creating delicate ‘scrolls’ of rich, flavorful tobacco. This age-old method ensures open chambers of air flow from the foot to the head of the cigar, creating a superior draw…The ligero tobacco leaves that lend the cigar its unique full body is bunched independently from the rest of the blend before it’s re-bunched directly into the center of the remaining Entubar rolled filler blend. This ligero channel ranges the full length of the cigar and extends ¼ beyond the finished trimmed foot, creating a startlingly unique fuse like appearance that virtually assures a perfect, conical burn with a long white ash.
Size: 6 7/8 x 56 (torpedo) – Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown Maduro – Binder: Nicaraguan – Filler: Nicaraguan/Dominican – Body: Full
Now if this isn’t a crazy looking cigar, I don’t know what is. The Entubar Quad Maduro starts off with this crazy looking foot. It’s much like any other box pressed cigar but it has this large nub sticking out of the middle of it. Along with the nub is a HUGE yellow warning band stating “ADVISORY – Thoroughly toast entire cigar foot before smoking. I don’t know about smoking a cigar with a warning label on it (as if cigar smoking was healthy to begin with). We’ll have to see if this really does affect the experience, or if it’s nothing more then just a cleaver marketing ploy.
Once you pass the strange foot you come to the body of the cigar. Almost pitch black with dark brown and black colors. The wrapper is very spotty, which when it comes to maduros is a good thing. It shows that Berger & Argenti don’t dye their wrappers like some other manufacturers out there. The wrapper is very smooth and durable with a slight tooth, and almost non-existent veins. The band on this cigar is awesome looking. It’s a very basic brown and white wrapped band with the name of the manufacturer on it topped op with a nice, elegant gold Berger & Argenti sticker that almost looks like the old school melted wax seals they used to seal envelopes. After the band is a very sharp, pointed torpedo style cap. All in all this is a very good looking cigar, albeit a little gimmicky we’ll have to see how the crazy composition plays into the experience. The wrapper gives off a very very, sweet and pungent tobacco scent while the foot remains very neutral with just soft hints of chocolate and spice.
First Smoke: Berger & Argenti’s Entubar Quad Maduro start off with this crazy, almost overwhelming chocolate within the first few puffs. After the first few puffs the chocolate subsides a bit and lets through a really nice mixture of spice, tobacco, and just tons of coffee. This is probably the closest you can get to an infused cigar without actually smoking an infused cigar. Now, that’s not a bad thing at all, in fact, it’s starting off incredibly enjoyable, smooth, and very flavorful. The draw is just incredible. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the silly nub, but if so, it’s worth it. Each puff delivers this massive cloud of thick white smoke. I’m not having to hit this cigar more than once or twice to get the amount of draw that I enjoy. Usually, it takes at least 2 to 3 on most other cigars. The burnline for the most part is pretty even with the exception of a few wider waves. I wasn’t expecting that considering how difficult it was to maneuver my lighter around the nubby foot. The ash left behind is a bright white, lighter grey mixture which seems pretty solid with the exception of a few larger flakes towards the very beginning of the foot. The ash only held on for almost an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: Crazy enough, I didn’t pick up any pepper at the start of this Entubar Quad Maduro, but I am getting a ton of it now. Usually this is the point where it starts to really fade. Interesting. Along with the pepper came a lot more body from this Entubar Quad Maduro. The spice really picked up too with the bittersweet chocolate, and coffee taking the back burner. The retrohale was way more pepper-based then I thought it would be, and almost rough at times but leaves behind an awesome dark-chocolate priming. I just can’t handle retrohaling this cigar too often. The burnline is still producing some non-threatening, wider waves, but it hasn’t needed any attention from lighter yet.
Finish: At this point Berger & Argenti’s Entubar Quad Maduro has really started to smooth out. The pepper has all but faded away, the spice is a bit more dormant, and now I am left with this awesome mocha-latte flavor. What an interesting experience. This has been a rollercoaster of flavor and to be honest, I am happy to see the cigar really mellowing-out at the end. Not to say it wasn’t flavorful, but the body really dropped out. The burnline has been a bit wavy the entire time, but I t never needed touch-ups or any relights. The body was medium-full, then full, then back to a more dormant full. You can feel it the entire time, but it doesn’t knock you on your ass. All in all, it took about an hour and a half to take down this beast of a cigar.
Overview: Berger & Argenti’s Quad Maduro is really a departure from the norm. If you are looking for a unique experience, without getting far away from what we have all grown to love in most cigars these days then this is definitely a cigar you want to try out. The robust flavors, and interesting way in which the Entubar delivers them makes for a really different cigar. I personally really enjoyed this cigar, and the consensus among a lot of other reviewers are the same. And to be honest, I was really skeptical at first thinking that this is just another gimmicky cigar, and another attempt and cigar marketing, but Berger & Argenti really came up with a solid cigar.
Pairing: Since it is coming to a close of the summer season I decided to pair this cigar with another all time favorite summer ale, Dupont’s Saison. I’m a sucker for Sasion/Farmhouse Ales, slap a “product of Belgium” stamp on there and I’m sold. Dupont’s Saison is one of the world’s most famous, and enjoyed Saisons coming in at 6.5% ABV brewed by Brasserie Dupont, in Tourpes Belgium. Dupont’s Saison is a rich, thick, ale with a very fruity, floral bouquet of flavors finishing in a nice, sharp citrus aftertaste. Did it go well with this cigar. Neh. I struck out this time, and I should have known it. Maduros, especially complex maduros such as Berger & Argenti’s Entubar Quad usually pair better with porters, and stouts. Anything with a richer, more coffee/chocolate build up. Since this was a deeper, sweeter cigar the floral and citrus flavors from the Saison just sat on top of the Entubar’s profile. Coffee would have went great with this cigar or even some nice whiskey.