The one thing that sticks out the most about my trip to IPCPR back in August was how excited Al Argenti was about his product. His excitement can be likened to that of a child on Christmas day getting everything he wanted from Santa Claus and then some. It was catchy and as I lit up one of his cigars on the trade show floor I could see why he felt how he did.
Michael and Al Argenti are not new to the cigar world by any means. They are both Nick Perdomo’s brothers-in-law and they share in the responsibility of the success of Tabacalera Perdomo. As time moved on they decided to leave Perdomo to create Cuban Imports, Inc. It was then that they created the ‘Exile’ and made several cigars, under license from Altadis, in particular sizes. These were brands such as Ramon Allones and H. Upmann. Subsequently, they have partnered with Kiki Berger (Cuban Crafters) to form Berger & Argenti where they have created Entubar, Classico and the price-point cigar, Mooch.
One of the things that set the Entubar apart from others is the fact that the center of filler sticks out about a quarter of an inch from the rest of the cigar. The Entubar cigar is named after a Cuban cigar making technique where filler leaf is rolled into itself creating scrolls of tobacco. According to the company, the Entubar scrolls are firmly bunched ligero, which begins at the head of the cigar and extends beyond the foot of the cigar.
Cigar: Berger & Argenti Entubar Quad Maduro
Size: 5 3/8 x 54 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro (From Jalapa Valley, Aged 8 Years)
Filler: Nicaragua (Viso, Ligero) & Dominican (Seco)
Facebook: Berger & Argenti
Appearance and Construction: This has to be one of the coolest looking sticks out on the market today. To be honest though I was worried this might be a gimmick of some sorts. The cigar features a wonderfully dark maduro wrapper that was aged 8 years in oak barrels with virtually no veins and a nice amount of oils present. The stick feels almost velvet like under the fingertips and reveals no soft spots. The ligero nipple sticks out from the foot and according to the yellow foot band it advises one to toast the entire foot before smoking and from experimenting this is necessary to ensure of an even burn. Oh yeah, did I mention it is box pressed as well?
Flavor & Notes: Once I clipped the cap with my Xikar Multi Tool Cigar Scissors the Entubar Quad Maduro from Berger & Argenti served up some chocolate and caramel with a touch of spice while the foot was mostly made up of spice like notes. The first third offers some heavy pepper notes through the retro-hale while the cigar serves up some chocolate notes with nuts and cedar. As the second third of the cigar is reached the notes of spice become an identifiable cinnamon as the cedar notes become a more generic wood and the chocolate becomes darker. The final third of Entubar Quad Maduro has the chocolate fading away as the cigar takes on notes of roasted nuts, and notes of wood remind me of a wood burning stove. The finish of the cigar has a slight caramel to it, which gives the cigar a little bit of a sweetness to it.
Smoking Characteristics: As you light the cigar it is interesting to see the ligero Entubar burn with some blue smoke which is a trait of said ligero. The ash of the smoke is pretty cool looking especially with the Entubar from the initial light hanging on. The ash holds firm and is medium gray in color. The draw of the box pressed smoke is enjoyable and it produces a lot of smoke so be sure to be in a well ventilated area when smoking. The aroma of the cigar is pleasant as well and has a sweetness to it as well.
Conclusion: I have to ask why these aren’t in more stores because they are that good. A flavor bomb with strength makes this stick enjoyable for those who like kick, and for those who like taste. In fact it reminds me some of the old Miller Light commercial will Billy Martin, you know the one “Less Filling” no “Tastes Great”. Well this one would create an argument about the strength vs flavor. As we close out the year this one might challenge for a spot in the top 15 of 2010 and maybe even crack the top 10.
Disclaimer: I received some samples of this smoke at IPCPR and bough some via mail order to formulate this review. As always the typo’s and spelling mistakes have been left in this review for your amusement and to annoy my friend Gary Arzt.