Friday, November 12, 2010

Berger & Argenti Entubar Double Corona

Size: 7 X 54
Shape: Double Corona
Origin: Nicaragua
Body: Medium - Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian ‘Desflorado’ Connecticut-seed
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
Smoke Clock: 1 hr 25 mins

Entubar Double Corona

Having recently discovered a park with a pond not far from my apartment, I decided to spend mid-day enjoying the peace that a park’s pond allows. Tagging along for a mid-day respite was the Berger & Argenti Entubar in the hulking double corona shape.

Finding a comfortable spot by the pond, I followed the explicit directions located on the band at the foot of the cigar and thoroughly toasted all there was to light, including the tube of rolled filler which casually poked its nose out from the foot of this stick. Pepper, caramel, light earth, and leather notes led off this lengthy smoke in a subdued but tasty way.

Burning through the first quarter of this smoke revealed the dominant notes of the blend: caramel and leather. When rolled through the nose, the smoke took on a light spice and pepper note that was enchanting. These elements of the profile remained at the forefront of the experience through the second quarter.

As I was feeding some geese that approached me over the expanse of the pond, a light bitter note crept in. This bitter note was not overpowering, but considering the subtle nuance that the rest of the flavors exhibited, the bitterness was unwelcome. Fortunately, it went away rather quickly, exposing some hints of cashew which replaced the caramel note in the profile.

Having finished this smoke and feeling a bit underwhelmed, I tossed the nub into the waiting depths of the pond. Watching the nub sink below the surface, I noted the irony inherent in the nub’s final resting place: its presence on the pond’s floor as subtle as its flavor.

Presentation: 9/10 – Classy. The band is huge, but unobtrusive on a cigar of this size. “Berger & Argenti” covers the band as a backdrop to the imitation wax seal which holds the band together. Reminiscent of a letter whose text is meant only for my eyes, it’s the fake wax seal that sealed the deal on this band for me.

Appearance: 9/10 – This is one pretty cigar. Even though the seams in the wrapper were clearly visible, all else was near perfect. The wrapper itself has some of the most consistent coloring I’ve ever seen, it was as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and showed no flaws what-so-ever.

Construction: 33/35 – The construction of this cigar was stellar. This stick was solid all the way through with a very slight hard spot beneath the band. Despite this, the draw was quite open and the burn remarkably even for a cigar of this size.

Flavor: 32/45 – This was probably the toughest aspect of this stick to grade, given the extreme subtlety of the flavor profile. Were the flavors detectable? Absolutely. Were the flavors clearly presented and pure? Without a doubt (minus the slight intrusion of a bitter note[-3 points]). Was the flavor profile full and present in the smoke? Hardly. A lot of the time, I felt as if I were smoking air and struggled to taste this blend. For this reason, I dock 10 points. Describing this profile as subtle barely begins to do justice to it.

Overall: 84/100 – The Berger and Argenti Entubar is a beautiful and well constructed oddity amongst its cigar brethren, given the rolled filler sticking out from the foot. Overall, this stick is very well done in terms of tobacco selection and construction. As far as flavor goes, this stick falls far short of what I’d expect from a high end smoke. The body was there, I just missed out on the full flavor that I expected. If you like a solid medium bodied smoke and have the time to sit, reflect, and search out the flavors in what you’re smoking, then this stick is for you.


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