Berger & Argenti Clasico | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut (Desflorado-Stalk Cut)
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaraguan (Cuban Seed)
Size: 5 x 50 “Rothschild”
Body: Medium
Price: $4.00 by the box at BestCigarPrices.com
1a

I want to thank Jason Harding at BestCigarPrices.com for sending me this cigar. They have 23 different blends of this brand and the prices are excellent. Check me out if you think I am BS’ing you.

This actually an impressive little cigar. First, the production of the cigar is more unique than other cigars in that it is stalk cut, or “Desflorado.” It is a technique in which the plant is cut from the ground, at the stalk, instead of removing the leaves, or primings, while the plant is growing. The whole plant is then cured at the same time.

This technique is said to provide a better balance of spiciness and sweetness.

The Clasico was introduced at the 2010 IPCPR trade show. I know, I know…I’m right on top of things.

Albert and Michael Argenti of Cuban Imports and Don Kiki Berger joined forces; and a new company was born. They are probably most famous for their Entubar.

Even more impressive is that the 2010 Robb Report named the cigar “Best of the Best” award for 2010.
This is from the B & A web site:
“CLASICO® is comprised of meticulously blended bold and deeply aged Nicaraguan filler tobaccos cultivated at Tabacalera Esteli, its rich farmland widely considered by cigar makers as among the finest in Nicaragua for filler tobaccos. The Cuban seed Nicaraguan fillers are sheathed in a sumptuous Nicaraguan Corojo binder and skillfully enveloped in a stalk-cut, molasses-colored Ecuadorian Connecticut seed ‘Desflorado’ wrapper; exhibiting a well-balanced, full-bodied character bursting with a confluence of sweet and spicy flavors. CLASICO® offers exceptional value through its impeccable craftsmanship: the new brand is hecho a mano totalmente – completely crafted by hand – without aid of any mechanical devices and fashioned with a mounted, triple cap at the head of each cigar.”

Clasico comes in four sizes: 4.5x 46, 5 x 50, 5.75 x 50, and 7 x 50. The price range runs from $4.50-$7.50 per cigar. I checked around and BCP actually had the lowest price for this cigar. I found some big sites selling it for $2 more, each.

Construction….The cold has taken its toll on all of my cigars. It is actually warmer than usual for 8:30am. It is only -8°, going up to -2° by noon. We can only crank the heating system so high without getting $1000 energy bills so we keep the two floor house at 64 degrees, at night even lower..plus our basement. I am really getting some use from my Kingpin glue and that’s a shame. A couple minor wrapper issues needed correcting before I started taking photos. Hopefully, it won’t reappear. We’ve had countless weeks in subzero weather…during the day as well. Brrrrr.

The cigar is rustic. Lots of veins. The seams are basically excellent. The triple cap is absolutely flawless. The wrapper is a milk chocolate brown with some oiliness and a bit of tooth.

I clip the cap and find aromas of cocoa, sweetness, strong cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.
2a

The first puffs are very sweet. The draw is excellent and the smoke pours from the foot, blinding me. There are also tidbits of creaminess, cocoa, caramel, honey, nuts, making the cigar start off with a long finish. The char line is a bit wavy but doesn’t need correction yet.
The cocoa and creaminess and sweetness make for a great start. Note: I’ve had this cigar in my humidor for a couple months.

At the half inch mark, the flavor profile is very near to flavor bomb status based only on the earlier described flavors.

Strangely, there is no zing. No pepper. I’m surprised.
I have to interject this…I watched a YouTube video of a cigar review and the reviewer used a table top, 3 flame torch to light the cigar. No toasting. Just letting loose the dogs of war on that poor stick. I watched as the cigar turned black about 2” from the foot before he stopped torturing the cigar. Then…he puts the cigar to his lips…and says, “Hmmm….the cigar tastes a bit burned. I am not sure why?”
I burst into laughter that made things come out of my nose that shouldn’t. I didn’t bother to watch the other 9 minutes of the video. The rest would have just been a letdown.
3a

I hit the beginning of the second third. As expected, the flavors explode with vibrancy. I can see colors. Everything is a’blaze. So I grab my Diet Coke because this is most definitely an egg cream experience due to the sweetness, cocoa, and creaminess.

There is a bit of black pepper showing up in the back of my throat. Gives the cigar some zing.
There isn’t much complexity, just flavors. But considering this is a cigar that can be had for less than $5, it is still impressive. I’ve been lucky, for the most part lately, in that I’ve chosen to smoke some budget cigars that were really very good. And the price ranges were from $3-$5.

Since I am not an A List reviewer, who are generally already in the cigar industry, I am going through a lull in new cigars to review. They are sort of dribbling in. Meanwhile, the big guys are reviewing cigars I’ve never even heard of. So, yeah, I’m a shlub.

I got the idea of scoring a bunch of cigars that are not new but I haven’t reviewed. Good cigars. Most range from $6-$8 each but I got them much less on auction. As it turns out, most were too pedestrian for the big guys to review. They are so overloaded with all the freebies and inside information that they have no time to review good, but not sexy, cigars. In fact, none of them reviewed this cigar. So that is the journey I shall be on for a while.
4a

I am approaching the second half. The char line is a tad bit wavy but no corrections needed. The draw continues to be spot on. And the spiciness makes it to the starting line; first by becoming red pepper, instead of black…and coming to the forefront.
The sheer volume of cocoa, sweetness and creaminess are superb. Add to that caramel and honey, nuts, and cedar and we have a party.

The last third begins without any significant changes. The wrapper is beginning to crackle a bit which means that once I remove the cigar band, a catastrophe might occur. Damn Wisconsin.
5a

A lovely floral taste appears. It enhances the sweetness.
The last third is the real sweet spot as the flavors are at their boldest. Again, not much complexity, just a good, solid, flavorful cigar.
6a

Unfortunately, the frigid weather is taking its toll on the cigar’s wrapper. For the last several weeks, every single cigar I’ve smoked has had horrific wrapper problems. In the mornings, I touch my humidors and they feel like they’ve been in the fridge all night. A real shame. Wally Guse…I am moving in with you in sunny Arizona. And this is a great stick for you. The body has been a constant medium body. I am near the end of no sign of nicotine.

My worst fears are realized when I remove the cigar band. The wrapper disintegrates and I don’t want to show the cigar in this condition because it is not the cigar’s fault. I don’t have this problem in weather above 50°.
I imagine many of you in the cold parts of the country are going through the same thing.
Come on Spring weather!

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6 replies

  1. Katman, I guess that we have to consider you as “The people cigars reviewer” just for the average (money wise) cigar nuts smoker. Lol

    • Rene,
      I consider that a compliment. Between the influx of new cigars proffered by the manufacturers, I review what most of us on a budget smoke.
      The funny thing is that because my writing is so prolific, I make the front page of all the search engines right along with the A List guys.
      The difference being they are writing about the flavor of the month. While I write about what most of us can afford. Just worked out that way.
      The big manufacturers know I’m not an insider so they don’t bother with me. Even though I have a huge following and get 600 hits per day, on average.
      And these guys don’t like the way I write. Too crude and too personal. And they are over sensitive. Bunch of big babies.
      I only have a couple more cigars to review then I’m out until I get a shipment of sticks next week. This will make me nuts.

    • I play golf like Katman reviews Cigars Rene…Look up in the sky and you can see my balls headed your way…You know what I mean !!!

  2. Holy crap Katman, I’ve seen you play bass on a video, and you review Cigars like you play bass, with wild abandon, taking no prisoners…The Rock & Roll Cigar reviewer…That’s just how you roll my friend…Never have problems with humidification here in the Sunshine State…I’ve had some sticks in my Humi for a decade, and they aren’t dried out or leathery…Certainly the profile changes, but that just makes it even more interesting…I will attempt to score a few of these bad boys…Nice review, and tell Rene I’m letting the Big Dog eat…Fore !

    • Wally, Wally, Wally…
      Only you can manage, in such a short word count, compliment me, praise me, idolize me, and call me a doughnut hole at the same time.
      Keep ’em comin’!