Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 54 “Robusto-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.70 MSRP (Almost $1.50 less online – As low as $6.00 on Cbid)

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Today we take a look at the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro.

BACKGROUND:
Debuted at 2014 IPCPR trade show.
All AGANORSA tobacco used.
The “Miami” refers to the Casa Fernandez factory where the cigar was produced.
The name, Arsenio, is an homage to Casa Fernandez’s super blender, Arsenio Ramos…who celebrated his 80th birthday in 2014.

DESCRIPTION:
A very rustic looking cigar. The wrapper is full of tiny veins. Seams are tight. The triple cap is sloppy.
The wrapper is the color of ginger and russet brown with a nice amount of oil. It feels very smooth to the touch.
The orange/red cigar band highlights the color of the wrapper.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto: 5.5 x 54 $9.70 MSRP
Toro: 6.5 x 52 $9.80 MSRP
Coloso: 6 x 60 $9.94 MSRP
Comes in boxes of 20

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet ginger and nutmeg, red pepper, floral notes, black licorice, and milk chocolate.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell fruity sweetness, clove, red pepper, barnyard, licorice, nutmeg, milk chocolate, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of graham cracker, red pepper, sweetness, coffee, chocolate, fruit, cedar, and allspice.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is a bit tight. But no action required this early.
First puffs bring an array of flavors: Chocolate, powerful red pepper, creaminess, graham cracker, generic sweetness, cedar, coffee, and a very earthy tobacco flavor.
Strength is immediately classic medium body.
I’m letting the cigar rest because a run is beginning on each side of the cigar’s biggest surface.

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I bought this very cool lighter for Charlotte. She smokes cigarettes. Boo! Hisssss!
But she has rheumatoid arthritis in her hands and has trouble flicking her Bic. I’ve bought her oodles of good lighters over the years and I swear she loses them.

So I found this cool rechargeable lighter on Amazon. As you can see in the photos below, it is as small as a USB unit. It charges off my laptop. Takes a maximum of 2 hours to recharge. You get 80 lights per charge. And it can be recharged 500 times. All for the low, low, low, price of $11 and change. Here is the LINK.

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Back to the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro.
Damn. Finally. A great cigar to start my morning with in which I can put my reactions down on paper; so to speak.

This is how an expensive cigar should start. Loads of flavor. It finds its complexity with only half an inch burned. The balance is delightful. And already has a nice long finish.
Caramel is a new addition. Subtlety and nuance is the name of the game with this blend.

There is a great article about AGANORSA tobacco, and Eduardo Fernández, on the Cigar Aficionado web site. Check it out. It includes some interesting info on Arsenio Ramos.

I like this cigar. But then I can’t think of a single Casa Fernandez blend I don’t like. It’s a shame that a lot of smokers have moved on to other hipper blenders. Go to Cbid and see what a CF cigar goes for. For a CF fan, it’s a field day. You can get some very good blends for $3.00, or less, instead of $9.00 retail. It’s crazy. I got the OK to buy my own Hanukkah present so I went to Cbid and scarfed up some CF cigars: Miami Reserva, Miami Reserva Maduro, Aniversario 2014, Lunatic El Chiquito, and the Aganorsa Leaf Maduro. I averaged $3.25 per stick on nothing but $9.00+ cigars. There are some real fools out there that have turned their backs on the grand blends. And a masterful blender.

A very slow smoke. It’s taken 20 minutes to burn 1-1/4”.
I love the flavors. Some are bold like the spice and chocolate and creaminess and graham cracker. While others are subtle like the caramel, sweetness, cedar, hazelnut, coffee, vanilla, and floral notes.

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Black licorice shows up. I love the transitions. The trademark of a great blend. Keep ‘em guessing.
And then Kaplooey! The flavor profile opens up like an orchid. A massive display of interesting takes of what are usually ordinary flavors. The malts move in: Cara Munich Malt, Chocolate Rye Malt, Coffee Malt, Crystal Caramel Malt, and Flaked Rye Malt. (See Malt Chart).

The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro is now an expensive French dessert.
The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro tastes like this looks: “Brownie Extraordinaire is sold at Brule, a restaurant in the Tropicana Resort located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But, this isn’t just any brownie. It’s made out of dark chocolate that is then covered with Italian hazelnuts and served with a scoop of ice cream.”

brownie

Or maybe a Crème brûlée. “A rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel.”

creme

I believe this is the first time I’ve smoked the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro. Don’t know how I missed it.
It gets rave reviews from all the reviewers. I’m in agreement.
Such a nice change to my recent reviews.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Strength remains at an easy going medium body.

The complexity is 8 miles high. And I’ll feel a whole lot better when I light up another one. Turn, turn, turn.
I got to hang out with The Byrds back in 1966. I think I shall add this story later. Haven’t published it since March. And I have added a lot of new readers since then.

9third

This is a luscious cigar. Deeply complex. Well worth the MSRP. I paid more for this cigar when I bought my Hanukkah presents on Cbid than any other CF blend. I paid $31 for a 5 pack. That brought up the average price I paid for the other CF blends. Punch in Casa Fernandez on CF and be amazed at how low the prices are.

This is the first one I smoked of the five pack. I know and love CF blends and after 10 days, I knew it would be ready to review.
One of my favorite CF blends is the Miami Reserva and I love the Anniversario 2014. But then I also love the Aganorsa Maduro.

I know I’m meandering. It’s because I’m taking my sweet old time to smoke the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro.

Here they are again, with new additions: Chocolate, creaminess, malts, spice, coffee, raisins, vanilla custard, graham cracker, black licorice, caramel, hazelnut, sweetness, vine fruit, floral notes, cedar, and toffee.
Some are out front. Others hang back.

I reach the halfway point. Smoke time is 55 minutes.
Strength hangs tough at medium body.
The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro is so complex that I know I’m missing out on the much nuanced flavors.

10half

Before I forget, I want to thank Carter Tinsley for his care package of 5 very special cigars. They are no longer available but I intend to review them soon in spite of their disappearance from the market place.

Construction is top notch. Only a couple of minor touch ups to the burn line have been required. More for pretty photos than really necessary.

I’ve been having a helluva time getting my cigars to burn correctly. I have tried every way imaginable to avoid a run but it seems 4 out of 5 cigars need immediate attention. And then along comes a beaut where the char line is perfect. Is it me? Or is it lousy construction? I have no idea.

The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro has no such issues. Absolutely perfect rolling.

The caramel, the creaminess, the graham cracker, and the malts all make for a big smile on this ugly puss.

If you haven’t tried this blend yet. Do so immediately. And spread out your business with the underpriced CF blends on Cbid. It is open season on great deals. Casa Fernandez is one of my top 5 favorite brands. Why? Consistency. Unlike some manufacturers, CF hits the nail on the head every time. No wondering, if this time, it will be a dud.

I could list a lot of manufacturers that suffer from the great/dud syndrome. Like Caldwell, Lost & Found, Crowned Heads, Black Label Trading Co., Camacho, Emilio Cigars, Illusione, L’Atelier, Moya Ruiz, Casa Magna, E.P. Carrillo, La Palina, Patel, Viaje, and even Tatuaje.

The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro continues to have multi orgasms as transitions occur fast and furious. The entire cigar, from the start, has been complex.
Each puff, every couple minutes, opens up new doors to rich flavors.
As far as I know, this is a regular production cigar. Let me check…one moment please…Can’t find that info. So it must be a regular production blend.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.
The description of the strength is medium/full body. But I haven’t seen it.

This is a mellow blend. And so chocked full of flavors that it outweighs the strength by a long shot.
Maybe it is medium/full. But the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro is so smooth, I can’t tell.

11third

A big surge of flavor develops. Truthfully, I didn’t think the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro could go any further.
But it does. The spiciness is very potent. All the subtle and nuanced flavors explode. It becomes a flavor bomb.
Man oh man; I am so glad I still have four remaining to smoke.

I’d love to have a box of these. I find 7 CF units on Cbid but not the Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro. Charlotte keeps asking what I want for Christmas. I tell her I don’t know. CI sells a box of 20 for $174. No way is that going to be affordable. So maybe a couple, or three, five packs, if available soon, will do the trick.

The usual Christmas routine is that I pick cigars I want and buy them. I do know that our daughter Katie bought me a wok I’ve wanted for ages. When you are watching your food budget, a wok is so multi-purpose that great meals can be made for next to nothing.

OK. I’ve rambled on and meandered long enough.

With a little more than an inch to go, the blend hits medium/full body.
The Casa Fernández Arsenio Serie Oro is an incredible blend. I don’t have a single criticism. It finishes cool and without a hint of harshness or bitterness. And NO nicotine.
If you want a killer deal, then stalk Cbid.

RATING: 93

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And now for something completely different:
The Byrds

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In 1966, at the height of their short career, I got to meet, and hang with them, at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA.
The Golden Bear is a small venue. Maybe seats 200 people. The Byrds had a string of major hits. And were considered the American Beatles.

They only played two nights but two shows per night. It was impossible to get tickets. So my buddy, Elliot Kushell, had an idea. We would pretend we were reporters for the Long Beach Telegram newspaper.
I called the Golden Bear and introduced myself as a reporter. I just knew they wouldn’t buy it.
An hour later, The Byrds’ manager called back and said he would get us backstage passes.

Elliot and I were ecstatic.
We were both 16. And hardly looked like real reporters.

We got there and not a single reporter was there. Unless they were in the audience. We were the only people allowed back stage with the band.

I brought along my Sony reel-to-reel that my grandfather bought me for my Bar Mitzvah. And I brought two cameras: A Kodak Instamatic and a Polaroid.

We met them as soon as we got there. We were invited into their dressing room. A drab and tiny room. Almost like a big closet.
Right away, they were friendly and generous.

I got a 45 minute interview with Roger McGuinn. I took lots of photos. During the concert, I just wandered to the front of the stage and took pictures with my Instamatic. No one bothered me.

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Back stage, I used my Polaroid. David Crosby asked if he could use it and show me something. He knew how to get double exposures with the thing.
So he took a bunch of crazy photos.

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Strangely, I never saw them drink alcohol or smoke any weed. They were sober.
And neither Elliot nor I had tried weed at that age. Things were different then.
Now Roger went to a guru on a regular basis. This guru said his original name of Jim was wrong for him and changed it to Roger. LOL.

I asked for an autograph and, apparently, he wasn’t used to his new name. He started to write the letter J and then stopped and wrote Roger. I wish I still had that piece of paper but that was almost 50 years ago.

Roger let me hold the famous Rickenbacker 12 string that was the signature sound of The Byrds.
There were girls in the dressing room of course. And David made sure that they all sat on my lap. I almost passed out. And I was embarrassed because I had the wood of a horny 16 year old.

The evening lasted for 6 hours. All of it exhilarating. When it was over, each of The Byrds gave me a big bear hug. I couldn’t believe it.

The next day, I wrote up an article, from the interview, and submitted it to the teeny bopper magazine “Tiger Beat.”
A couple weeks later, it was returned to me, bleeding with red mark ups. I was told that my article was not cuddly enough. I swear to God. Those were her exact words.
That was the official start of my writing career.

I hope you find my cigar reviews cuddly.

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