Cross Street Tobacco, for an event with the Berger & Argenti cigar company. I haven't heard much about the brand, so this is all new to me. I only had a chance to smoke one, so I'll keep this review short and sweet. The pricepoint on a Rothschild ran a little under $6. A great value for a decent smoke.
The cigar is wrapped in a milk chocolate Ecuadorian Connecticut. Although it is a Connecticut, it is darker than any Connecticut-wrapped cigar out there (broadleaves aside of course). Bound by a Nicaraguan corojo and filled with Nicaraguan tobacco. This line is one of 3 made by the brand, and is available in 4 sizes.
This cigar was chosen in The Robb Report as one of the best cigars of 2009. Cross Street Tobacco's owner, Sheldon, spoke highly of the brand and the nice construction on the stick had me on the edge of my seat waiting to try one.
Prelight - The cigar seems flawless. The wrapper seams are damn near invisible, and while there isn't much in the way of wrapper oils, the cigar puts off a lot of nice aroma. The Clasico is solid and stuffed full of tobacco; not a soft sot to be found. The cigar smells of sweet cedar and raw honey. A clip to the cap, and I'm happy to find an effortless draw. Shall we smoke?
Sparking it - The cigar lights up with ease and produces tons of smoke from the get go. The ash holds tight and the cigar burns nice and even. The construction on this cigar is top-notch. With that in mind I kick back; with a World Cup game in front of me and some friends ont he sides, I delve into the nuances of the cigar.
The flavor profile matches the initial aromas. The smoke has a sweet cedary taste, but the flavor disipates quickly. For the first 2" (inches), I enjoy the taste, but the back of my tongue is wondering why the front end is getting all the pleasure.
With these flavors and the short finish I would usually find this cigar to be mild, but it has some body and the flavors are potent. This is definitely a medium to full flavored smoke.
Smoking it - I really like this cigar. I'm not in love with it, but it is a great value cigar. For $5.50, this cigar would be nice to mix in the rotation from time to time. As the cigar burned past the halfway point I was happy to find a longer finish on the flavor. There was some complexity in flavor and some subtle variations which kept me as interested in the cigar as I was the World Cup game.
I recommomend this cigar for all you "price concious" smokers out there. Hell, i'd recommend it to a high-end smoker.
Great burn, tight ash, nice flavors and superb construction. I'll be checking out and reviewing some more Berger & Argenti's in the near future.
Overall - B+
Thanks to Tampa Bay Examiner Cigar Guy for the Photo of the band!