Cigar Review and Contest: Berger & Argenti MOOCH

Size: 5×50, Schnorr

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Medium

Price: $3.99-5.79 (Sold in Boxes of 30)

Grade: 9.3

We’ve really enjoyed Berger & Argenti’s cigars here at Toasted Foot. Everything we’ve smoked has been excellent, with flawless construction and entertaining flavor profiles. Today we are reviewing another new release from them, having reviewed the new Entubar Quad Maduro last week. The MOOCH is a new value line release that features an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper and a surprisingly complex Nicaraguan binder and filler. The MOOCH is available in 4 sizes, sold in cedar boxes of 30, and is exclusive to B&Ms. The available sizes are 4 3/4×42 (Minnie), 5×50 (Schnorr), 6×52 (Loll), and 7×49 (Windbag). It was released at the IPCPR trade show last week.

Contest Alert – don’t forget, we are giving away a box of the MOOCH, a six pack of the Entubar, and a three pack of the Clasico – 39 cigars! The details are found here – entering is easy and fun!

Now, on to the toast.

Pre-light, 1.8:
Berger & Argenti seem to be making a name for themselves with an extreme attention to aesthetics, and the MOOCH is no different – this triple capped Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped Robusto is double banded with a paper wrapped foot noting the Cuban embargo of 1962. Removing the paper, the foot is very well packed, as is the rest of the stick. The seams are flawless and the veins are so light they appear ghostly on the almond colored wrapper. Though a brand new release, with but a couple days of humidor time, there is a slight haze of plume on the upper half. The aroma at the foot is very sweet with hints of hazelnut and a creamy cedar core. Along the wrapper, there are slight notes of coffee as well. On the draw, the sweet notes remain present on the open pull.

Burn, 1.8:
The draw is open just enough to billow smoke out on the second puff of each set of draws. The burn is about medium in speed, and the burn line is very sharp throughout. The ash is tightly held together but the coloring is a bit uneven and splotchy. The aroma fills the area very well, with a very sweet and delicate fragrance.

Flavor. 2.8:
The initial burst is very similar to the pre-light notes – a very sweet and gentle cream with bordering notes of coffee. A very slight spice is present in the back of the throat but it never makes its way toward the tongue, nor does it develop any prominence or make its way into the finish. Moving into the second third, the spice moves toward the front but is very sweet and reminds me of green peppers. The creamy notes are smooth, not bitter, and the coffee is still present as well; as the smoke progresses, the complexity improves. Moving into the final third, the brief bit of spice fades and lends to a very gentle and sweet conclusion. The finish throughout is been medium in length and slightly pronounced, with a thick creaminess that coats the palate very well.

Overall, 2.9:
Priced at around $4 for this Robusto, this is one of my top smokes of the year, and likely my top sub $5 smoke for 2010. The ascetics and construction on this smoke are superb, and the flavor is sweet and creamy, but with enough complexity to entertain the more full-bodied palates out there. I think the Robusto size provides a good balance of the creamy EC wrapper and the complex Nicaraguan binder and filler. With all of the new releases coming out over the last month or two, I really hope the MOOCH doesn’t get overlooked – especially since it’s only available at B&Ms. If you see this one, pick it up – it’ll be $4, and an hour, very well spent.

(Total: 9.3)