I’m gonna be up front with you. My credibility is clearly in question with this review, having only recently returned from a four day slice of paradise at Casa Arganese in the Dominican Republic. It’s hard to light one up without thinking about lazy days spent in the sun by the pool, sipping Presidente beers while the palm trees gently rustle in the breeze. But I’ll try. Really hard. The freezing cold weather helps.
This week’s review is of the pre-release Arganese CL3 (Prounounced “C.L. to the third power”), a cigar that is due to hit the streets sometime shortly before RTDA/IPCPR. The C.L. part of the name stands for “Corojo Ligero”, which gives you a good idea of what to expect from this cigar: full body and full strength. To the third power. But I’m not going to tell you just yet if it lives up to the name. You’ll have to read the rest of the review! (I know, I’m such a tease.)
Another important bit of background for this cigar is the tobacco’s pedigree. All of these cigars are made with 100% first-generation Cuban seed tobacco. That means the seeds from one season’s crop are not used to grow the plants for next crop, as is common practice. Each new crop is grown from seeds right off a plant in Cuba. Which probably explains why these cigars are expected to be a somewhat limited release.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Dominican, Cuban seed
Binder: Dominican*, Cuban seed
Filler: Dominican*, Cuban seed
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Price: Yet unknown
*Not entirely sure on these.
I think I see some ligero…
Like many early pre-release cigars, this one doesn’t yet have a band. This has gotten me curious as to if it will remain that way once released, or with a foot band like The Edge by Rocky Patel, or more likely, the standard Arganese band. The standard band with a different color, of course. (So far, red, silver, white, black and green are taken.)
Beyond the cosmetic speculation, the wrapper had a great reddish color to it with some prominent veins. I gave the wrapper a once over, and found it to be without blemish, and nicely firm. The wrapper had a slightly sweet earthy aroma, and the foot a strong barnyard sent. The cold taste was all sweet molasses. So far, all signs point to a good smoke.
CL3’s in the wild.
In the four of five of these cigars I smoked, I didn’t experience any draw issues. On the other hand, the burn tended to be a little unpredictable. The final cigar I smoked (and photographed) for this review was an unfortunate example of how unruly it can be. The burn line was a very erratic, the ash flowered a little in the first third. Previously, I had more behaved burns and respectably long ashes.
A bit of flowering in the first third
Given that this cigar is not planned for release for another six months or so, it’s very likely these burn issues were the result of tobacco that had not yet properly married. As I learned in the factory tour, the filler is considerably drier than the binder and wrapper when the cigar is rolled. With that in mind, getting a good burn at this stage is more telling than a bad one.
Right off the bat the cigar opened up with a sweet, creamy, nutty coffee flavor which really encourages you to keep smoking. (As though you’d quit after a few puffs anyway.) The sweetness fades a little way into the first third, but the creamy coffee and nuttiness remains. At points I got a faint spiciness in the finish.
As the cigar progressed into the second third, the flavor fluctuated between coffee flavors, sometimes almost like espresso, and the rich nutty flavor I noted in the first third. It was at this point that I noticed the cigar had a long creamy finish with a little bit of sweetness and a bit of smooth pepper. This was a preview of things to come, as the cigar became a lot creamier toward the end of the second third.
In the final third, the cigar remained creamy and picked up a bit of salty spiciness. Some of the coffee flavor returned from time to time, generally accompanied by a bit of cinnamon, but the creaminess remained dominant.
It’s hard to say too much about the price, as I just don’t know what it will be. I think (and I gotta stress the word “think” here) that these will be a bit more expensive than the Arganese cigars currently on the market. If these do turn out to be limited release smokes, that makes sense.
Again, I’m hardly objective. This cigar was one of the stars of a fantastic island get away. A box of these tasty smokes would have made the trip back with me if only they were ready. I really enjoyed smoking this cigar, in spite of the less than optimal burn, and I think it will be well received when it hits the stores.
To answer the question posed above about the strength and the power, I’d say it’s definitely a full-bodied cigar with a good amount of strength to it, while at the same time maintaining a great flavor profile. Even with the fullness and power, I still found this a great way to start off the day. Or finish it for that matter.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to IPCPR this year!
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.