Ave Maria

Ave Maria Argentum

Before I started to work for a Dutch cigar importer & distributer, I used to order online from the USA and one of the cigars that I ordered a lot was the Diesel Unholy Cocktail. When I started to work for that importer & distributer I felt like I couldn’t do that anymore since it was not a legal thing to do as its considered tax evading, you are only allowed to import tobacco if you have a license with the exemption of 50 cigars that you carry across the border in person and because all my accounts were cigar shops that feel the pain of this import. But I did miss my Diesel Unholy Cocktails. So I kept asking my employer if there was a way to import these but everytime he would reply “these are made for the wholesaler that is part of Cigars International so they probably won’t sell to us anyway”. Well, after three years of nagging he finally decided to mail Meier & Dutch and much to his surprise and my happiness they were open to the idea. On top of that I ran into the responsible person a few weeks later at Tabacalera Oliva in Esteli, Nicaragua and that sealed the deal.


We started with the Diesel, Manowar and a few other cigars and slowly expanded our business with Meier & Dutch but right before the Cigaragua shop was opened I got fired as my employer had his doubts if I would be a good shopmanager. He’s wrong, but as an employee you don’t always get a chance to prove that. Too bad, because a lot of new items came in just to be sold in that shop and nowhere else in The Netherlands. Amongst those cigars is this Ave Maria Argentum, just like the Diesel Unholy Cocktail and the Manowar made by A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. I have been to the factory and its very impressive, huge, clean and I could roam free without a chaperone, something that didn’t happen anywhere else. I met Abdel too a few times, now that his English improved we can actually hold a conversation, something that was impossible before because of my lack of Spanish.


What I notice first is the shape and the color, It’s almost a flying pic but there is just a tiny difference in shape. The cigar is a 5×58 perfecto. The color is striking because its almost black, I have never seen a wrapper this dark and you can see that the sun did its work as the surface of the toothy wrapper looks like leather. Well, thats as far as you can see the wrapper because the ring is huge, and to add to that they added a second ring too. The second ring is black with big silver lining and the word Argentum written in font that makes me think of medievel times and knights. The real ring has the same black & silver theme going on with a knight, the english crest and a banner with silver letters ave maria. On the back the ring has a red cross. I like the look of the ring. The cigar feels rock hard I just hope it doesn’t have a tight draw and the strong aroma reminds me of a hay stack in a field surrounded by some cows and an angry bull.


I couldn’t punch the cigar so I had to cut it with my flat cut. The cold draw is great with some pepper on my lips. I lit the cigar carefully, expecting a tight start but from that the start the draw is good and I taste coffee with chocolate. Once the burn gets to the thicker part the flavors open and I taste cedar, pepper, cinnamon and a hint of cacao. I also taste a little sweetness, icing sugar like sweetness. The sweetness is getting a little stronger, just like the cedar. After a third I taste a nice spice mix with sugar and pepper, this is the sweetness I expect from a Maduro wrapper like this. Halfway the base flavor becomes nutty with pepper and a little bit of sweetness. Slowly but surely the cigar gets stronger and so does the pepper, the nuts change to wood.


The draw is wonderful. The ash is light colored, dense and firm. The burn had to be corrected once but that always happens to me when lighting a cigar with a foot like that. The smoke is medium in thickness and volume. The cigar starts out medium bodied but evolved to full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? This is a great cigar!

Score: 94
94

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Categories: 94, Ave Maria, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Ave Maria Knights Templar

Another A.J. Fernandez cigar made exclusively for Meier & Dutch, a wholesaler that’s part of Cigars International. Nicaraguan tobacco with an Ecuador Habano wrapper and according to the credits this cigar gets from the likes of Nestor Plasencia, Alan Rubin, Pete Johnson and others I am really looking forward to this stick. I smoked the 6×48 Double Corona aka Knights Templar
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The cigar looks good and the band is just awesome, very detailed, weird shapes, very beautiful. The cigar however feels a bit under filled with some soft spots and I smell a barnyard aroma. The predraw is fine, the flavor not so, I taste musty and rotten wood.
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I taste a mild coffee and a mild pepper flavor, which is soon replaced by wood. After half an inch I also taste some citrus. Soon al the flavors change to herbs and citrus. After an inch citrus becomes the main flavor with some wood on the background, slowly the cigar gets a bit stronger and after an inch and a half I get some pepper again.
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After 1 third I taste a very nice combination of spices, pepper, wood and lemon. Halfway its moist wood with an unpleasant charcoal flavor which luckily changes to herbs with a mild citrus. After two thirds I get those nice spices again, perfectly balances with the acidity of the citrus. At the end I taste some pepper.
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The draw is fine; the smoke starts out thin even though I get plenty of smoke. It gets thicker along the way. The white ash is frayed but firm. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. I had to correct the burn a few times, just a little bit. The cigar lasted me for an hour and a half.
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Would I buy his cigar again? No. I know it gets a lot of praise, even from some of the most influential people in the cigar business, but I’ve had better

Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 9
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 7
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part: 7

Categories: Ave Maria, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , ,

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