Years ago, I met Albert Argenti and when I was in Miami one day we had a few cigars at Cuban Crafters where the Berger & Argenti office had their space. Berger & Argenti was the company of Kiki Berger and the brother Michael and Albert Argenti and Joey Oliva worked for them. I fell in love with the entubar series and especially with the quad maduro, what an amazing cigar that was.Later, when I started working in the industry, I convinced my employer to get in touch with them to start distributing the cigars. They struck a deal and we ordered a big number of cigars, a five digit number in dollars, we paid (pre payment is not uncommon in the cigar industry, especially with new relationships) but then it was all quiet from the B&A front. After pushing, pulling, other influential parties got involved we recieved a shipment but value wise only half what we ordered and not the products that we ordered. On top of that, al lot of the cigars were damaged and unsmokeable. Soon after Berger & Argenti vanished at all, I know Joey Oliva left de industry completely, Michael Argenti tried it with the La Gran Llave cigars that is now owned by A.J. Fernandez for a while and I haven’t heard anything from or about Albert Argenti after I replied on his Facebook question “what is your favorite bible quote?” with a ‘thou shall not steal’.
So far about the Argenti brothers scum, lets talk about the cigar. I bought this years ago, the Berger & Argenti Mooch was their budget like created as a hand out for people who mooch cigars from you. The price tag is on the paper wrap so I know this petit corona sized cigar was $3.99. They had a Connecticut shade version too. As Kiki Berger was involved I’m guessing the cigars were made at his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, which is now run by his widow Karen Berger and she’s starting to build a name of her own. Haven’t been lucky enough to try any of her cigars yet but who knows what the future might bring.
The cigar looks great because the foot is wrapped in an in and a half long copy of a newspaper of the day that the embargo was installed. The newspaper is topped with a small brown ring and copper colored letters mooch. Then there is the normal ring, small and brown with the company name in beige and a thin line in copper. Especially the piece of newspaper would make me pick up this cigar at a cigar shop. The construction feels good with a nice round head. The wrapper is nice and dark, with some veins and a little tooth. The aroma reminds me of chocolate, but maybe thats my mind playing because the cigar looks like chocolate.
I cut the cigar due to the small ring. The cold draw is good and starts sweet with a strong peppery aftertaste. I lit the cigar slowly with a soft flame and I taste a coffee flavor with pepper. After half an inch I taste some caramel, peanuts and pepper. After a third I taste a lot of pepper, some cheap chocolate and soft fresh wood. Halfway I taste a metallic flavor with pepper. The final third starts harsh but with some sweetness.
The draw is good, no complaints on that department. The light gray ash isn’t very firm. The smoke is great though, thick and plentiful. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored, not a lot of evolution and has a classic budget cigar taste. The smoke time is little over an hour.
Would I buy this cigar again? Discontinued since the company went belly up but I wouldn’t buy anything from the Argenti thieves anyway.