Sunday, August 10, 2008

Arganese Double Wrap (churchill)


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Arganese is a new brand created in 2007 by Gene Arganese, a real estate developer who started out wanting to produce his own private-label cigars. He purchased a factory in 2005, and decided he liked the cigars being made so much that he wanted to start selling them in the open market. The increasing popularity of Arganese cigars demanded that a larger facility be obtained. So in March of 2008, the company moved to a larger facility in Tamboril, Dominican Republic. The new factory produces around 13,000 cigars a day and can hold up to 3 million cigars for aging. Arganese now processes their own tobacco using an experienced grower from Cuba to handle this operation.


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So far I have only smoked one Arganese cigar and that is the Double Wrap Churchill. This cigar is attractively rolled using two types of wrapper leaf- a Brazilian maduro and a Connecticut shade wrapper. I especially liked the look of the well made striped cap on this cigar. The binder is Indonesian and the filler is from the Dominican Republic.


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The wrapper on this cigar looked a little dry. When I compared it to the picture of the Double Wrap on the Arganese website, I thought my cigar looked more faded out, like a worn out pair of Levi's. The maduro section especially looked a little pale compared to the deep dark oily version on their website. I'm not sure how old my cigar actually was but when I tried to take a whiff of the wrapper and foot for scent, I barely detected any noticeable aroma. If I was blindfolded I probably would not know that I was smelling a cigar. This is definitely not good.


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The cigar felt smooth and firm in the first half of this 7 inch Churchill, but loosely packed in the last half. I used a double guillotine cutter to take a small clip off the end. The draw felt really nice and I finally detected some flavor confirming that yes, this was in fact a real cigar in my hands. Lighting the cigar was easy and the initial flavors was quite pleasing. The cigar had a nice charred coffee taste along with a nice creaminess to it. I tasted some creamy hay and a touch of vanilla. Eventually I also tasted a paper-like flavor and bit of cinnamon. The cigar seemed really mild in strength and the body was also pretty weak. The second third showed more woody flavor and some slight bitterness. It was still creamy and coffee-like but I was starting to notice some mild white pepper and tobacco taste on the finish. The body of the smoke was really disappointing by being really wispy and weak. I was really dissatisfied with the mild flavor. The final third was mostly leather with a really bitter finish. I was finding it really hard to keep smoking it to finish this review.


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When I asked about this cigar, I was told by one of the owners of the shop that the cigar would have problems with un-even burn. I actually didn't have that bad of a time with un-even burn. Maybe the dryness of the wrapper helped with that problem. Unfortunately, the flavor and body of the smoke was more of a disappointment for me. The cigar started off promising, with a really nice creaminess and tasty coffee flavor, but then the paper-like taste and notes of bitterness just lingered far too long. The draw produced a really weak body of smoke which was really annoying when you want more flavor development. This cigar just was not up to the task of satisfying a cigar lovers craving for richer flavors.


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This cigar retailed for $6.95 a stick. I personally would not smoke this cigar again unless I got one that looked fresher and actually smelled like a cigar. Being that I smoked just one of these cigars for the review, there is always a chance that I got that one bad stick in the box. So I will withhold judgement on Arganese cigars in general, until I sample more in the future. The reviews I've read so far of other Arganese cigars, seem to indicate that my negative review is in the minority.


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