Berger & Argenti Clasico Belicoso

This week I’m back once again with a review of another product created by team Berger and Argenti, the recently released Clasico. Ordinarily I cook up some clever back story to introduce the cigar at this point, but when I checked my mental refrigerator, I found that I was didn’t have the ingredients to do much cooking or the time to go shopping. So today, it’s as simple as this: Al Argenti, who has been tirelessly promoting the wares of Berger & Argenti, generously supplied me some samples of the Clasico Belicoso. Since I rather enjoyed the Exile Wired, I decided to give ’em a spin.

But we can’t leave it at that, so here’s some more pertinent information, carefully extracted from the recent Clasico press release:

CLASICO® is available in four exquisite sizes: ‘Corona Gorda’ (4 ½”x 46); ‘Rothschild’ (5” x 50); ‘Belicoso’ (5 ¾” x 50); and ‘Churchill’ (7” x 50). Twenty (20) CLASICO® cigars are thoughtfully presented in unpretentiously elegant Spanish cedar boxes with a suggested retail price ranging from $4.50 to $7.50 per cigar, offering exceptional value and affordability.

Now it’s burning time.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 3/4 x 40
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Connecticut-Seed “Desflorado”
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo
Filler: Nicaragua Cuban-Seed
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Supplied by Manufacturer
Price: MSRP $6.50

The Pre-Smoke
This vitola may be named “Belicoso”, but that gentle taper to a pin point at the head says torpedo to me. Semantics aside, the Clasico looks to be very much the classical cigar the name implies. The band is simple, free of the opulent ornamentation seen on many cigars these days and the lighter “molasses colored” wrapper leaf is flawless and smooth, showing few fine veins and no flaws.

The cigar was consistently firm, but did feel a tad light in the hand. Along with the customary compost aroma, the wrapper also had a touch of sweetness to it, reminiscent of raisins. That sweetness was also noticeable in the cold taste.

The Burn
Much like my experience with the Exile Wired, the Clasico had a really attractive burn that defies one to speak badly about it. The ash was light colored and solid, the draw was easy, it burned evenly and it always provided me with a good quantity of smoke. As is always the case in the burn section of my reviews, no news is good news. And there’s not much to report. My single point of criticism here is that the cigar seemed to burn more quickly than most cigars its size, however, that could also be user error.

The Flavor
The Clasico started off creamy (almost buttery in one cigar), and had a good deal of caramel sweetness. It doesn’t take long before an intriguing aromatic tobacco flavor appeared. And following on it’s coattails, some slightly sweet cedar.

Around the beginning of the second third some spiciness began to emerge, and the sweetness started to diminish. The aromatic tobacco flavor really seemed to pop here, and was now inseparable from the cedar, which followed it in the finish of every puff.

The cigar was spicier in the final third, and the tobacco-cedar combination has less of that aromatic quality and a little more of a slightly bitter vegetal edge. The sweet element that had already begun to fade in the preceding third was now almost completely gone.

The Price
Considering the burn properties and the enjoyable flavors, I’d say this is a fairly priced cigar.

The Verdict
That spicy aromatic combination of cedar and tobacco flavors that is so prominent in this cigar was worth the price of admission alone. That being said, after smoking the first of these late one evening, I found myself thinking, “you know what sounds good right now? A cigar.” That could mean a couple of things, the most likely, that the lightness of the body makes it a smoke that is more compatible with the early hours of the day. Or perhaps it’s just that Clasico left me wanting more, which can be both a good and bad thing. Subsequent burns were similar, enjoyable, but I felt like there was something missing.

I can see myself smoking more Clasicos in the future, but I think next time around I’m going to spring for the churchill vitola. Perhaps the satisfaction I seek can be found in that extra inch and a quarter. Regardless, I still find this to be a worthy smoke, with great flavor, and recommend it to just about anyone.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.