Casa Fernandez Arsenio Maduro Robusto

Wait, another Casa Feranandez cigar review? Well, yes. While I was out picking up the sticks for the Aganorsa Leaf review a few weeks ago, I saw these Arsenio Maduros and I couldn’t resist. I knew Jerry had the natural Arsenio covered, and that the Arsenio Maduro is was still fair game.

The Casa Fernandez Arsenio Maduro is new enough that their website doesn’t have any information about it. But a quick exhange with the official Casa Fernandez twitter account filled me in on the basics. The Arsenio Maduro is a special limited release that’s available in ten-count boxes in just this one vitola. However, demand for it it has been “explosive” so the offering will be extended, and more sizes may also be made. As you might expect, it’s made from 100% Aganorsa cuban seed tobacco grown on Casa Fernandez’s farms in Jalapa and Esteli.

It sounds like the marketplace has already reached a verdict on the Arsenio Maduro, but that’s not gonna stop me from giving my two cents on the matter. And here it is.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 1/4 x 54
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $6.80

The Pre-Smoke
The Arsenio Maduro is a great looking smoke, jet black, with the bold but simple stylized bands Casa Fernandez cigars are known for. (Though as you can see in the picture, one of those bands wasn’t quite right.) With a wrapper this dark, people start asking about paint. I saw no evidence of such, and didn’t experience any significant color transfer from the cigar. On closer inspection, what at first appears to be a suspiciously consistent black wrapper is actually made up of a more natural-looking combination of very dark browns and black.

As I was looking the sticks over, I did see the odd hole in the wrapper here and nick in the foot there. They were pretty easy to find given the contrast created by the much lighter binder leaf. But no serious damage or cracking.

The scent of the wrapper was pretty pungent, a little like some kind of exotic cheese on top of cedar. The cold draw was pretty easy, and tasted, at least in one stick, very distinctly like caramel.

The Burn
The Arsenio Maduro isn’t the prettiest burning stick in the world, but it’s low maintenance. About the only time I needed to needed to grab my lighter was toward the end to keep the last bit of the cigar burning properly. It produced a gray ash that turned out be sturdier than it appeared, and it burned evenly, but with the occasional bit of jaggedness. I ran into some cracking near the head of one cigar, but it turned out to be mostly a cosmetic problem. (And without a doubt the very low humidity here helped to cause that.)

The Flavor
The inaugural puffs of roasted nuts and leathery aromatic cedar set the stage nicely for the active and complex profile that followed. The first third was full of dark flavors like earthy mocha, espresso and even some pepper, but it also had notes of caramel, aromatic cedar and even hints of vanilla. It seemed like each puff was a little different.

The second third was a continuation of the rich and lingering flavors of the previous third, only with a growing influence of leathery aromatic cedar and black pepper. Additionally, I noted an interesting creamy, faintly lemon-like sweetness nearing the end of this third in one cigar.

The Arsenio Maduro concluded things with a fuller and more potent combination rich earthy mocha, spicy cedar and pepper.

The Price
I love the price tag for these. A limited release for around seven dollars? No wonder the reception has been positive.

The Verdict
I enjoyed the Casa Fernandez Arsenio Maduro a great deal, it’s definitely one of the better maduros I’ve smoked this year. The combination of the excellent flavor profile with a long finish, a reasonable price and half-sized boxes make it easy to declare the Arsenio Maduro box-worthy. Heck, without even trying I’ve burned through a little over half a box. You really should try these.

Liked It: Loved it, box-worthy.
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

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