You may not have heard of Michael Argenti but he has been behind numerous cigar brands including his own Berger & Argenti, which has been in the industry for over 25 years. To say he knows about cigars and the industry is an understatement. For this month’s selection, Argenti teamed up with one of the most legendary guys in the industry, AJ Fernandez and his Nicaraguan factory Tabacalera Fernandez S.A. Losely translating to The Great Key, La Gran Llave Maduro comes dressed to impress in a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper that conceals an Ecuadorian Habano binder and Nicaraguan long-fillers, and it’s all boxed pressed to perfection. Full bodied, expect notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, oak, and a satisfying creamy core that has a razor sharp burn down to the nub. Our panel could not stop raving about this smoke, and Cigar Aficionado also loved it and gave it a 90 point rating. Since it is full in body, our panel recommended pairing it with an after dinner espresso.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
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Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.