Handmade in Esteli, Nicaragua, Berger & Argenti Mooch cigars are a blend of Nicaraguan binder and filler leaves, and an aged Cuban-seed Nicaraguan-grown maduro wrapper. These stogies are a value-priced offering from the innovative company that brought us the unique Entubar and Quad Maduro series. Having enjoyed the Connecticut-wrapped Mooch on several occasions, I decided to give the maduro version in the Schnorr size (5×50) a go for today’s review.
This cigar has a pretty cool presentation to it, with a mottled, dark-brown wrapper wearing two bands, one in the usual spot, and a huge foot-band covering almost half of the cigar emblazoned with a vintage-looking newspaper headline announcing the Cuban embargo. Pre-light draws were not very telling, giving off only a mellow cocoa taste. After a bit of toasting, the Mooch lit up easily and evenly.
The stogie started off with a full, chocolaty and cedary taste with heavy notes of fresh black pepper. The draw was excellent, and gave off tons of thick, creamy smoke. The first third of this stick came across as very robust, and spicily full-flavored.
In the 2nd third the profile turned to flavors of dark cocoa with notes of sea salt and a bit of sweet cream. By this time the cigar was sporting a thick 1 ½ inch ash and was still burning clean and straight. A little further in, a strong Cedar note piped up as the flavors began to evolve again.
As I burned into the final 3rd, the profile changed to a lighter, creamier taste with pronounced notes of cedar and lingering baking spice. The burn-line started to go a little bit awry during this portion of the stick, but evened itself out pretty quickly. These flavors stayed consistent for the rest of the smoke, and after a short, clean finish I finally laid down the nub.
I really didn’t expect the Mooch Maduro to be very complex, but it turned out to have absolutely great flavor transitions and subtleties. As far as performance, this stogie burned with the best of them, showing only a slightly crooked burn towards the end. I would whole-heartedly recommend the B&A Mooch Schnorr Maduro for fans of dark stogies looking to branch out a bit from the same old maduro taste profile. All in all, I award these often-overlooked sticks a grade of B+, and I’ll be picking up a batch of these in the near future. These cigars well outweigh their modest price-tag in every regard.