Review of Berger & Argenti Fatso Cigars
By: Gary Manelski
Berger & Argenti Fatso cigars were introduced in 2012, but production delays caused the company to eventually cease operations. Shortly thereafter, Kiki Berger of Cuban Crafters passed away. Kiki was partnered with brothers Michael and Albert Argenti to produce Fatso, as well as other Berger & Argenti brand cigars. Although Kiki is gone, Fatso cigars were more recently reintroduced by Cuban Crafters, and a limited number of these cigars are still available, at least as of this writing (February 2017). Check them out at CubanCrafters.com.
During the IPCPR trade show in Orlando back in 2012, Michael Argenti, who was the president of Berger & Argenti, gave me a couple of Fatso cigars to review for About.com. At that time, I reviewed the smallest vitola named Dipper (4 x 62), and found it to be a very good cigar with full earthy and peppery flavors, and worthy of a solid 4-star rating. However, during the last 4½ years, the largest Fatso vitola named Butterball (6 x 70) has been aging under ideal conditions in my humidor, until now.
Fatso cigars are made with Cuban seed Nicaraguan filler tobaccos, Ecuadorian Sumatra binders, and Nicaraguan Maduro wrappers. The Fatso Butterball is an extreme box pressed cigar, and has a perfecto shape that is tapered on both ends with a torpedo head. Back in 2012, the MSRP was $8.99 per stick, but that has since changed. I recorded a short video with Michael Argenti at the IPCPR in Orlando to discuss his company's then-new Fatso cigars, which you can still view on YouTube.com/aboutcigars.
Now for my latest review of the Fatso Butterball. Let's start by saying that bold full flavor cigars typically age better over a multi-year period than mild-to-medium cigars. Milder cigars without a lot of flavor can taste bland, and have even less flavor after aging for several years. Stronger cigars usually mellow out as nicotine slowly dissipates over time, leaving a smoother but still flavorful smoke that is not as harsh. Such was the case with the Butterball. However, size also matters, as larger ring gauges offer a cooler smoke which won't get too hot if you puff more than normal, which is very tempting when the taste is just that darn good.
The Fatso Butterball began with a sweet and full earthy flavor that was quickly joined by a peppery and spicy taste that was more subdued than the first Fatso that I smoked 4½ years ago. After 15 to 20 minutes, the cigar became smoother and more mellow, but still provided a ton of very enjoyable flavors. This box pressed cigar had a good feel in my mouth and in my hand, and it also had an excellent draw that provided a nice volume of smoke. The cigar held a long ash, and for the most part, maintained an even burn. However, the cigar did need a couple of minor touch-up lights to keep the burn perfectly even during the 85 minutes that it took me to smoke it down to two inches remaining. I enjoyed this aged cigar so much that I have to rate it with a “perfecto” 5 points on a 5-point scale. And yes, it was well worth the wait!