Review of Serino 20th Anniversary Cigar
By: Dr. Mitch Fadem
Part 1 of The Opus X Challenge
I had these great plans to write several cigar reviews to see if I could find a cigar better than the high rated and often sought- after Arturo Fuente Opus X. I even selected several cigars that should be able to match up, but then Las Vegas got hit with one of its hottest summers on record. My cigar reviews had to wait until the temperatures at night got down below 90.
Cigar challenger No. 1 is the Serino 20th Anniversary Royale Maduro XX Belicoso. This cigar was created by Tony Serino, a veteran of the industry that has brought many great bundle cigars to market as well as excellent premium cigars such as the Vallajuelo and Nino Vasquez. Tony is also an old friend and well respected by his peers, so I expected nothing but excellence from his own premium cigar line.
The cigar measures 5½ x 52, and has an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper from Habano 2000 seed and aged Nicaraguan fillers and binder. It is firm with no soft spots or blemishes. It has very regal looking bands if you are a collector. The pre-light draw has light resistance which does not change after lighting.
Aromas and Flavors
The pre-light for me was whole grain toast, tobacco barn and chocolate. The post-light added cedar chips and mesquite wood. There is a slight white pepper on the retro-hale. During the first half I could also taste roasted chestnuts and dried dates. It reminded me of Fall in Ohio where I grew up, making smores by a campfire.
How does it match up to the Opus X?
The cigar had a perfectly even burn with a solid ash, good smoke output and an excellent draw. This is a mild to medium smoke with full body flavors and aromas. I think the Serino Royale Maduro XX Belicoso is a great challenger and an excellent value at less than a third the cost, $7.50 to $8.00.