18 Aug 2008
You won’t find a ton of information on the web about this blend that debuted at the IPCPR Trade Show in July, but here’s the bottom line: The Arganese ML3 makes for a tasty, slow-burning alternative to other fuller-bodied blends that command a much higher price.
Now don’t expect to find the complexity and balance that you would in a super-premium like the Opus X; with a price around $5 per 5 inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto, such a feat would be astounding. But if you’re into sticks with a kick, this needs to be on your short list of cigars to try.
That kick is the result of an all-ligero tobacco blend. Ligero leaves are situated atop tobacco plants, and their unrestrained exposure to sunlight gives them a strong taste and an unhurried burn. ML3, after all, stands for “maduro ligero times three”—an homage to its Brazilian maduro ligero wrapper and Dominican ligero binder and filler tobaccos. Arganese also came out with a CL3 blend in July (corojo ligero), and company head Gene Arganese calls both “cigars to the third power.”
The ML3 Robusto boasts few veins, smooth seams, and a firm stature. The flashy band is a departure from more traditional, family-crested Arganese smokes, and the rich aroma and dark appearance sets the stage for the experience that’s to come.
I smoked two ML3 Robustos for this review and was impressed with both from the start. The initial taste is thick with notes of dark chocolate and black coffee. The flavor mellows to nut, birch, and cream after the first inch, only to hit its zenith of bitter espresso and peppercorn in the last half of the 90-minute smoke.
While 90 minutes is a long time to smoke a classically sized robusto, that’s what you get with ligero tobacco. And, since ML3 is made by Arganese—a manufacturer I’ve come to appreciate for its consistency in construction—you also get an even burn, a clear draw, and a pretty solid ash.
All told, if you’re a fan of bold cigars, I’d recommend picking up a stash of these to have on hand (about $98 per box of 20). The price is right, the flavor full and interesting, and the physical properties solid. That’s why I give the new Arganese ML3 Robusto four stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys