I have been a fan of Ave Maria cigars for quite some time. My first AM was the Reconquista and from the presentation to the end it was a beautiful experience. Since then I have regularly smoked the Divinia and on special occasions the Reconquista. When I saw that a new AM was arriving, I was instantly intrigued. AJ Fernandez makes some wonderful cigars so it stands to reason that the Ave Maria line would be no different. I have to admit that I went into this review with some bias but being the honest SOTL that I am, I will be truthful.
When I received my box of 10 I was immediately impressed with the window dressing. The box is small, as it needs to be for the one size “Morning Star” (Perfecto) of the cigar. A piano black finish is adorned with the typical artwork that we have come to expect for Ave Maria cigars. The lid of the box is embossed with the silver, black, white and red label and a beautiful prayer is written in Latin below the AM symbol. I would encourage you to get your Google Translator app going and see what the prayer says. I found it very touching and classy.
Upon opening the box the cigars were as beautiful as the box. The beautifully dark and rich looking Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper immediately looks inviting and I have visions of coffee and chocolate dancing in my head. The cigars are individually wrapped in cellophane and the label is the same beautiful silver, black, white and red that adorns the box. The main label is large and ornate and below it is a black and silver label with the given name Argentum inscribed. I did not let this first cigar for the review sit in the humidor. This is fresh from the box and I suspect it will be mildly dry. The rest will be tucked away for a little humi time. Taking the cigar from the wrapper I sat and admired it for a bit. The Argentum is a handsome cigar. Doing a nose test didn’t reveal a lot but there was a hint of richness to it and made me anticipate the light and first draw even more. I used a straight cutter and only clipped a short quarter inch from the head of the cigar.
The Argentum (which translates to “silver” from Latin) is a Nicaraguan medium to full cigar. The wrapper, as mentioned earlier, is a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and the filler / binder is made from Nicaraguan and Honduras leaves. It is a stout cigar at 5 inches and a ring gauge of 58.
I am very careful when lighting a perfecto as it is easy to get the burn going crazy with such a small area to light. Having said that, I was careful to thoroughly toast and light the very small open end of the perfecto and then took my first draw. It was easy and I was not disappointed when I tasted coffee out of the gate. The wrapper had some dryness to it but that is more the fault of this smoker and my impatience rather than the cigar I believe. Some time in the humidor should correct that problem. With the coffee came some dark chocolate in the background and a slight hint of spice. I was pleased not to have pepper blast me as I wanted to bask in the coffee for a bit. A third of the way into the stick it settled and the coffee became more intertwined in the rich dark chocolate, leather and mild spice I was enjoying.
As I went into the second third I was experiencing the dry wrapper problems, but again, I won’t hold that against AM at this point. The ash had a nice white tone to it and the burn stayed crisp and even. Deeper into the cigar the leather came to the forefront and delivered a creamy and rich smoke. The cigar has settled into it’s main profile at this point and I am really enjoying the cool burn. The ash was solid and even though I was moving my hand around it stayed intact until I decided to ash.
Going into the last third I wondered if the cigar would become bitter but to my pleasure it did not. Notes of cedar increased and mixed nicely with the leather. The dark chocolate came forward a bit more to provide a tasty finish to a cigar I numbed. In all this was a solid and tasty cigar. I would give it a 90 rating and my hope is that after some humi time I will enjoy it even more. Definitely a great stick for a good price point of $8.86/stick and $80 for a box of 10.
Until next time,
Stay smokey and be blessed, I know I am!
~aka – Queen of Cigars