Back at the beginning of this year (2022), United Cigars shared the news that they would be bringing the Arnold André brand to the United States. The German company was founded in 1817 and is the largest machine-made cigar manufacturer in the country. Arnold André moved into the premium cigar market after acquiring a factory in the Dominican Republic in 2011. Until this year, those premium cigars were only sold in the European market. Now this year, with United Cigar’s distribution, Arnold André’s cigars are being sold in the US starting with two of their four premium, long-filler lines: Montosa and Terra Nova. Today, we will be reviewing the Arnold André Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Belicoso.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
Terra Nova comes in two different blends: Terra Nova Araperique and Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky. Araperique uses an Ecuadorian wrapper and binder with a combination of Dominican, Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian Araperique fillers. The tobaccos are aged under high pressure in oak whisky barrels for one year and offer a medium bodied experience.
Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky uses an Ecuadorian wrapper, Sumatra binder, and a blend of Kentucky fire cured tobaccos from the Dominican, Nicaragua, and Brazil. This is described as a medium bodied cigar.
The Montosa and Terra Nova were shown off at the 2022 TPE show in Las Vegas, NV and all come in the same four sizes: Short Robusto (3 7/8 x 54), Robusto (4 7/8 x 50), Toro (5 7/8 x 50), and Churchill (6 3/4 x 54). MSRP ranges between $6.00 and $8.00 per cigar.
Length: 6 1/4″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Brazilian Bahia, Indonesian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Brazil, USA (Dark Fired Kentucky)
Factory: Arnold André Dominicana S.R.L.
Number of reviewers: 4 – Noah S. (Noah) Sean F. (fullermaine) Chris M. (Chris) Angel M. (Angel)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: 2022 (U.S.A.)
Contributed by: United Cigar
Initial Impressions – Arnold André Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Belicoso
“This torpedo is covered by a nice, soft khaki wrapper leaf. Slightly noticeable seams and an off kilter head.” –Chris M. (Chris)
“Rich leather notes emanated from the body while the foot was ripe with a hickory woodiness very much similar to a campfire.” –Noah S. (Noah)
“Floral cedar, cashew and bread dough are the most forward flavors. There’s a soft, earthy backbone, and a light mixed pepper on the finish. Very creamy mouthfeel.” –Chris M. (Chris)
“The leather and vanilla notes still linger in this portion of the cigar.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“The vanilla notes are still around and mix with notes of oak.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Going into the second third everything still remains very mild and although the white pepper flavor remains the tingle of the spice has faded, there’s a definite cedar note which has kicked in along with the sweet tobacco and slight nutty flavor in the background. The smoke still remains fairly creamy although it has dried out just a touch. As for the temperature it still remains a medium temp with very little tingle on the retrohale.” –Angel M. (Angel)
“Entering the final third the burn got wonky due to the wrapper unravelling which required a touch-up to correct. The burn straightened out but the crack eventually extended all the way to the head. Although still smokable, it was certainly a nuisance and difficult to enjoy. Not much changed with regards to flavors during the home stretch. Notes remained bread dominant and were contrasted by the mild spiciness of baking spice and clove in the background.” –Noah S. (Noah)
“Cedar and bread dough up top. The cashew becomes more of a generic nuttiness. Floral notes stay at a moderate level. A lower level of earth rejoins the background. Coconut becomes more occasional on the draw. Creaminess picks up nearing the nub.” –Chris M. (Chris)
Overall Impressions – Arnold André Terra Nova Dark Fired Kentucky Belicoso – Blind Cigar Review
“It took two small snips off the tip to produce a good, slightly snug draw. Great smoke output from light up through the nub.” –Chris M. (Chris)
“Uneven burn with a grey-white ash.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Aside from a few small blemishes in the wrapper, the overall construction of this cigar appeared to be great with tight seams and thin veins. The double cap was a nice feature as it allowed me to go a bit deeper with my cut to ensure a good draw. I saw no evidence of cracking or unraveling upon the initial inspection which is why I docked points for burn and not construction.” –Noah S. (Noah)
Overall Strength: Mild-Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 86
“If only this stick would have finished how it started it would have received an incredible rating from me. Out of the gate the flavors were on-point and delightfully impressive. Although the initial sweetness dropped off after the first third, the other flavors remained pleasant and virtually the same for the rest of the smoke albeit with a little less intensity. This stick was not overly complex nor was it chock full of transitions, but the flavors were satisfying and balanced each other well. What detracted significantly from the overall experience was the major burn issues I encountered while smoking. I prefer an effortless smoke and can easily overlook a touch-up every now and then but a cigar that unravels is a major distraction. The flavor profiles almost certainly divert from what was intended which always leaves me wondering what if. Had this not been a review I would have thrown in the towel on this cigar long before I did. I am a firm believer in second chances however and will certainly give this smoke another chance in hopes that the burn issues were an isolated incident.” –Noah S. (Noah)
“A nice quick smoke that has it faults. Veiny constructed cigar that leads to unraveling, cracking, and an uneven burn. Only three notes came out in this stick. Notes of vanilla, leather, and oak. Not a cigar I’d try again.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Aside from the burn issue in the beginning, I had a good time getting through this one. It wasn’t exciting, but the flavors were quite nice. Subtle transitions kept it from ever becoming boring. Though it might not make its way into my stash, I could happily smoke another.” –Chris M. (Chris)
“Overall, this was an enjoyable cigar with very mild flavors, it remained medium bodied and light throughout the experience. The smoke started off fairly creamy and dried out throughout the cigar but never to a point of dislike. I would definitely recommend this to individuals with a lighter palette and would consider smoking again for sure. It would go well with any light flavor drink from clear soft drinks to lager beers and white wines.” –Angel M. (Angel)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 69
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.