When I see the name Bering I think of two things: a very cold northern sea, and “It’s a Baby” cigars in pink and blue accented aluminum tubes. I’ve always thought of them as drugstore cigars (though on the premium side of the drugstore range) so I was intrigued when I saw the new Bering Nicaraguan Puro. And as my B&M manager knows well enough, I’m a sucker for anything new and somewhat affordable.
At this time there is no information available about this cigar. Bering used to be owned by Swisher, but apparently the brand has been pulled away by the gravitational power of the giant Altadis. Maybe that’s the reason for the new extension, but you’d think Altadis could afford a press release, or at least thrown up a page on their website to announce the new arrival.
So I picked this one up pretty much blind. It’s safe to assume that the filler, binder and wrapper are all Nicaraguan. That’s all the detail I have for now.
I must plead ignorance about the frontmark because I forgot to look at the box. These measure 6 x 50 — a traditional toro size — and they arrive square pressed. They’re rustic in appearance, with a dark, mottled colorado maduro wrapper and a serviceable but unattractive double cap. The roll is a little soft.
The prelight scent is alluring, however: ripe tobacco with a leathery layer. It lights well though it burns a little unevenly (which is not uncommon for a box pressed smoke.) Overall good construction.
I’m always prepared for a spicy start when I light up a Nicaraguan puro, but the Bering Puro is very smooth by comparison. The flavor, on the other hand, is typical of Nicaraguan tobacco — earth with a touch of black pepper on the palate. The aroma is woody and quite pleasant.
After twenty minutes or so the flavor develops a little more bite, but in compensation offers auxiliary notes of coffee and mild cocoa. The aroma gets a little sweeter, remaining woodsy and pleasantly autumnal.
The last section sacrifices subtlety for strength as the flavors become more and more charred. The finish lengthens and the aftertaste intensifies. By the band the cigar is burning a little too hot and the aftertaste is overwhelmingly burnt.
About half-way through this cigar I found myself thinking, “Padron Lite.” It has some of the same characteristics, but not the same intensity as the standard Padron line. Unfortunately the Bering Puro also has a tendency to cross the finish line a little too early. The first two-thirds of the cigar were quite flavorful and easy to smoke; but the last section burned a little hot and seemed to carbonize between my fingers.
That said, this is still a cigar to try if you like medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan style cigars and are looking for something a little smoother than the Padron 3000 or 4000. Personally, I don’t think the Bering can top Padron for flavor or value (I found the Bering Puro for 5 USD in this size) but a comparison might prove worthwhile for the intrepid Nicaraguan aficionado.
Final Score: 85