Vito Spatafore

Cigar Review: Cugine Robusto Maduro

cugineHey what do you know, I’m actually going to review a cigar today….. I got these smokes a while back when Famous-Smoke put them up as a pre-box bundle in a split with another BOLT in the forums. The deal was $70 for a bundle of 20. The price has went up to $108 since then.

The Cugine is a cigar made by Arganese blended by Joe Gannascoli “Vito” from the HBO hit The Soprano’s. Well that’s the story anyway.

Joe Gannascoli’s Career:

Gannascoli learned culinary art and opened a restaurant, Soup As Art Restaurant in Brooklyn.

As an actor, Gannascoli has appeared in Ed Wood, Blowfish, Mickey Blue Eyes and 976-Wish. Gannascoli’s television credits include 30 episodes of The Sopranos in a guest starring capacity and one episode of Law & Order. Prior to the start of Season 6 of The Sopranos, Gannascoli was promoted to series regular. Before appearing as mobster Vito Spatafore in season two, Joseph R. Gannascoli appeared as a pastry shop patron named “Gino” in the season one episode “The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti”. He is later introduced formally as the nephew of Richie Aprile, Vito Spatafore, in the season two episode “The Happy Wanderer”.

In a May, 2008, interview with, Gannascoli revealed that he’d originally auditioned for the role of Bobby Baccalieri, but did not get it. That role ultimately went to Steven R. Schirripa. Gannascoli went on to say that he was the one who first proposed the idea of a gay mobster to two of show’s writers in an effort to become more involved in the show.

Gannascoli participated in the weight loss reality television program, Celebrity Fit Club and lost over 32 pounds, 10.6% of his body weight. Gannasoli started Fit Club at 302 lb and finished the show at 270 lb.

He has published a crime novel called A Meal To Die For, loosely based on his life and regularly meets fans to sign copies of this as the start of the “Sopranos Location Tour” in Manhattan.

He also has a line of pasta sauces called ” sauce boss ” and extra virgin olive oil and spices available in King Kullen supermarkets in New York.

A new cigar named “cuigine ” is being made by Arganese premium cigars. Joe has since departed from Arganese Cigars and now the “cuigine” brand is being distributed by Alec Bradly Cigars. Joe recently was at the IPCPR show in New Orleans (August 8 – 12, 2009) to promote his new alliance with Alec Bradly Cigars.

He was also a member of The National Italian American Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC.

Bright Steps Forward has named Joseph R Gannascoli as their national spokesperson. It is a non profit charity that raises money for kids with cerebral- palsey and autism and severe brain trauma, treatment consists of intense physical therapy and HBOT.

What the Arganese says about this cigar (not much):

A rich tasting, new, premium cigar, blended with choice of Dominican longfillers and Honduran Sumatra-seed binder rolled in mild Ecuadorian Connecticut or full-bodied Maduro wrappers.

Country: Dominican Republic
Size: 5×50
Shape: Robusto
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Brazilian-seed
Filler: Honduran Sumatra-seed
Binder: Dominican longfillers
Strength: Medium
Price: $108 (20 bundle)

Pre-light: A very rough looking cigar with large stitching like veins. Not a very dark maduro, more of a dark leather color. Very solid construction with a well placed but small cap. It has a rich tobacco smell to it. This cigar consist of two bands, one of a black and white photo of Mr. Gannascoli and the other of his signature and the Arganese mark.

The burn: I personally have had the good and bad in this area with this cigar. Out of the eight or so that I have had  three could not be smoked do to being to tight. The rest were all on the tight side but good enough to get through. The burn line was good on all, never really going off. The white/black ash held on for a good amount of time never flaking.

The taste: I found that this smoke had a dark maduro taste throughout. A little leather and dry cocoa or something in that family. All flavors had a kind of dryness to them that I enjoyed.

Over all: When you get one that draws they are good smokes but when they are to tight then they are a waste of money. At the price point I pickd these up at ($3.50) I would call these a good buy, at the price point they are now ($5.40) I would probably pass. I really hate to say this because I’m an Arganese (, Soprano’s and Gannascoli) fan but once you get past that $4.50-$5.00 mark you should not be running into that many smokes that are to tight to smoke. In the defence of these cigars, it doesn’t look like to many others have ran into that issue. After I get through my last two I might pick up a couple more if I see singles and see if maybe I just got a couple bad apples.





(Nice ash!)