In the world of cigars, as with any other consumable, marketing and branding plays a major role in the success of a company. The ability to stand out is a must. I would argue that Cavalier Geneve Cigars clearly stand out in any humidor they are in. You cannot miss that 24 karat, edible gold diamond placed directly on the wrapper leaf. If nothing else, for better or worse, it gets your attention. When I first saw a Cavalier cigar, I was on the “worse” side of that coin. I thought this had to be one of the most extreme gimmicks there was and I dismissed the cigars. After doing some research and familiarizing myself with the man behind the brand, the resources used to make the cigars, and hearing first hand remarks on the product, I gave them a shot and I am glad I did.
I won’t go into the details here, but founder Sebastien Decoppet has a fascinating story that I recommend reading up on or finding a podcast to listen to that interviews him. Now, after having spent five years having Cavalier Geneve’s cigars produced in a renowned factory, Sebastien has opened his own factory in the same city that welcomed him in his early twenties. While I may not love everything in their portfolio, the Limited Edition 2019 is a cigar that I deeply regret not going several boxes deep on and the White Series lineup is one that I always go back to. This BII Viso Jalapa is one that I have been meaning to get to for awhile now.
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Fabrica Centroamericana de Tabaco S.A.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Viso Jalapa
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan Habano
Vitola: 5 x 50 Box Pressed Robusto
Price: $8.50 MSRP
Release Date: June 2021
Company Website: www.cavalier-cigars.com
As I mentioned I have enjoyed the White Series and the Limited Edition 2019. Both of Black Series blends and the Limited Edition 2020 were not for my palate. However, there have been some common flavor notes across all of them and so I have to imagine they will be in this Viso Jalapa as well. These include fruity sweetness, some spices, and pepper. I expect this to be more on the dark fruit side like the Black Series I and II as opposed to the citrus side like the White Series and LE 2019. Based on the blend information I also look for some wood, earth, and maybe more of a syrupy sweetness.
I really like when Cavalier Geneve does a small and simple band under the gold diamond. The gold diamond makes every Cavalier Geneve cigar unmistakable and so there is no real need to try to compete with that with a larger band. I also really like the grayish silver band against this dark brown shade of wrapper. The cigar has a very sharp press on the bottom and a more rounded press on top. The cigar is quite firm and dense. The wrapper has some rustic veins, blotches, and wrinkles. The cigar smells like peppermint and cocoa. The cold draw has the cocoa from the smell with the addition of raisins.
First light brings medium body smoke with full flavors of wood, leather, and pepper. There’s an oiliness on the finish. The retrohale has pepper with a bit of a metallic edge and some brown sugar. The finish is becoming quite toasty here about a quarter inch in and the wood is more distinctly oak. Midway through the first third the body is up to match the flavor at full. The first third ends with no noticeable changes in flavor and the performance has been perfect.
Shortly into the second third the oak has taken on some char and there are some bright coffee notes on the back of the palate. The smoke is drying to the palate. At halfway the profile has become very meaty and robust. It still has charred oak but there’s also a savory, almost salty meatiness. Nearing the end of the final third a sweet pepper note caught my attention. The retrohale has a very dark, subtle sweetness, earth, and wood. The performance has been great through this third as well.
Entering the final third the char has really amped up. There is also a touch of cocoa coming in on the retrohale. Hitting the band point the char has dialed back, along with the meatiness. It still has oak but there’s a dark cherry coming in to join. Hitting the tip of the gold diamond the char is back in and so is a touch of meatiness. The dark cherry is gone now. The retrohale is a bit acrid. A big blast of pepper heat has made an appearance on the draw. Nearing the end it is full of pepper, wood, and a bit of tannins. The performance has been great in this third, as it has throughout. I think the strength has peaked at around medium to medium-full and the cigar closes out with the same profile.
Ending at an hour and 38 minutes, I found the cigar to be average for my flavor preferences. It was savory and robust but without the sweetness I need to balance out that type of profile. I am surprised that I did not get much of any sweetness throughout, as I certainly have from all other Cavalier blends. For that reason I will say that I think it fills a spot in their portfolio as this was a complete departure from my experiences with Cavalier Genéve Cigars. If I recall, this is the first Nicaraguan Puro they have put out and I think this cigar is fitting for that. This is an example of a cigar I would be very interested in trying different vitolas of to see if I can get some sweetness in the profile. I think that would really round out this blend for me and may even put it up there with the White Series. However, I think that this blend will fit many palates as it is.
Try the cigar yourself at Small Batch Cigars and let me know what you think! Use code “Whiskey” to get 10% off your entire order. Plus, sign up and begin earning 5% back in rewards points with each purchase.
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