Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
I am a B&M junkie… I love searching the shelves for hidden gems and coming up with a new favorite cigar, or finding a trusty old vet buried with age. Often times, the first thing I look for is a glistening wrapper, and that is how I was introduced to Chaveta. I found this cigar a year or so ago, sitting in the bottom corner of the B&M, and grabbed one as the price was very inexpensive considering CA taxes. A little research into the brand let me know the owner hails from Tower Cigars in Sacramento, CA, whom had bought the company from a previous owner in 2010 according to Halfwheel. The company website does not say much about the brand; however, a chaveta is a tool used to cut wrapper leaves employed by a torcedor. It makes sense then that the saying, “Corte Fino,” is on the band suggesting a fine cut of tobacco and the wrapper lives up to it. Production takes place in the Dominican Republic by Don Leonicio connected to PDR.
Prelight: Did I mention how unreal the wrapper looks? The cold draw revealed an oompa loompa handing me a chocolate bar.
1st Third: The initial taste that hit my tongue was cedar, followed by a very spicy retrohale. The spice was enough to remind me of a habano wrapped cigar, much more than the typical broadleaf smoke. About ¼ of an inch in, the spice and cedar mellow and the finish smoothed out a bit. At this point, the cigar was not very complex. I was not getting many flavors on the tip of my tongue, and the back of my mouth has a very dry spice lingering. The retrohale started picking up the cocoa note I tasted on the initial cold draw at this point. However, this flavor was not overpowering or precise and I would say the three notes of spice, cedar, and cocoa are faint with a smooth finish.
2nd Third: Cream and toast entered the equation in the second third, with cocoa becoming the most dominant flavor. The finish on both the tip of my tongue and back of my mouth is very smooth at this point. The retrohale is still excellent and the spice is lingering. I very much enjoyed this part of the cigar.
Final Third: The Chaveta finished in a mellowing of the main flavors. Cedar, spice, cocoa, and hints of cream were all present as I wrapped up my evening treat. The toast was not present anymore, and the retrohale had mellowed nicely with no heat or tar at the end.
Construction: The wrapper is gorgeous on this guy and there are no soft spots whatsoever. In my notes, I thought the draw was a bit tight, but the smoke billowed for the most part and did not affect the overall performance. For the price, this is a premium quality smoke.
Final Thoughts: The Chaveta did not floor me at that time. I felt that the flavors were not precise or well defined on my palette. At times, it seemed like I might be grasping for flavors or waiting for them to knock me out as the cold draw did. What I find odd, is I have smoked this cigar several times and normally pair it with coffee in the morning and enjoy it. Maybe this experience something was off with the smoke or my palate. Sometimes reviewing gets in the way of enjoyment, or the lack of a proper pair may not bring out the best in a smoke. I have always recommended Chaveta cigars, and will continue to do so. This is a cigar for the medium-bodied fan and the broadleaf fan as it fits that profile perfectly. Given the price range of $5-$7 a smoke, the Chaveta is a fine cut in a sea of mass produced hype and shiny limited badges. I look forward to visiting Tower Cigars next time I am in Sacramento.