Back on track with another fudge-filled Curivari attack, comes a fresh smack of maduro that is more milk chocolate than black.
I'm not really sure why I started this review off in rhyme, but it felt like the right idea at the time. Just be grateful that I didn't bust out some poetic iambic pentameter action because that shit would have been intense...
Do you know what else is really intense and equally awesome? Today's cigar!
The Curivari "Buenaventura BV560 Maduro" may have quietly made its debut during the 2023 PCA Trade Show, but it sure has our attention now. For while it may seem strikingly similar to the "Reserva Limitada Cafe Noir 56" from Curivari, this is an entirely new premium cigar blend.
But is this value-oriented, San Andrés maduro wrapped chocolate bar of tobacco good enough to usurp the "Cafe Noir" as one of the best mocha cigars we stock here at Klaro? I suppose we'll just have to spark one up and see what happens...
Structurally, this cigar serves up a ton of tobacco for the price. At just $33.80 a 5-pack, this 5.5" x 56 "Gordo" feels about as dense as the chocolate bar that it resembles. Dimensions that are presumably designated by the "BV560" portion of the product description.
Softly box-pressed, this blend's San Andrés maduro cigar wrapper leans more toward a milk chocolate color than the dark espresso shade found on the "Cafe Noir" habano. It's a well-rolled, nicely pressed stick, with small veins and a touch of oil to the surface. The banding is retro, rectangular, and like all Curivari products, understated to the point of being classified as "minimalistic mid-century modern." On this larger vitola, it also looks disproportionate in size considering the ring gauge of the cigar.
It smells super chocolatey too. With little bits of cedar, salted caramel, and holiday spice trailing right behind. Unlit draws are more dry than sweet at first but warm up after a few more cold tugs to produce this Mexican hot chocolate note that urges you to light up.
Maduro flavors are not much of a predominant attribute at first. Instead, Curivari's master blenders have given us a heavily fermented first impression of Cuban-seed corojo and criollo tobacco. All Nicaraguan grown, of course. Think coarse-ground black pepper and leather.
Allotments of milk cocoa and vanilla arrive before too long and bring with them some of those Mexican hot chocolate tastes. It starts in waves, but as the signature Curivari criollo and corojo foundation of this blend continues to come to life, things become a little bit more toasty. Think fireside fall flavors and chocolate dessert cocktails.
That Mexican hot chocolate note may be mild on the cinnamon, but it's still present, and extremely pleasant. Velvety vanilla bean accents and Christmas cheer spice smooth out any rough edges and make you want to come back for more. To me, it's closest culinary comparison would be a medium-strength cocoa eggnog, complete with a rich and creamy body and that palate-coating lingering aftertaste.
As this cigar hits "prime time," vanilla continues to be the primary supporter of what's left of the first half's milk chocolate profile. This is backed by nutty flavors of roasted chestnut and a wood note that is akin to the smell you get from a freshly felled chestnut tree. Not like many of you would know what that smells like, but here in the rural mountains of Japan we have a ton of chestnut trees, and it makes for damn good stick burner smoker wood.
But I digress... again...
The second section of this cigar is far more than just nuttiness and vanilla milkiness. There are sprinkles of salted dark cocoa shavings in there too, which are countered by a dried, clay-like soil taste. Both likely stemming from the Nicaragua-grown Cuban seed criollo leaf inside. By far a much more deep and complex maduro profile than what is found in the first half of the stick.
Up until this point, espresso and cocoa flavors have become increasingly dark and bold, without being bitter. But the last section of the cigar provides a dry finish and a mild cashew nut note. And for as smooth and palatable as this parting puff profile is, it's definitely a tell-tale sign that it's time to call it quits before things go funky.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Besides some wavy-ass burn lines and the fear of a premature touch-up early on, I found that both samples of the softly box-pressed BV560 vitola burned beautifully. Although the draw felt a bit too loose for my taste when cut, a punch remedied this issue on the second smoke and still provided plenty of creamy smoke. The ash was passable in structure and not flakey at all, and there was no heat to be detected whatsoever along the way on either stick I sampled.
For as much as we may enjoy a particular stick, no premium cigar blend is without its flaws. But while off-putting flavor profiles, unrefined (or mistimed) transitions, and construction concerns are the first things that come to mind when finding fault in a cigar, the Curivari "Buenaventura BV560 Maduro" suffers from a very different predicament.
This blend is so satisfying, and so affordable, that it stands the chance of cannibalizing Curivari's "Cafe Noir" sales. For while it may be quite a bit more mellow in flavor, and sport a very different cigar wrapper from a completely different country, the similarities between these two blends remain all too apparent.
And while we have no idea what Curivari makes off a single box of "Cafe Noir 56" as opposed to the cigar seen here, one thing is for sure. If the "Buenaventura BV560 Maduro" undercuts sales, it will likely get axed prematurely, thus leaving buyers with its pricier alternative. Which would indeed be quite the bummer for those of us who prefer this mellower, newer mocha-like premium cigar blend.
Curivari "Buenaventura BV560 Maduro"
San Andrés Maduro (Mexico)
5.5" x 56 "Gordo" (box-pressed)
|Mocha Hot Latte