Curivari Reserva Limitada Classica Monarcas
We find ourselves in uncharted territory after having to cancel yet another cigar review due to several negative factors. And this was yet another cigar that held a lot of promise. Two out of the last 4 cigars. 50%. Weird. We’re not reading anything into our latest bout of misfortune, just ready to get on with it. And so we are, with a cigar from the enigmatic and secretive boutique, Andreas Throuvalas’ Curivari. To date, we’ve reviewed 2 other Curivari blends, Reserva Limitada 4000 and the Buenaventura, the latter of which made our Top 9 cigars of 2019.
For those unschooled in the Curivari brand, there’s a couple of things you need to know. First, the brand was conceived to include blends that closely mimic the look, feel, aromas and flavors you typically find in your favorite Cuban cigars. Second, Curivari’s founder, Andreas Throuvalas, eschews certain tobaccos like Ecuadorian Habano leaf, choosing instead to use copious amounts of Nicaraguan criollo and corojo. All of the brand’s blends are Nicaraguan puros, as this too is part of Throuvalas’ master plan to create cigars that convey at least a hint of their Vuelta Abajo roots.
The Reserva Limitada line was launched at IPCPR in 2011 and features 3 blends, all Nicaraguan puros: the full-bodied Classica and 1000 Series and the more medium, Café. We recently had the opportunity to pick up several Curivari blends (this is not always possible), at a new, local B&M and we pounced on the Reserva Limitada Classica. For those unfamiliar with the venerable Cuban Partagas, this may be lost on you, but the first hint at what lies atop all that Cuban-seed corojo leaf is the familiar red band with gold font and accent borders, eerily reminiscent of the band from Partagas’ popular Serie D. This is not a coincidence.
Should you read our review the Reserva limitada 4000, you will note the constant references, and comparisons, to the cigar’s Cuban relatives. And that’s because the scary part is that Throuvalas gets awfully close, but at a ridiculously low price point. Our Classica is no different – nice triple cap, dark and oily, and seamless with a Dr. Pepper coloring. Our Monarcas is also evenly firm, toothy and shows minimal veins. The wonderful glove leather aroma from the wrapper complements the honey and milk chocolate notes from the foot. The draw offers moderate resistance, but still dazzles with a strong wash of raisins on the palate.
The Classica doesn’t come out guns blazing as the sophisticated flavor palette instead unfurls slowly with a rich, bread crust draw opening into a toasty, nutty center. The delicate but pronounced notes of sherry, cedar and cocoa dance lightly on the palate. There’s just a hint of spice and vanilla and a warm, comforting finish of oak and coffee bean. The palate is coated with a familiar toasted oats and roasted coffee. The retro adds just a hint of honey late as the spice grows. This erudite cigar is smooth and well balanced.
Nuanced transitions offer plenty to keep your palate and olfactory senses humming. Foundations remain somewhat nutty and toasty near the end and the Classica continues to delight with retro notes of charred wood, dark chocolate and hints of gingerbread and citrus. She finishes more earthy but maintains a classy coffee essence. The draw remains semi-sweet and toasty throughout as the retros become savorier with the tang of smoked hickory. This would pair well with a nice sherry-casked Scotch or good Rum.
Overall performance is spot on with near perfect combustion and generous smoke production. The ash struggles to stay attached beyond 3/4” and the draw could be a tad more open, but these are only innocuous irritations. I really had to pay attention as some of the nuances could easily be missed. Smoking this cigar reminded me of sitting with a digestif like brandy or cognac after a meal, letting its unique flavors wash over my palate. Even at a ridiculously low $6.30, the Classica’s refined character makes this an aficionado’s cigar bar none, but I think it could still be enjoyed by many, especially after smoking a couple of clunkers. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: Curivari’s Buenaventura came in at #4 in our Top 9 Cigars of 2019.
- Profile: Med-Full
- Vitola: Monarcas [Robusto]
- Length / Ring: 5.25″ x 52
- Purchased: Online
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price:$6.30 [Box $63]
- Humidor Age: 1.5 mo.
- Box: 10
- Other Vitolas: Epicures [4.5″x52], Imperiales [6.25″x54]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:10
Draw: Moderate resistance
Construction: Seamless; dark and oily; good cap; evenly firm; minimal veins; toothy; Dr. Pepper shade; solid smoke producer; struggles to hold 1″ ash.
- Wrapper – Glove leather
- Foot – Honey, milk chocolate
- Cold Draw – Heavy raisins
- Initial: Bread crust draw; nutty foundation; retro notes of sherry, cocoa and cedar with hints of vanilla and honey; very light and airy; hint of spice on tongue that increases; warm finish of oak and roasted coffee bean; well balanced and smooth.
- Transition: Nutty core maintains; retro notes of charred wood, citrus with hints of gingerbread; draw is semi-sweet and toasty; finishes more earthy with residual coffee essence; nutty essence on palate and in nose;
- Transition: More of a toasty nucleus with a spicy finish of cedar and black coffee; some residual nuttiness with notes of dark chocolate and hay on retro; retro becomes more savory with notes of smoked hickory.
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Near flawless
Weaknesses: Draw could be more open, ash tumbles <1″
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]