Curivari has been around since 2003 in Europe, but is a relative new-comer to the United States, making its first domestic appearance back in 2010. Since that time, I’ve had the opportunity to try a few of their lines, and have had good experiences with them so far. This review focuses on Buenaventura, the company’s latest release, whose name means “good luck or good fortune”.
The Buenaventura was introduced at the 2012 IPCPR trade show and like the lines that precede it, its a Nicaraguan puro. But one of the things that makes it stand apart from the the rest is the lower price tag. In our interview with Andreas Throuvalas at IPCPR last year, he said, “We wanted to have a cigar that delivers a lot. And it’s a cigar that’s very fair priced.” Ringing in at under $6 a stick, I don’t think there will be any disagreement on the fairness point. It’s an interesting goal, considering that the majority of Curivaris already fall in the $6 to $8 range, which is generally considered reasonable for boutique cigars. But when you take into consideration the $10 to $12 Achilles which was announced at the same time, it makes sense that they expand into budget prices. (Speaking of the Achilles, in the process of writing this review, I discovered that the company may also have plans to produce a cigar named either “Alexander”, or “Alexander the Great”. So we may be looking at the beginning of a Greek theme from Curivari.)
The Buenaventura is available in boxes of 10 in three sizes: BV500 (5 1/4 x 50), BV560 (5 1/2 x 56) and BV600 (6 x 60) and ranges from $4.90 to 5.90 per stick, MSRP. Let’s take a look at the BV500.
Size: 5 1/4 x 50
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $4.90
The Buenaventura has a simple, but immaculate appearance. It’s lightly box-pressed, and every cigar I smoked for this review had a faint sheen, fine tooth, and very fine veins. I looked each stick over searching for a chink in its armor, but found none. I found no sign of flaws, the appear to be consistently well-made cigars.
They were a little on the firm side for a box-pressed cigar, but once clipped, drew perfectly. In the cold taste I noted a molasses-like sweetness, hay and a touch of chocolate. The wrapper had light sweet compost aroma with maybe a hint of cedar and chocolate.
The burn was generally good, though not perfect. Most of the time the Buenaventura burned evenly, drew perfectly and produced a fairly solid, light-colored ash. A couple cigars had an ash that was little loose and flaky and required touch ups along the way, but it never got out of hand.
As noted in aforementioned interview, there was a definite consistency in flavor from one third to the next, but it wasn’t without some development. The profile had a consistent toasty, roasted nuttiness that hits more toward the finish. Early on in the cigar that element was accompanied by hints of sour cream and chalk, cocoa, mild spices and a cherry-like syrup. I also noted leather throughout, and coffee, chocolate, pepper, nutmeg and caramel in the later half. Though there were no major flavor transitions as it progressed, the Buenaventura seemed to taste a little different with every puff.
A well made cigar with complexity for five dollars? Good luck indeed.
As noted in the previous section, this is a very well made cigar, with subtle and complex flavors and a winning price point, it’s hard to find fault with it. Add to it that it’s different than just about everything else I regularly smoke, and you have a cigar I’m buying by the box instead of a stick or two at a time. And since there are only ten to a box, it’s not a big commitment of money or humidor space. The Buenaventura is not a limited release, but you may have to hunt for it. It’s well worth the search.
Liked It: Box-worthy.
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes
My local Lotus representative was kind enough to provide us with a great looking black matte Lotus cigar cutter ($80 value) to give away to one lucky Stogie Review reader. And what better day to do it than on Stogie Review’s 7th birthday? (Yep, apparently that’s today.) To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this review. In a week’s time I’ll pick the comment I like most (or perhaps let a randomizer do that for me) and contact the winner via email for shipping information. So make sure you use an valid email address. The ordinary rules apply, 18 and older please, and U.S. only. Buena ventura!
WINNER: Paul May
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