I’ve been meaning to write up a review on the Curivari Onassis for months now, but then I get distracted by something like a freshly open beer and I forget. Usually that means smoking it without bothering to take notes or pictures. But not this time. As much as I’d like to just light it up, crack open a beverage and search the streaming video services for a movie (do they even make those any more, or is it all just TV shows these days?), I’m not going to procrastinate. And I already feel a little worn out being so resolute about getting this done tonight. I may need a nap.
I don’t have a great deal of information about the Curivari Onassis going into this review. Regrettably, we missed them at the 2017 IPCPR trade show, which is where the cigars were introduced, and the details online are pretty sparse. I have put together that it’s a pretty limited Nicaraguan puro, only 20,000 of them were produced. The name, Curivari’s use of Greek themes, and the band’s golden anchor make me assume that the cigar is a reference to Aristotle Onassis.
Aristotle Onassis was a Greek shipping magnate, who was one of the richest men of his day and the owner of the world’s largest, privately-owned shipping fleet. But he got his start as a tobacco importer in Argentina. If that doesn’t deserve a cigar tribute, I don’t know what does. Though for most of us in the United States, he’s probably best known for marrying Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John F. Kennedy. Which is an odd thing to be know for, but so be it. Let’s smoke the cigar.
Size: 5 1/2 x 50
Price: MSRP $12.00
The Pre Light
The Curivari Onassis is a classy looking smoke, with few veins that tend toward the finer size, and a wrapper leaf that is often covered with fine tooth. On closer inspection, there are minor color fluctuations in the leaf, but not so much as to merit the term rustic. I did find a very small wrapper nick on one stick. The cigars feel softer than some, but not necessarily under filled, or noticeably lumpy. Overall the construction seems sound.
The First Third
From the very beginning, the Curivari Onassis delivered rich, caramel notes. As I burned through the first third, I picked up a lot of refined and subtle flavor: roasted nuts, coffee, graham cracker, butterscotch, light pepper, and spices. The retrohale added floral notes, honey and a touch of vanilla. In terms of burn characteristics, this part of the cigar performed pretty well, though not perfectly. The draw was always good, but burn line was mostly straight, and the ash was pretty solid.
The Second Third
The sweetness of the profile continued in the middle portion. It was less caramel and more of a butterscoth or even plain syrup at this point. But many of the previous notes carried over- coffee, caramel, graham cracker, pepper, floral notes and spices. In addition, earth, leather and toffee notes also made appearances. Burn-wise, this third tended to be a little misbehaved, but it was mostly cosmetic, like flakier ash and unevenness. Burn line irregularities corrected without help, the flavor, and the draw, and the smoke volume were unaffected.
The Final Third
Caramel notes continued in the final third, but spice, leather and earthiness grew more dominant. Cocoa, pepper and a sweet, herbal note that seemed anise-like also made appearances. Previous issues with the burn also seemed to disappear here as well, though the cigar never really ran into any serious trouble.
I’ve been pretty lucky with the Curivari Onassis 550, my local shop has managed to keep them in stock for months while I’ve been procrastinating. And just when I thought they may have run out, more magically appeared in the Curivari tray on the shelf. This is a rich, wonderful smoke that I would buy by the box, if I ever saw a full box. And man, does that flavor linger beautifully. (A quick search online tells me this box purchase dream can still be made a reality at some point.) If you come across this cigar in your travels, I’d recommend lighting one up and pretending you’re a wealthy shipping magnate for the next hour or so. Then go back and buy the rest of the box.