Cigar Review: White Series by Cavalier Genève
- Vitola: Elegantes
- 4.5” x 52 ring gauge
- Purchased at Burns Tobacconist
Cavalier of Geneva (also known as Cavaliér Geneve) entered the U.S. marketplace in the first half of 2016. The company is owned by Sebastien Decoppet and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. You can make the leap (honestly, it’s not a big leap) that the initial white label packaging, redolent with gold to a point of having a 24K gold leaf diamond on the cigar’s wrapper, is meant to evoke the luxury of another very large white label purveying cigar company based in Geneva, but they are already moving away from that with the “Black Series” that is due early in 2017. In America, the brand is being distributed by Cigar Art, based in Dallas, Texas, and their U.S. brand ambassador is Marco Cavazos.
Locally to me, the brand is being represented by Sheldon Posey of SP Tobacco Importers, a local cigar brokerage. On the last Friday in October, we had an event at Burns, with Sheldon and Marco introducing this new brand to our customers. I had the opportunity to try several different vitolas and talk to Marco about the current state and future of the company. At the end of it all, I was very impressed and decided to add the White Series to my review schedule.
According to Marco, the blend is made of Dominican, Nicaraguan and Paraguayan fillers, a Honduran-grown Connecticut Shade binder, and a Habano wrapper from an undisclosed country (I was told, actually, but sworn to secrecy…you do know that everyone in Switzerland owns a gun, don’t you? Everyone in Texas, too!). I participated in the event, buying several cigars and getting gifted a couple other sizes that aren’t currently available. I’m reviewing one of the sizes currently on the market, but I’m going to say right now…look out for the Toro, which is scheduled for sometime in the future…it’s fantastic!
A “cavalier” is probably most properly defined as “a gentleman trained in arms and horsemanship” and derives from the Latin caballus, which means “horse.” That explains the prancing horse being led by the jogging man on the band. The band is all white background with gold foil artwork and some embossing, both in the gold and blind emboss. The real thing that makes this cigar stand out on the shelf if the square—affixed in a diamond orientation—of 24K gold leaf affixed to the wrapper leaf of the cigar itself. Yes, it is real…but it’s also so thin you can see the pattern of the wrapper leaf’s veins through it…so you would need a lot of these to make up any real value in terms of gold weight.
The Habano wrapper leaf was peanut butter in color with slightly darker shading in places. It had a smooth and somewhat oily feel to it and an aroma of mild earth and sweet hay. The foot had a stronger earthiness, along with touches of cocoa powder and cedar.
The cold draw was excellent and featured flavor notes of orange, hay, and cedar.
Once I got the Cavalier Geneve burning, I quickly picked up a solid sweet hay core flavor, supporting notes of wood and citrus, along with minor notes of earth. The retrohale had a noticeable tea note to it, along with just enough pepper spice to keep it interesting. In the beginning moments, this cigar was in the middle of the “mild” spectrum in body and displayed a very good amount of complexity. The first third soon settled into a very nice mix of citrus sweetness, cedar, earth, and a tinge of mushroom.
As I got into the second third, the pepper started to be felt a bit on the tongue, but it was just a little spike and a quick fade. There was still lots of wood and hay, while the citrus backed off a bit and tea started coming through on the palate as well as the nose.
In the last third, the Cavalier Geneve completes its journey from a mild-bodied cigar to a medium-bodied one, with more earth and cedar coming through overall, with citrus and grass notes tapering off significantly. Pepper was a steady, but minor, burn and the tea notes faded away a bit.
I had a great draw with every sample of Cavalier Geneve I’ve smoked. The burn line has gotten a little wonky on several of them, but nothing earthshattering. The ash always seemed solid.
This is positioned as a luxury cigar line, and it smokes like one, as well. So a price point starting just under the $10 mark is excellent.
The way the Cavalier Geneve is marketed, it’s hard not to draw some comparisons with Davidoff. After all, both are headquartered in Geneva, both use lots of gold and white, and both make heavy use of Dominican leaf. That ends up being just a starting place, though. The Cavalier Geneve definitely carves out its own place by the end of the cigar, not quite as refined and elegant as a Davidoff, but very complex and flavorful in its own right, offering up a good progression and change-up of flavors, wrapped up in a smooth and mellow smoke. The more I smoke these, the more I enjoy them, and I find myself looking forward very much to the Black Series Maduro that is slated for next year.