Back in the early part of 2011, Mark Just of Tower Cigars announced that he had purchased Chaveta cigars, a boutique brand that is produced by Flores y Rodriguez, the parent of Pinar Del Río, who recently opened up a new Dominican factory. The original blend uses a Brazilian Bahia Maduro wrapper over Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
In February of 2012, Chaveta announced it would be releasing a Limited Edition of its Toro cigar with a Habano wrapper and a little Pennsylvania tobacco added to the Dominican and Nicaraguan filler combination in the normal Chaveta line. There were only 50 boxes of 20 Toros released.
When asked about his acquisition of the Chaveta brand, Just had this to say:
A friend of mine originally owned the company and he asked me if I was interested in purchasing the company from him. Tower Cigars had already carried and done well with Chaveta since October of 2010. I was really excited at the opportunity to own my own brand of cigars. Chaveta is starting out as our house brand, and I am planning on offering the brand on a wholesale level to a limited number of shops across the country. I want to keep production small and the quality top notch.
When asked about why he added a limited edition, Just added:
The concept behind the Chaveta habano was quite simple. “Let’s try something different.” We had a maduro wrapper cigar already being made by Abe Flores from Pinar Del Rio Cigars. Abe mentioned he had some nice habano wrapper available. He made us some samples. One sample had the habano wrapper the other had a maduro wrapper. The blends we the same on both but they had one component the original Chaveta maduro didn’t have. Broadleaf. I was excited to get the samples. Especially for the habano wrapper. I had smoked the habano wrapper on another PDR cigars and fell in love. Once I got the samples from Abe, I let them sit for about a week in a dry box. Then came the taste test. I was hoping the habano wrapper I tried earlier was going to be the same experience. It was.
When you think Habano wrapper you think spicy and peppery. Well with this wrapper or cigar, its creamy and sweet. A little woody. All things I like in a cigar. Now don’t get me wrong. I love our maduro Chaveta for its somewhat spicier profile. But this habano wrapper Chaveta really hit my palate in the sweet spot so to speak.
Its a limited production cigar for two reasons. My main focus is the Chaveta Maduro and money. Can’t have cigars made if you don’t have the money. (You don’t have to put that in if you don’t want to. But its the truth.)
There are now seven different cigars in the Chaveta lineup. They include:
- Corona Gorda — 5 5/8 x 46
- Robusto – 5 x 52
- Toro – 6 x 50
- Toro Habano — 6 x 50
- Churchill — 7 x 48
- Torpedo — 6 1/2 x 50
- Double Magnum — 6 x 60
Here is a comparison photo of all of the different Chaveta wrapper releases:
- New Maduro
- OR Maduro
(Note also the change in bands)
Here is what the box for the Chaveta Habano Toros looks like:
But enough of that, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Cigar Reviewed: Chaveta Habano Toro
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: La Fabrica Don Leoncio
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua & Pennsylvania
Size: 6 Inches
Ring Gauge: 50
MSRP: $7.85 (Boxes of 20, $141.30)
- Release Date: March 2012
- Number of Cigars Released: 50 Boxes of 20 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 4
The cigar itself is excellent with a gorgeous milk chocolate brown wrapper that is slightly oily and smoothish to the touch. There are a few veins and bumps present, but nothing overly distracting. It is perfect when squeezed and the Habano wrapper smells strongly of sweet cedar, chocolate, toast and manure.
The first third of the Chaveta Habano starts off quickly with flavors of toast, wood, leather and a small amount of sweetness. Its extremely creamy overall and that attribute only seems to intensify as the first third comes to and end. There is no pepper to speak of and just a small amount of spice on the lips, but that dissipates fairly quickly. The construction of the Chaveta is astounding with perfect draw and a burn line that has to be seen to be believed. Strength is a mild medium by the end of the first third, but I can imagine it increasing as the cigar progresses.
Much the same is the easiest way to describe the second third of the Chaveta Habano Toro: creamy and sweet with just a tiny amount of pepper thrown in. There are other flavors, mostly chocolate and earth, but they are never overly strong and don’t stick around in enough quantities to really affect the blend. The construction is still excellent, but the strength is still a little less than medium and does not seem to be getting much stronger.
The final third continues the creamy and sweet trend with other flavors of nuts, chocolate, earth and even a little leather. The pepper from the second third is gone, as is the spice, and the strength stays firmly in the medium range. Burn and draw continue to be excellent, as is the finish and it did not even come close to getting hot at the end.
- For those of you that don’t know, the Chaveta is a sharp tool used by the cigar rollers to cut tobacco leaf, and is a major part of the logo of the cigar, which makes sense, when you think about it.
- I was a little taken aback by the creaminess in this cigar and the lack of spice or pepper, especially considering the fact that it has a Habano wrapper, which are usually not known for those qualities. If I had assumed that this cigar had the normal Habano wrapper profile, I would have been way off base.
- You are going to read this a lot in this review, but the construction on the Chaveta Habano, and all of the Chavetas I have smoked, is wonderful, I honestly cannot imagine it being any better.
- For this review, I smoked a total of four Chaveta cigars: two of the Habano Toros, one of the original Maduro wrapper Toros and one new Maduro wrapper Toros to compare. While I enjoyed to Maduro, I think I like the Habano wrapper better. The Maduro has a great ever present spice and a strong meaty quality, but is not as smooth, creamy or sweet as the Habano. The newer Maduro wrapper is lighter in color, and while similar, is a better smoke than the original version.
- Although a 6 x 60 vitola of the Maduro wrapper version was offered in the past, Mark has mentioned that he replaced it with a Corona Gorda, as he did not like the way the larger cigar smoked. He still has a few of them for sale, but when they are gone, they will not be produced again.
- Earlier in the year, Chaveta cigars changed their logo and bands, taking out the tobacco leaves in the background to better show off the actual Chaveta.
- As an aside, the original order of Chaveta Maduros was about 250 boxes between all vitolas, and Mark now has about 500 boxes between vitolas of a newer roll. I noticed the difference in the Maduro wrappers right away and after comparing the Toro vitola in both Maduro wrappers, I liked the new one quite bit more.
- The price per stick is not bad, considering the vitola, and even better by the box.
- The final smoking time was right around one hour and 20 minutes for all of the Toros.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Chaveta Habanos, you can find them at the Tower Cigars website here.
The Bottom Line: There are quite a few things to love about the Chaveta Habano. It is an extremely well made cigar with a perfect draw, burn and construction. It has an amazing, long lasting finish, one of the best I have tasted in a while. The profile is mild, but wonderful: a strong creaminess and sweetness with a few other flavors thrown in for good measure. Having said that, the profile is not the most complex in the world and changes very little for the entire length of the cigar. While I enjoyed this cigar, I am usually looking for more complexity and the size is just a bit larger than my normal smokes. I also think that just a little more body would really help the overall balance. Having said that, I will be getting more and I think if you are looking for a good morning cigar, and like the creamy profile, you are going to love this cigar and will probably buy it by the box.
Final Score: 88