Look, this one has gold on it.
That is how I described the Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II to a friend the other day. We were intoxicated and walked over to a cigar shop and I was walking around the humidor. I imagine that’s how a lot of Cavalier of Geneva cigars are sold and purchased, the gold foil.
Yes, it’s a 24-karat gold diamond on the cigar’s wrapper, something that is found on every cigar the company makes. It’s an interesting selling point and one that I have to imagine has played a large role in the company’s success.
Black Series II is the third line the company has made, different from the White Series and Original Black Series as Black Series II is box-pressed. It uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
Five cigars were shown off at last month’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show and began showing up on shelves shortly thereafter.
- Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Robusto (5 x 50) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
- Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Robusto Gordo (5 x 54) — $8.75 (Boxes of 20, $175)
- Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Toro (6 x 54) — $9 (Boxes of 20, $180)
- Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Toro Gordo (6 x 60) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Torpedo (6 x 54) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Cigar Reviewed: Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II Robusto Gordo
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: San Judas Tadeo
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Gordo
- MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 20, $175)
- Release Date: July 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The wrapper is rough to the touch, even for Mexican San Andrés, though the gold feels nice and smooth. It’s a bit of an odd appearance particularly given the size and shininess of the gold and the relatively small and dull paper band. Aroma off the wrapper is very mild with leather and oak along with a Spanish cedar smell that I imagine is directly related to the lack of cellophane and the humidor these were being stored in. The Cavalier of Geneva provides even more Spanish cedar alongside some fruitiness, oak, floral flavors and pistachio. The cold draw is surprisingly sweet with honey mustard, oatmeal raisin cookie and a weird ice cream flavor that reminds me of trying to make ice cream in a plastic bag in elementary school.
It starts with a layer of woodiness noted by cedar and oak. There’s also some mild pepper and wheat pasta and quite a bit of salivation. The first third of Cavalier of Geneva Black Series II settles to walnuts, toastiness, some cinnamon, earthiness and redwoods. It’s a bit sweeter through the nose with cinnamon, orange peel and cranberries. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-full and strength is mild to medium. The draw is tight on one sample, but is great on the other two cigars.
There’s more of an evolution than a transition in the second third. My notes show at one point or another all of the flavors identified initially are still there, although a chewy white breads adds itself to the profile and rushes towards the front. After the second third, pecans and a touch of sour acidity find themselves in the profile. A precautionary touch-up is needed at some point on all cigars, the burn doesn’t go awry, but smoke production is declining to levels that raise some concern.
I am admittedly curious as to what the gold does to the cigar and the short of it is: not much. It does seem like the burn struggles a bit more as the Black Series II burns down, but I don’t think that’s related to the gold as much as the cigar just isn’t performing as well. Flavor-wise, it’s much toastier—likely due to the reduce smoked production and my increased puff rate—with more cedar and redwoods breaking through. White pepper and creaminess make themselves known towards the end of cigar, drowning out the white bread that I found earlier. A couple more touch-ups are needed, though the burn remains even until the end.
- Midway through one of the samples one of my neighbors lit up a Tatiana Groovy Blue, which has a really recognizable smell.
- I really like how the gold burns onto the ash. As you can see, it just lays on top.
- I watched, in horror, as Brooks Whittington smoked the Daniel Marshall 24kt Golden Torpedo 2011, a cigar entirely wrapped in gold. It looked like some sort of Spencer’s gag gift, but it burned impressively.
- I’ve had edible gold a couple times in my life, notably in desserts, although occasionally Tei-An, a Dallas-based Japanese restaurant, has served sashimi with edible gold. I’m also fairly certainly I’ve had cocktails with Goldschläger, which means there’s a decent chance I’ve swallowed a gold flake or two.
- The research about whether gold is safe to eat is still basically non-existent.
- It’s going to be interesting to see if the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) raises any special concerns in a few years when Cavalier of Geneva presumably applies for substantial equivalence.
- I commend Cavalier of Geneva for extremely affordable prices despite the gold leaf used. By the same token, I imagine that Cavalier of Geneva would be ripe for a $30ish cigar.
- Cigar Art distributes Cavalier of Geneva in the U.S.
- I’m pretty sure someone at halfwheel was given a cigar or two at the 2017 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show from Cavalier of Geneva, but the specific cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes.
I didn't realize just how affordable these were until I was finishing up this review. This is a really good cigar for $8.75. My main issues surround the burn, which needed help, a bit more help than I'd like in the second half of the cigar. That said, this was enjoyable enough and one of the cooler cigars to gift people.