Last September, Casa Cuevas shipped two new vitolas for its Habano and Maduro blends to retailers: the 6 x 48 Clásico Prensado and the subject of today’s review, the El Flaco Limited Edition.

As its name indicates, the El Flaco Habano Limited Edition features a blend that incorporates an Ecuadorian habano wrapper covering a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos sourced from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The new cigar is a 7 x 43 vitola that the company refers to as a lancero, price at $9.50 each.

Each blend is limited to 500 boxes 10-count boxes of the 7 x 43 size.

The two new releases brings the total number of vitolas in the Casa Cuevas Habano line to five:

  • Casa Cuevas Habano Robusto (5 x 52) — Regular Production
  • Casa Cuevas Habano Robusto Toro (6 x 50) — Regular Production
  • Casa Cuevas Habano Robusto Gordo (6 x 60) — Regular Production
  • Casa Cuevas Habano Clásico Prensado (6 x 48) — Regular Production
  • Casa Cuevas El Flaco Habano Limited Edition (7 x 43) — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Casa Cuevas El Flaco Habano Limited Edition
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera Las Lavas S.R.L.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 43
  • Vitola: Lonsdale Extra
  • MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 10, $95)
  • Release Date: Sept. 28, 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Covered in a milk chocolate brown wrapper that is quite smooth to the touch, the Casa Cuevas El Flaco Habano Limited Edition features just a bit of visible oil as well as a few very prominent veins running up and down its length. The cigar features a cute cinnamon roll bun on the cap and there is a large soft spot noticeable right above the main band. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of chocolate, leather, hay, generic nuts, manure, white pepper and cedar, while the cold draw is surprisingly light, with a bit of sweet cedar, almonds, white pepper, orange sweetness, slight espresso bitterness and a touch of spice on my tongue.

Starting out the first third, the Casa Cuevas El Flaco begins with an extremely aggressive bitterness on both the palate and finish that makes it difficult to pick out specific flavors over any others. Thankfully, that bitterness begins to recede after about 15 puffs, allowing notes of cedar, gritty earth, leather, nuts, coffee beans and hay to become more apparent, albeit in fairly generic forms. On the retrohale, there is a small amount of white pepper and a very subtle maple sweetness, neither of which  are strong enough to really impact the overall profile. Both the burn and the draw are excellent so farthe ideal amount of resistance on the draw is the standout—and an average amount of smoke off of the foot. Strength-wise, the Casa Cuevas hits a point between mild and medium by the end of the first third and does seem to be increasing.

Although most of the flavors in the profile remain fairly generic, a distinct jalapeño flavor moves to the forefront of the profile during the second third of the El Flaco Habano Limited Edition, albeit present only on the retrohale. The palate has additional notes of chocolate, leather, creamy cedar, bitter espresso, cocoa nibs and earth flit in and out as well, but there are none that come close to threatening the top flavor. The white pepper on the retrohale begins to increase just after the halfway point, and the maple sweetness has become more distinct as well combining nicely with the jalapeño. Construction-wise, the draw continues to impress, but the burn starts to run a bit and I am forced to touch it up twice in rapid succession. The overall strength does increase—albeit less than I suspected it would—meaning that it fails to reach the medium mark by the time the second third comes to an end.

The final third of the Casa Cuevas El Flaco Habano is very similar to the second third, and although the jalapeño note remains dominant, it is obviously not as aggressive as it was in the second third. There are other flavors of hay, peanuts, cedar, bitter espresso, dark chocolate, leather and earth that rotate in and out, all of which have some small impact on the profile at large. Both the white pepper on the retrohale and the maple sweetness gain strength compared to the second third as well, leading to a slightly more enjoyable profile overall. In terms of construction, the burn has evened up nicely while the draw continues to give the ideal amount of resistance, while the strength increases enough to put it close to the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with a bit more than an inch left.

Final Notes

  • Interestingly, the name El Flaco—which translates to the thin from Spanish—does not appear anywhere on either of the two bands that are present on the cigar.
  • Speaking of the name, this cigar and its maduro-wrapped brother are called either El Flaco or Flaco, depending on which social media post you read.
  • There are also multiple social media posts that indicate the size of these specific cigars are 7 x 48 instead of 7 x 43, making me wonder if that was the original vitola that was planned for this release.
  • The smoke is not particularly thick, but it does smell just like peanut butter.
  • As with the Casa Cuevas Maduro Toro I reviewed in June 2017, ash on these cigars is extremely flaky and falls off with almost no provocation or warning.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel. Casa Cuevas provided samples following the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, but those cigars were not smoked for this review.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
84 Overall Score

After a rough start that is dominated by a somewhat unappetizing and aggressive bitterness on the palate and finish, the final two-thirds of the Casa Cuevas El Flaco Habano Limited Edition were quite a bit more enjoyable. The jalapeño flavor combined with the increasing white pepper and maples sweetness was a very unique combination, even if I had to wait for almost half of the cigar to get to them. Anyone who smokes these now should note the differences in the profile between the first and second halves, and I am hoping a little bit of age may even out the rough spots in the blend. I am looking forward to trying it again in six months or so to see how it has developed.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.