Two years after making its U.S. debut in 2016, Cavalier Genève began doing something that many cigar companies do: it released a limited edition. It would be a small batch cigar, with just 5,000 cigars produced for its debut in 2018, and it would also come with an undisclosed blend.

Since that debut, the company has continued to release an annual limited edition, and for the 2021 release, it’s a 6 x 54 toro gordo vitola. While it shares a size with the 2020 version, this one is round as opposed to being box-pressed like its predecessor, and it wears a new secondary band design. It also uses just one wrapper as opposed to the barber pole design found on the 2020 version, though as noted the company doesn’t disclose the blend for its Limited Edition releases, so it’s up to the senses to try and figure out the similarities and differences between each release.

Also noteworthy is that it is the biggest release in terms of quantity, with 16,5000 cigars produced, split into 1,650 boxes of 10 cigars, more than triple what was made just a few years prior. Of those, 1,100 boxes were allocated for the U.S., with the remaining 550 destined for other markets.

Keen observers might note that the 2020 and 2021 releases mirror what the company did with the first two releases, both of which measured 4 3/4 x 58, coming first in a box-pressed vitola and then a round one.

The cigar debuted at the 2021 PCA Convention & Trade Show in mid-July, just a short time before its release at the end of the month.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Fábrica Centroamericana de Tabaco S.A.
  • Wrapper: Undisclosed
  • Binder: Undisclosed
  • Filler: Undisclosed
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $12 (Box of 10, $120)
  • Release Date: July 29, 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

There is definitely a theme of darkness with the Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021: the wrapper is a dark brown, the main band is a dark blue with a dark black logo, and the secondary band is black but with some red in the background along with white dots and gold writing that make brighten things up. It is a fairly firm cigar, dense and well-filled but not hard. The leaf is on the dry side, with a matte finish and some very fine texture for the fingers, though few prominent veins. It’s not velvety soft, but it’s also not anywhere near what I would call gritty. The foot has fairly mild aromas of a mix of blackberries and strawberries, a bit of their vines and some light, dry earthiness. There’s just a hint of pepper on the very tail end of the finish, but hardly enough to have an impact. Air moves well on the cold draw, and the flavor is a bit sweeter than the aroma, with the berries turning into jam, the earth and pepper falling away and being replaced by a bit of bread. I could make the argument for a simple jelly-on-wheat toast combination in one sample, as well as for hints of creaminess at times.

The Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021 starts with a bit of dry wood and toast, the former reminding me of barrel wood that has been thoroughly dried out after its intended use and might now be more decorative than anything. There is a bit of pepper floating around, and while it hits multiple parts of the tongue, it doesn’t yet focus on one particular area. While the first puff or two are strong enough to wake up the palate and command some attention, it’s not a persistent experience, as the first inch sees the intensity mellow from a medium-full start to a more medium profile at the one-inch mark. That is driven in part by an enjoyable creaminess entering the profile when the first clump of ash is knocked off, providing a temporary smoothing of the flavor before the more robust earth note begins to emerge with a bit of black pepper, coffee beans and general robustness. Because of this, I find myself retrohaling the cigar on almost every other puff, and because of that, the rebuilding of white pepper in the profile is easy to track. There’s some building irritation in the back of my throat that seems attached to the white pepper, as it’s interestingly lighter than the more commonly found heavier pepper. Strength is medium for the most part, body is on par if not a bit fuller, while strength is mild so far. Construction has been great and problem-free in all aspects.

While the first third dabbled with some robustness and pepper, the start of the second either wants nothing to do with that, smoothing out with more of the creaminess, or wants to pursue it with some intensity. In the former, it’s fleeting, but it’s reminiscent of a car hitting a new gear and cruising effortlessly for a bit. Pepper comes back in before long, though it is very well restrained whether it be on the palate or through the nostrils. In the latter experience, the texture of the smoke gets a bit rougher, the overall robustness builds, and there’s a rush of nicotine strength; as opposed to cruising, the cigar is looking for traction and revving the engine in the process. Among the three samples, two smooth out while one gets rougher, though I wish it would have been three-for-three in the mellowing, as it also allows for a very enjoyable complexity to develop. I don’t want to call it delicate, but it seems to know it doesn’t need to be aggressive in order to have an impact. There’s still creaminess, though some of it has turned to a powdered creamer flavor, followed by a light white pepper, dry woods and peanut shells. It’s a fairly tight profile, and one that lacks much range, but it hits the notes it plays quite well. The woodiness moves to the forefront as the second third comes to a close, while the final puffs of this section increase the pepper through the nose a few ticks on the intensity scale. It’s not too much for my preference, but for someone who is pepper-averse, that opinion might differ. Construction and combustion remain great, with the flavor nudging up to medium-plus, body just a step behind it, and strength getting into medium territory if not beyond in the case of one sample.

The final third continues the development that closed out the second third, with the dry wood continuing to move more into the dominant role. There’s still a bit of creaminess and white pepper, with the finish more lingering on the tongue. While the wood seems to have plenty of legs left, earthiness begins to pass it, bringing with it a bit more black pepper and overall robustness, which in turn hits the back of the throat with a bit more assertiveness than any puffs thus far. Just as the burn line hits the gold leaf diamond, the cigar gets a good bit smokier, reminiscent of the tail end of a grill or campfire. That brings out a bit more black pepper than the profile has exhibited thus far, both of which are just a tick more upfront on the senses. There is also a real distinctive wood flavor entering the aroma that is rich and bright on the palate, and while it brings a new level of complexity to the profile, its intensity forces me to space out my puffs a bit more. As the burn line makes its way through the gold foil diamond, the cigar begins giving off signals that it is coming to a close. One sample picks up a building sourness that gives the profile and finish a sharpness that doesn’t sit well on the tongue, while the others just keep building the intensity and robustness until they reach a point where they either over-engage or overwhelm the palate. It happens before the burn line passes all the way through the diamond, leading me to wonder how much it might be contributing to the change. Construction remains very good, the draw is smooth and easy and smoke production is solid, though the burn line consistently gets uneven right before the diamond. Flavor finishes medium-full, body is medium-plus, and strength is medium-full.

Final Notes

  • Like the rest of the brand’s cigars, the Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021 has the gold leaf diamond, though it is covered by the bands, which makes for an enjoyable reveal when they are taken off, and a possible surprise for someone not familiar with the brand.
  • I have to think that this cigar deserves a primary band that better shows off the logo. I’d love to see what this would look like with the logo in white, gold, or even a trim color.
  • It reminds me of a set of uniforms that the Cedar Rapids Titans (now the River Kings) of the Indoor Football League used to wear: black numbers with no trim on a dark blue jersey. As you might know, I’m the public address announcer for the Arizona Rattlers, and trying to see the Storm’s numbers was virtually impossible.
  • There is a bit of strength from the Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021, though it varies a bit. The first sample was on the milder side, while the second was much more noticeable.
  • Final smoking time was two hours and 20 minutes on average.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. carries the Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021.
89 Overall Score

By and large, the Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2021 is a very enjoyable cigar: it’s balanced, it dabbles into both complexity and subtlety as well as robustness and strength, and it shows a generally good progression from start to finish. Tack on near-perfect construction and combustion and you have the makings of a very impressive smoke. The cigar struggles with the consistency of flavors; while two out of the three samples were very similar, the third was a notable outlier in terms of its progression of flavors, overdoing the aggressiveness and intensity of the flavors for a less than ideal impression on the senses. It wasn’t bad by any means, it just failed to live up to the potential shown by the other two. The final third can also be a bit of a challenge, as the cigar seems tasked with walking a fine line of building intensity up without overstepping, something I found it only capable of doing in one of the three samples. As I said earlier, this is a very enjoyable cigar, and one I would certainly recommend trying, and even one I’d suggest putting in the humidor for a bit to see if some additional time helps smooth out the handful of wrinkles it has at the moment. If it does, this could turn into a remarkably fine cigar.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.