Cigar Review: Cuvee Blanc

Cuvee_Blanc_2_web

Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Piloto Cubano, San Vicente

Strength: Mild-Medium

Price: Box of 24, $149

Grade: 9.2

The Cuvee line of cigars from Mike Chiusano of Cusano cigars originated to compete with fuller-bodied cigars in the European market; the line was ranked in the top 10 by the European Cigar Journal. The mild-bodied Blanc of course is a departure from this original intention. There is mixed information online about this cigar, but some note that there is a second wrapper on the Blanc from Peru.

Hendrik Kelner at Tabadom works with Cusano to produce the Cuvee line and they produce around 500,000 cigars per year. The Cuvee line is also said to use only the top grade tobaccos from the Cusano factory. With that behind us, let’s toast the foot!

Pre-light, 1.6:
The wrapper on the Blanc is very rustic with prominent veins, a rugged cap, and a dry and stretched wrapper toward the foot. The stretched wrapper got hung on the glue of the band and created a significant tear. There were some highlights to the Blanc: dense packing, medium draw, sharp blue, gold, and white band, and a pleasant aroma and pre-light draw that produced notes of spice and sweet hay.

Burn, 1.9:
The Blanc toasted very well at the foot and burned evenly throughout, leaving a solid sheet of mixed-gray ash that held very well. Ample smoke was produced with a sweet aroma through the smoke. The truest sign for me is how much I have to pay attention to a smoke; with the Blanc, I gave no attention to the burn of the cigar and the wrapper that pulled from behind the band had no affect on the smoke and required no touch-ups.

Flavor, 2.9:
This Cuvee was right in my wheelhouse for flavor—a shot of pepper and traces of cloves up front with a hazelnut creaminess carrying you through the first and second third, concluded by some nice barnyard notes in the final third of the smoke. With the complexity of the smoke, I had nearly forgotten I was smoking a mild Dominican. The complexity of the Blanc was excellent and it displayed all of my favorite flavors in a smoke—spice, creamy hazelnut, and barnyard.

Overall, 2.8:
At just over $6 a stick, this is worth every single penny; as soon as I finished the Blanc, I ordered a Cuvee/Cusano sampler. The Cuvee was a flavor powerhouse disguised in a mild bodied smoke—just my speed! Though the appearance was anything but elegant, it had no affect on the enjoyment. The solid burn and draw, mixed with the full flavor, created a new favorite for me.

(Total: 9.2)