Boutique Cigar Review: Tesa Havanita


Size: 7×36, Lancero (No. 1)

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild

Price: $12.15 single (10% discount on 20)

Grade: 9.1

TesaHavanita_1Tesa Cigar Company is a cigar lounge based in Chicago with a superb lineup of house blends. They currently have 9 different blends, all blended by Chicagoan Chris Kelly, the mid-20s owner of Tesa, and manufactured in Tesa’s Esteli, Nicaragua factory. All of their blends incorporate Nicaraguan tobacco and 10% of all proceeds are returned to the Nicaraguan people for housing repairs, education, clothing, and sustenance. Their line of cigars, known as the Tabacalera Tesa line, is made in highly limited production.

Chris was kind enough to send us samples of several blends which we will be reviewing over the next few months. We reviewed the Reserva No. 464 a while back, which you can view here.  You can learn more about Tesa’s cigars online or by following them on Twitter.

Today we are reviewing the Havinita which is available in two sizes, a 7×36 Lancero and a 5.5×35 known simply as No. 2. Each size is available with a Connecticut shade wrapper and a Criollo 1998 Maduro. You can view the cigar here. Now, on to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.7:
Tall, sleek, and pigtailed, the Tesa Havinita is an eye catcher. Consistently colored throughout, the almond wrapper is spider webbed with veins and a couple raised stalks. The thin gauge is tightly packed and firm with a rugged overall look. The aroma is very sweet with creamy undertones that take on butterscotch and hazelnut. The draw is right on and the sweetness on the aroma is present in the draw.

Burn, 1.9:
Thick smoke, white ash, and meticulous construction creates a razor sharp burn that requirs no attention whatsoever. The Havinita carries a flawless draw throughout and never becomes a distraction during the smoke.

Flavor, 2.8:
The first third brings a burst of creamy sweetness on the tongue with a clash of pepper in the back of the throat. The pepper manages to ease itself to the forefront in the middle third and melds perfectly with the sweetness. The pepper does not stay as long as I anticipated and gives way to the final third, which is more of the dominant flavor profile – a sweet nuttiness. Sweet throughout, the nuisances shift throughout and present hints of butterscotch, hazelnut, and heavily creamed coffee. The Nicaraguan profile is evident though well balanced.

Overall, 2.7:
As we noted in our review of the Reserva No. 464, these cigars aren’t cheap – but they are darn good. They are consistent, carry an excellent draw and burn line, and have gentle yet precise flavor profiles. This is out of my price range for a box purchase but is without a doubt something I’d keep a five pack of regularly stocked.

(Total: 9.1)