Though Casa Cuevas is a relatively young company, they have deep roots in the tobacco business. The Cuevas family traces their lineage back to the Pinar Del Río region of Cuba, eventually migrating to the Dominican Republic (where the family’s factory is currently located), and now Miami (where the company is headquartered). If you haven’t heard of Casa Cuevas or their factory, Tabacalera Las Lavas, odds are that you have heard of one of the many cigars produced at their factory in years past; including the likes of Carlos Toraño, Gurkha, Sam Leccia, and many other private labels.
Upon the launch of the Cuevas family’s self-branded cigars, Luis Cuevas, owner of Casa Cuevas, took a straight-forward approach, debuting a Connecticut (which earned an impressive 91-point score from Cigar Dojo), a maduro, and a habano. Both the habano and maduro have now expanded to include a new Clásico Prensado line extention (essentially a box-pressed toro).
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Habano Clásico Prensado Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Dominican | Nicaraguan
- Factory: Tabacalera Las Lavas (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 6″ × 48 (Prensado)
- Price: $8.20 (MSRP)
The Casa Cuevas Habano Clásico Prensado is a three-country blend. The wrapper is a sleek Ecuadorian Habano that encapsulates a Nicaraguan binder and fillers of both Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The cigar marks the only box-pressed offering in the lineup, joining a former collection of three sizes:
- Robusto: 5″ x 52 | $7.20 (MSRP)
- Toro: 6″ x 50 | $7.60 (MSRP)
- Gordo: 6″ x 60 | $8.40 (MSRP)
The Casa Cuevas Habano Clásico Prensado has a sufficient box-press that gives it a firm, rectangular appearance. In the hand, the cigar feels like you are holding a really fancy pen—a strange analogy, admitted, but hey, I am a strange guy. There is a tightly packed bunch of tobacco when examining the foot. The wrapper and cap seams are evident, but both skillfully applied. The wrapper leaf has a silky, smooth texture and the cigar feels firm and dense throughout. There are also no blemishes or veins across the wrapper.
There is a parmesan cheese musk on the wrapper and the foot smells of cedar. The pre-light draw has some plum sweetness to it and the raw tobacco on the tongue tastes like rhubarb.
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The initial puffs were pretty strong; so much so that it was difficult to retrohale the first few draws. Good, stable flavor starts to emerge after the initial onslaught. It tastes meaty, like peppered beef; this cigar is a full entree, not an appetizer. The cigar has some definite substance to it, but there are a lot of other flavors that are hard to put my finger on, reminding me of a nice paella dish. It has so many different subtle flavors that produce an overall rich quality. It is fuller-flavored cigar but has a medium body and medium strength output. The box-press seems to benefit this cigar, giving it a less airy and more concentrated taste and draw than the original blend.
The raw tobacco taste on the tongue mixes with sweet and sour flavors, bringing notes of sweet cedar and SweeTarts candy, backed by a peppery retrohale. Smooth, rich smoke begins to pour out, giving a meaty quality on the finish—a good, steak-like cigar. It has a creamy texture with a pinch of sourness to it, reminding me of a whiskey sour cocktail. The draw is virtually perfect, the burn is slightly wonky, and the strength and body have undergone a slight uptick—both now clocking in around medium-plus. I get a toffee candy flavor (like a Heath bar) to accompany salted nuts.
A sweet-n-sour character (kind of like Chinese food) enters the fold as smoke pours from the cigar. The flavor goes all the way to the back of the throat with a BBQ taste. I have my first relight near the band. There is plenty of white pepper on the retrohale, as well as a creamy and nutty tone overall. The Casa Cuevas Habano Prensado is a well-constructed cigar. The box-press gives the cigar a firmness and weight to the tobacco. The draw was near-perfect and, aside from some slight burn issues and a single relight, I had no problems with this cigar. The expert craftsmanship is evident throughout.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would and I will smoke the Clásico Prensado again. The fantastic draw, complex flavors, and meaty quality make this cigar dynamite, in my opinion. There was a good mix of flavor and changes in both body and strength to make the Clásico worth revisiting.
- One of the cigars that I smoked for this review had such a strange flavor profile that I threw it out for the official review; it was like a very dark charcoal flavor with notes of gasoline and it was so strong that I had to smoke a few others of this blend to verify it was an anomaly.
- Rye whiskey is a great pairing for this cigar—Old Forester Rye was paired with one of the review samples and the two just seemed to click.
What’s he doin’?
(Detailing my hypothetical, idyllic smoking scenario for any given review cigar)
I would smoke this cigar in Buenos Aires in-between my tango lessons. I have just ordered a steak and there is a string quartet that follows me around as if I was some form of duke or baron. For some reason, in this scenario I am a popular Latin day-time soap opera actor.
- Flavor: Near-full
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Creamy sweetness
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Perrier, Whiskey sour, Straight rye whiskey, Steak
- Purchase Recommendation: 10 (box)
- Rich flavors
- Near-perfect draw
- Dynamic changes throughout
- A bit strong on the retrohale
- Relight/burn issues
- Some inconsistencies between samples