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Staff Reviews for Cu-Avana Intensus

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Cu-Avana Intensus

Posted by Steve R

Wow. I cannot believe it’s been almost two months since my last staff review. Man, it feels like forever. For some of the other reviewers, that might be acceptable, but not for me. I’m used to cranking out 2-3 a month. Fortunately, timing for a new review couldn’t be more perfect. A brand new cigar hit our docks just before I left for the Eagles game this past Monday. And considering what it is, a full-bodied Cu-Avana, I had to bring some to our pre-game festivities at the Linc.

This new variety, dubbed Cu-Avana Intensus, is intriguing for many reasons. Cu-Avana is a mild-bodied cigar, and has built a solid reputation among those seeking a mellow, but dependable smoke that’s priced for daily enjoyment. The natural is mild, smooth, and straightforward....offering crisp, subtle nuances that have captured the hearts of Macanudo fans. The maduro is just as mellow, with a rich, toasty, and creamy twist....let alone excellent aging potential. Cu-Avana Intensus was crafted with the more achieved palate in mind. It’s made in boutique fashion with a variety of aged ligeros and promises an eventful and satisfying experience.

Cu-Avana Intensus is made in Esteli, Nicaragua by Nestor Plasencia. The cigar is a treat to look at....especially when you crack open the box. The inlay is black as night with attractive gold accents, and flows beautifully into the dark, oily cigars donning just a simple foot band. The wrapper is thick and dark. A Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper grown from Cuban seeds, boasting a deep, reddish hue and ample tooth. Inside, a powerful blend of long-leaf ligeros unites: some from Nicaragua, some from the Panama. In case you didn’t know, Panamanian ligero is some of the strongest and most flavorful out there. The cigar is heavy in my hand, takes to my Xikar with ease, and offers a perfect draw....just the slightest bit of resistance is noticed.

Upon lighting, I first notice a heavy spice that leaves behind a gentle tingling sensation on the palate well after I set the cigar down in the ashtray. There’s an underlying sweetness to it, which is all but muted by the bold spices. From the get-go, it’s clear that this is a far departure from the standard Cu-Avana. Hello Corojo-wrapped ligeros! After the first half an inch, the spices fade a bit, opening the floodgates for a dense and rich series of oak and leather. Clearly, the sweetness in the beginning was the oaky character trying to shine through. The smoke is thick and chewy in the mouth, and creates heavy plumes overheard once exhaled. The zesty aroma fills the room and really lets me know I’m burning something. Then, an inch and a half in, boom. The full-bodied nature of the ligeros at play takes its toll. I feel relaxed and satisfied in the belly. The rich, earthy flavors of the Nicaraguan tobaccos are evolving nicely with the unique spices of Panamanian ligeros, which become more apparent as I approach the final third. The finale is nice. Actually, it’s memorable. A rich, chewy smoke loaded with spices and dense, hearty flavors that coat my palate down to the nub.

In short, this is a great upgrade for Cu-Avana, extending a sizeable olive branch towards those seeking a full-bodied, full-flavored blend.

By the way, the Eagles won....easily. And, I am tied with the boss at the top of our 2008 football pool. 2 weeks left. Big money, no whammies!

Cu-Avana Intensus

Posted by Brandon S

Funny, when I first started this gig mild cigars were all the rage with the Dominican Republic dominating cigar sales in the states. The Dominican enjoyed a well-established reputation for producing many of most popular brands ranging from that Macanoodle brand to Cohiba, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta. Chances are very good that if you reading this you’ve probably heard of at least one of those brands…either that are you crawled out of bed this morning having never smoked a cigar before and miraculously landed on this dilly of a write up. It doesn’t matter though, you’re here now, I appreciate that, and the rest really doesn’t matter does it? Right then….so, mild cigars dominated the marketplace for years up until about 3 or 4 years ago when some new and powerful brands began to arrive on the scene. Joya de Nicaragua stands out as one of these where I vividly recall standing around our retail shop with the boys enjoying said cigar when suddenly the room began to spin. Then things really got interesting with the release of powerhouse smokes like Rocky Patel’s Edge, the Man ‘O War and others. Indeed, consumers were developing a taste for this newly discovered “strength” and a new genre of cigars was born!

Today full-bodied cigars are as prevalent in smoke shops as Prius drivers with long gray ponytails and open-toed sandals. What’s worse is that many are just plain harsh with little to no balance and make you want to gag and spit them out (I’m talking about the cigars here). With that said I’m uber-excited to introduce you to the Cu-Avana Intensus! This cigar is simply exquisite and will become the new benchmark against which all other full-bodied cigars are judged and I sincerely mean that. The dark-brown Nicaraguan Corojo wrappers are stunning and glisten with oil. The filler, despite being all ligero, is a noticeably well-aged blend of Panamanian and Nicaraguan long-fillers that combine to produce a smoke that’s dense and as rich in flavor as anything I’ve ever tasted. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first considering that ligero leaves, unless well-aged and fermented properly, are typically the culprit behind those harsh and flavorless smokes that deliver nothing aside from strength. Not the case at all here. Cu-Avana Intensus is a sheer delight to smoke, phenomenally well-balanced and yet remains complex. This is what full-bodied cigars are all about my man!

As you read this our shipment is literally in the air over Nicaragua and headed towards CI headquarters. Trust me though because Cu-Avana Intensus will be well worth the wait. I know what you’re thinking, “how did you get your grubby hands on that glorious box I see pictured here?” and the answer is that I stole it from the boss’s office. That’s right, Cu-Avana Intensus is so damn good I’d risk losing my job for it!