Origin : France
Format : Short Robusto
Size : 105 x 19.84 mm
Ring : 50
Wrapper : France
Filler : France
Binder : France
Price : 7.5€ each
For a few months I was aware of the fact that the first French puro, Le Navarre, has seen the day but I never had a chance to try one. On a business trip in Beijing, I was offered a Le Navarre Short Robusto by a friend who personally knows the manager of the brand. Of course, I could not pass on this opportunity and we had a great smoke together on a warm Beijing night.
Le Navarre tobacco is grown in the south west of France, next to the Spanish border. With the help of a Cuban tobacco grower from Pinar del Rio, "Le Comptoir du Tabac des Gaves et de l'Adour", the company behind Le Navarre, is looking to create a blend able to match the best Cuban stogies.
This cigar has a beautiful shiny wrapper and a triple Cuban-like cap. The band is quite simple and proudly indicates that the cigar was produced in France. Feels very good in hand and definitely a pleasure to the eye.
What I liked the most about this cigar is that it was not really designed to taste like a Cuban (which is probably impossible, anyway). Using Cuban knowledge base, aficionados from Navarrenx (small town where the factory is located) managed to create a unique flavor. The first third is dominantly cedary, without these spicy notes that usually mark the beginning of Cuban sticks. It made me think of a mild Dominican cigar, particularly Avo or Davidoff. As I continued smoking, the power increased and I detected delicious cinnamon notes as well as a taste of roasted coffee. In the last third, strong wood and leather. Overall, I really liked it, especially the first two thirds.
I'm curious to see how competitive Le Navarre cigars will be, especially considering the fact that they are in the same price range as good Cubans.
Overall Rating :
I'm very happy that yet another country has started to produce high quality cigars. I'm sure that the Navarre has a good future - good construction skills, fine weather conditions and an original flavor will take care of that.