The year is 2016, during the summer (5th of June) I decided to start doing reviews of cigars, at this time I had been smoking cigars for 2.5 years on a regular basis. I felt fairly confident in my understanding of cigars and how to distinguish flavours and aromas. By the end of september I already got picked up to join the Cigar Journal Tasting Panel, which in of it self still is kind of mind blowing in my opinion. So at 21 years old, eager to try new cigars I decided to shoot my shot and reach out to different brand and see what I could get my hands on. So I found this new brand called Cavalier Genève Premium Cigars, they where doing something different. The boxes where clean white with some gold details on, and the cigars had a similar cigar band on them, but there was something more, a gold leaf diamond where pressed upon the wrapper of the cigars. I know what you are thinking, “only gimmicky cigars put gold on them to make a statement”, “It’s probably super expensive, just because they put gold on it!” or “I bet you they don’t even taste that good so they just put gold on it to sell!”. Well I reached out to the owner Sebastien Decoppet.
At this point I was fairly knowledgeable talking to owners of cigar brands, as we had had quite a few events at the shop, yes I was quite cocky for my age, but hey it worked out in the end. But there was something different with Sebastien, he was instantly very cheerful and approachable, answering my quite bold questions. It may help that he is only 4 years older that me, (oh shit I’m just now realising he was my age that I am now, when I contacted him :O) and he is Swiss so not so far way from Swedish (insert your jokes about it being the same country here). We just clicked on a friendly level, two young lads asking about each others countries as we all cigar aficionados do. But back to the cigars, so he decided to send over a sampler of the cigars he had released to the market.
(First of all excuse my photo skills, I have tried many different styles over the years and I just want to share my experience with you all, however crazy the photos my look.)
When I got them, I was super happy as one should be, but I was baffled that I got so many of each vitola, three of each, that was more than I had expected. I of course wrote back and thanked my friend for the generous gift. And jumped straight in to trying them out, let’s just say this was early in my reviewing fase I still hadn’t figured out my style and perhaps should have used a better vocabulary when describing how they tasted. But alas I said “It’s a beauty, it feels like a Davidoff Churchill but with a twist, the oak notes makes it better.”, I know now that one shouldn’t compare other brands while doing a review, but at the time I felt positive as Davidoff is a well known brand which many people love. But these cigars weren’t made by Davidoff, these were Honduran, these were better in my opinion, I would much rather smoke these than most Davidoff. (Yes I know a controversial opinion, but I’ll come to Davidoff in another story, don’t you worry).
So you might wonder where are these cigars from other than just Honduras, they are made at a factory called San Judas Tadeo in Danlí, it’s one of Maya Selva’s factories (another brand I’ll do a writeup about in the near future). The three sizes that where available in the beginning was Medio (short robusto), Elegantes (Robusto) and Diplomate (Robusto Extra).
Finally got to meet Sebastien in person at Intertabac, Dortmund, Germany in 2018. He was sharing a small little booth with the german importer of his brand, sadly it was a bit obscured so it wasn’t easy to see it, but he was near impossible to miss, with his lovely big beard and bald head. He handed me one of his new releases called Black II Toro Gordo which I of course reviewed as soon as I got back. Now this is a line that has changed a lot over the years in my own opinion, when I first smoked them I wasn’t the biggest fan, but now days these latest batches has been amazing.
During the 2019 Intertabac we got to hang out way more and I got to meet the genius behind the branding Eylin Decoppet, also super nice and we have also been in contact over the years. They really are a sweet couple and a great team, with a bright vision for the future. Their art style they have choosen for the brand is truly unique and makes it stand out on the vast market of premium cigars.
While talking with them and all the other amazing boutique brands at the show I got one of the Limited Editions they make, the one from 2019 was only made in 500 boxes of 10 cigars each. All I’m saying Limited Editions are always cool, and it’s nice to see brands try new stuff out even though it might not always stick. Sadly in my opinion this wasn’t really my type of cigar, but hey A for effort. But please do something about those bands, it impossible to take a good photo of them with a normal mobile phone.
Something that keeps blowing me away each time it happens is the generosity from the Cavalier Family, I’m truly taken care of over the years, as their cigars haven’t been available here in Sweden they have sorted that out by sending me care packages with their portfolio of cigars. A great way for me to try out what new stuff they release, and get all of you the information you seek to be able to make the choice easier.
In 2018 they introduced the Black II and now after 3 years they have added a third series to the core line, the Black II Viso Jalapa. Even though I think they should have called it Black III just as a continuation, but hey I’m sure it shares the same platform as the Black II just with a different wrapper. I look forward to trying it when ever I do get my hands on it, but you can be sure I’ll do reviews of the different sizes.
Cavalier makes a larger selection of cigars than the ones I’ve talked about in this story, some releases are for specific regions, so you should check out their website to learn more, click here. If you want to read my reviews of their cigars, click here.
We keep having a close contact relationship quite frequently over social media and I have never gotten a bad approach from any of them, and hopefully soon Cavalier will be available here in Sweden as I have sorted out a importer for the brand. So I look forward to host an event with Sebastien and Eylin in Sweden as I told him back in 2016 we one day would do. And remember “Smoke Gold, Stay Gold”. (Also I need to get a photo with you two, after meeting two times already! Haha).
Cigars I’ve tried from the brand is these:
- Cavalier Genève White Series Medio
- Cavalier Genève White Series Elegantes
- Cavalier Genève White Series Diplomate
- Cavalier Genève White Series Salomones “Small Batch”
- Cavalier Genève White Series Lancero “Small Batch”
- Cavalier Genève Black II Robusto
- Cavalier Genève Black II Robusto Gordo
- Cavalier Genève Black II Toro
- Cavalier Genève Black II Toro Gordo
- Cavalier Genève Black II Torpedo
- Cavalier Genève Limited Edition 2019
See you in the next “My Journey With:“.
/ Cigar Reviewer André Dias
P.S. Clarification I’m just telling my story with the brand, my own opinions and experiences, we don’t have any deals between us, I’m not paid by them and I don’t have any contracts with them. I’m just a consumer and fan of the brand. As you’ll see with my other “My Journey With:” posts that will come in the future.