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The Buenaventura BV 560 broke through when it landed on Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 list of 2013. Not only did the cigar make the top 25, but it placed at number 7. I have had a number of these cigars and they have always performed well; however, I have never sat down to review one. This is a relatively unknown cigar from a relatively unknown cigar company; Curivari Cigars International. Let’s see if this understated, and largely unknown, cigar can make a memorable impact.

The Basics:

  • This is a box pressed cigar. It is not as tight a box press as a Padron, but the box press on this cigar is pretty firm.
  • This is a Nicaraguan Puro, which means that the wrapper/binder/filler are all Nicaraguan tobacco.
  • This is a 5 1/2″ x 56 ring gauge cigar.
  • This cigar is known as either a toro or a corona gorda. The length is a bit shorter than a toro; however, the RG is a bit larger than most toros.
  • This is probably my 4th or 5th BV560 and I featured it on the podcast earlier.
  • I purchased this cigar from Cigar Hut
  • I smoked this cigar at night with my dog Bella.

Draw and Burn:

First of all, the cigar looks amazing. The wrapper looks great and I love the old school style of the band. The wrapper itself has a nice slightly oily feel to it, which gives the cigar a nice smooth feel. The cigar looks like a nice big chocolate bar.

Right out of the gate the burn on this cigar is quite good. The one issue is that the draw is a bit loose for me. This does not seem to hinder the cigar’s performance; however, a loose draw can throw me off a little. The burn tends to meander during the 2nd and final thirds of the cigar; however, the cigar tends to correct itself before it becomes a problem. There were some minor corrections in the final third, but nothing much. The draw continues to stay loose, but this does not impact the cigar’s performance. The cigar never burns hot and I think the draw issue can be dealt with by taking a little less off when I cut it. The draw is more of a personal thing and not a problem that had a large impact on the cigar. Even through the draw and burn were not at the level of an A or A+ cigar, it performed very well.

Final Grade: B+ / A-

Construction:

The BV 560 performs very well from when you light it up to when you put it out. The cigar keeps its shape throughout the entire cigar. I always appreciate this, because so many brands put out cigars that fall apart in the final third. The combustion rate on this cigar was solid. I found that I have never had to baby this cigar and that it can keep its burn for a while. The cigar burns enough to be pleasant to smoke without bring too fast and nuking the flavors.

At one point the wrapper cracks, but this does not impact the experience. This has not happened on previous cigars, so I attribute this cracking to this cigar in particular and not a larger issue for the line. Moreover, the ash holds on well and there were no issues with the ash flaking or giving away early. Much like the draw and burn, the construction is not at the level of a RoMa Craft Mode 5; however, it is a large step above most cigars.

Final Grade: A-

Flavor:

The first third of this cigar gives you the classic Nicaraguan feel with hints of cream. Right from the start you get a nice pepper and spice hit with a layer of creaminess over the top of the finish. As the smoke progresses, these flavors take a back seat to a developing caramel and gram cracker sweetness with a hint of honey. These flavors are light on the palate and are very enjoyable.

The second third has a great sweet tobacco aroma. The first ash comes at about 20 minutes into the smoke and flavors of leather and tobacco begin to amp up in this portion of the cigar. During this third of the cigar a nice richness develops. The gram cracker sweetness is still present; however, it now shares space with leather and earth flavors that are beginning to amp up. I really enjoy the flavors and how they are highlighted by the cigar’s rich texture.

The final third is where the richness and the finish come together. There is a rich and creamy tobacco flavor that amps up as the cigar went on. The key to these flavors coming through is to slow down on the cigar and keep it cool. I like the earth, tobacco and spice flavors; however, I miss the unique caramel and gram cracker flavors present in the previous third. I guess I was looking for a little more complexity in this third of the cigar, but that is not to say that the final 3rd is bad, because it performs very well.

All and all the BV 560 has some unique flavors that perform quite well. I really enjoyed the balance between caramel / gram cracker flavors with more traditional tobacco and earth flavors.

Final Grade: B+

Overall:

The Buenaventura BV 560 is a diamond in the rough. I say that, because it is a very understated cigar you would easily walk by at your B&M if you were not looking for it. However, once you light it up you have a wonderful smoking experience from such an understated cigar. Even though it is not on the level of a Mode 5 or H. Upmann Magnum 46, the BV 560 delivers every time and is a very enjoyable smoke.

I would not put this cigar as a humidor necessity, but it is definitely worth a box. This is such a solid and pleasant cigar I would never think twice about picking one up or giving it to a friend. The flavors are interesting enough to impress long time cigar smokers, but it is also smooth and medium in strength, which may appeal to people new to cigar smoking. I can recommend this cigar to all cigar smokers without hesitation. Pick a few up and see for yourself.

Overall Grade: A-

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