Curivari Achilles | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.25 x 52 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $8.55
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The Curivari Achilles Eternos Toro comes in boxes of 10. It has a mild box press with a belicoso cap.
I’ve done two reviews of this brand. First, the Seleccion Privada Maduro and second, the Buenaventura. Both excellent cigars. And very cost effective.

This brand is the brand that almost no one knows about but should. The management has no PR machine. I was told about it by a friend who gifted these to me.

The Achilles made its debut at the 2013 IPCPR trade show. It is a Nic puro that I am anxious to try.

Construction is good with a nice smooth wrapper the color of caramel. Seams are mostly tight and lots of veins. The triple cap is near flawless.

I clip the cap, slant-wise, and find aromas of fruit, cocoa, spice, caramel, sweetness, cedar, and leather.
Time to light up.

First puffs are sweet and earthy. Like me. The strongest flavor is cedar until the red pepper shows up to burn the barn down. The draw is very good, but not billowy. The char line needs a touch up. Done.
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The cigar is more mild than medium at this point. The natural tobacco flavor is nice. It’s not often that one is able to taste a good tobacco blend based just on the leaves and not the ancillary flavor bomb elements; although that may come later.
Caramel jumps in. The sweetness is enhanced and the cedar turns sweet. There is a bit of a salty pretzel component at the 1” mark. The finish is becoming elongated early in the burn.

The cigar becomes very toasty. Cinnamon toasty. I get a nutty taste. I take a swig of water and it’s cashew. Raw cashew in order to mesh with all this sweetness.
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The char line just got its third touch up. Never had that problem with the other Curivaris I reviewed. Touching up the burn line really cocks it up for a nice photo.

I near the end of the first third and no changes except that flavors are a little bolder. But no additions.
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The red pepper returns and is now leading the pack. Here are the flavors: Spice, Sweetness, caramel, cocoa, earthiness, nuts, salty pretzel, cedar, and a newly added dose of creaminess.

The second third begins with the creaminess driving the bus diverting the other flavors any way it wants.

This is a pleasant cigar but still lingers just shy of medium body. This is quite the contrast from the recently reviewed $5 Buenaventura.

And then the waters part, the sky thunders and Moses leads his cigar smoking clan through the Red Sea. The flavors HAVE arrived.

While I was bitching about the lackluster performance, the cigar takes off to the planet Uranus. You heard me.

I read a couple reviews and to be honest, they were pretty harsh on this cigar so I made the mistake of having preconceptions about this smoke.

I’ve only had this cigar for 3-1/2 weeks but clearly that is what it needs. I am guessing the other reviewers must have smoked the cigar while it was a bit green. I know. A month ain’t exactly serious aging. But that’s what all the manufacturers are doing now. They are following the lead of the New Breed Tattooed Ones whose cigars are ready to smoke very early on after the cello is removed. And yes, remove your cellos. Or as a friend does; cut a hole at the foot and then it allows him to write the date he got it with a magic marker pen.

If you don’t remove the cellos, it will take a lot longer to marinate. Plus, the cigars pick up all the goodies from the other cigars in your humidor. The aromas and flavors meld. Just like having Spock in your humidor.

I mind melded my dog the other day and this is what I heard: “Cheese. Cheese. Cheese.” A dog that isn’t from Wisconsin may say something else.
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The cigar is swinging now. The strength has moved to medium bodied. And the flavor profile is blooming. It’s a flavor bomb.
Here are the flavors: Creaminess, cocoa, sweetness, nuts, earthiness, caramel, and spice.

The char line has behaved itself for quite a while now and that is big relief. But as good as this cigar is turning out; it still is not as good as the Buenaventura. I can almost get two of the BV for one Achilles. Maybe the Achilles needs months of humidor time and I was lured down a dark path by the brilliance of the first two Curivaris I reviewed.

Manufacturers should put notes on the cellos telling you how long to wait. But then it would destroy the B & M business.
I hit the second third and it is a very smooth, mellow cigar. The strength is still at classic medium. It is warm and fuzzy. Very relaxing. But alas, not worth the price point.

I still have one more Curivari to review: El Gran Rey.
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I just ordered the rest of the large line starting with: Curivari Gloria Leon, Curivari Reserva 1000 Series, Curivari Reserva Limitada Café, Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe Noir, Curivari Reserva Limitada Cafe Noir, Curivari Reserva Limitada Classica, and Curivari Seleccion Privada Natural. That’s a total of 8 blends that Atlantic Cigar has. More than any other online store. But they are going fast. I just bought some singles. I know I’m rich and good looking, but….

The last couple inches are singing to me. Flavors are very bold and what I expected at the start of the cigar. Obviously, a month was not enough humidor time. Or, like the other reviewers, decided this is not some of Curivari’s best work.
The cigar band comes off like a champ.

The stick is swimming in creaminess and sweetness. Cocoa is the strongest yet and the strength finally hits medium/full.

I would like to recommend this cigar for the simple fact that Curivari seems to be a solid blender. But then it could be me…not allowing enough humidor time. So it’s up to you.
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And now for something completely different:

Rock n Roll Hall of Fame drummer: Hal Blaine.
halblaine

Hal was a special man to me. Hal was part of the L.A. Wrecking Crew in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This was a group of high powered musicians that were hired for their expertise and cohesion in the studio. I really don’t know if they ever played out together, but they did create magic in the studio. The bassist, Carol Kaye, was my bass teacher when I was 19. She and Hal played on most of the Beach Boys songs.

The list of Top 10 songs Hal played on is endless. And he worked a lot with Phil Spector.

Hal became my mentor and friend. I was 32 at the time. He played with everyone; literally. He could tell stories about my heroes like no one else. I loved to hear him talk. And he was a bona fide story teller. A real Mark Twain.

He told me he was at Sinatra’s house when Tommy Sands met Nancy Sinatra and he could see they fell in love immediately. Jesus Alou!

Hal lived the typical rich musician life. Lots of wives and kids and during the time I was close to him, he lived on his yacht which was docked in Marina Del Rey, CA.

At the time, I had a TV show with a local DJ on a major rock station in L.A. He did the interviewing of early 1960’s musical acts and I wrote, produced and directed.

We were lucky enough to get Hal to agree to be on one of our shows. And we also got Darlene Love of the Blossoms fame. She was Danny Glover’s wife in the “Lethal Weapon” movies.
darlene-love

As fate would have it, both of them did an Ed Sullivan Special together. It was Nancy Sinatra in Vegas for the whole show. Darlene and her Blossoms did the backup vocals and Hal was on drums.

Hal bought a 1968 Sony video recorder and player, for $2000 so he could watch the show afterwards. This thing was like a boat anchor. It was reel to reel. And I had the chore of getting the show converted to ¾” format. This is what news cameras use. I had to borrow the video recorder from Hal to take it to the transfer studio.

So off I went to his boat with no idea how heavy this thing would be. And it was a long walk. I was on the light side back then. And this thing must have weighed 50lbs. I sat with Hal and we kibitzed for a while and then I left. To this day, my right arm is one foot longer than the left because of carrying that recorder.

I went through the motions and accomplished my ordeal. Then I reluctantly dragged the thing back to the yacht. When I got there, Hal asked me to hold on to it for a while because he had no room for it on his boat. WTF!!!???
“Hal! Look at me! I weigh 98lbs and this thing is making me a hunch back!”

Hal laughed. And shook his head. I told him that he must make me lunch to gain the strength to lug this thing back to my car. He did. Lox and bagels. Ummmm.

I lugged the damn thing back.

Long story, short….The show was a rousing success. We had wonderful shots of Darlene and Hal playing while Nancy did “These Boots are Made for Walking.” And they were completely at home in front of the camera.

Every now and again, I would mention to Hal that I would be happy to bring his recorder back. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Hang on to it a little longer, bupchik.”

So now, over 30 years later, the recorder is in my living room. I use it for a bomb shelter.
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2 replies

  1. The Wrecking Crew. What a wonderfully talented group of studio artists, and what an honor it would have been to know them. Most folks do not realize that much of the music they were grooving to back then was actually recorded by the Crew and not the musicians on the front of the record jacket.