The Makings of a Classic – La Galera Habano Chaveta

I am pleased that you have again found your way to a joint tasting. Make yourself comfortable and sit back. This time, I’ll take the liberty of giving you a pairing recommendation right at the start. A dry white wine works very well as a companion, as does a delightfully cool champagne or fresh verjuice with some soda water. I opted for a glass of champagne. After all, not only the cigar should ennoble the moment.

At this point, I will spare you the usual details about the man behind this creation – Jochy Blanco. For this, I recommend the cover story of the current issue of our wonderful print magazine. There you can learn firsthand when the La Galera brand saw the light of day and how it came to be. Here and now, it should just be about enjoying one of these wonderful creations.

Let us first admire the appearance of the La Galera Habano Chaveta. The coffee-brown wrapper appears slightly oily; the rolling has only a few fine veins and ridges. The absolute eye-catcher par excellence, however, is the incredibly gorgeous cigar ring. And no matter what some passionados claim, the eye definitely plays a role in the smoking experience.

Take your favorite cutting tool and a lighting source. Then you’re ready to go. Pay special attention to the first puffs, because this is where an incredible freshness unfolds. It is the unmistakable, slightly citrusy freshness of cedar that is noticeable from the very first puffs. Often cigars need a few puffs to gradually develop their flavor, but La Galera’s Habano Chaveta does so literally from the very first draw. The woodiness is also clearly noticeable on the inside of the cheeks. The smoke is incredibly dense right from the start. Take a little break after the first five to ten puffs. Whereby you should definitely allow yourself a retronasal “sip” before the first break. Put the cigar down and enjoy the finish that this cigar is already displaying at this early stage. This break gives the cigar an opportunity to cool down a bit after the initial heat, and that will definitely do it some good.

Reach for the cigar again. The small pause for breath has ensured that the next few puffs bring out an interesting nuttiness. Draw on the cigar thoughtfully, sip it a little. Hints of fresh nutty leaves make themselves known in the background. The initial citrusy freshness of cedar now tips significantly toward ripe lime. However, the wood always remains intact. Enjoy this delightful blend, which already seems classic at the beginning and yet remains independent and progressive. A prime example of an unconventional blend and certainly a clear indication of the creativity of Jochy Blanco.

Reach for your drink, or simply take a small sip of water, moisten the roof of your mouth. Towards the end of the first third of the cigar unfold delicate floral notes that come as such a surprise at first that they almost seem out of place. But step by step they become a successful prelude to the second third, in which wood, citrus and floral sweetness marry to form a wonderful flavor spectrum. Something fruity can be sensed discreetly in the background, without one being able to define it more precisely. A hint of grape perhaps? In any case, it is a wonderful composition. The cigar now clearly increases in strength, which is definitely good for it. Because with this power, it clearly increases in spiciness.

Take a short break again. Watch the clouds of smoke as they make their way to the sky or the ceiling. The finish of the cigar proves to be incredibly long and dry. This is another reason why the La Galera Habano Chaveta pairs wonderfully with white wine or champagne. This combination is incredibly enriching. The acidity in the drink underlines the sweetness of the cigar and vice versa.

Reach for the cigar again. You will be amazed, because the spice in the cool smoke now clearly makes room for the wood again. In addition, there is a taste that reminds you of long-gone glorious days of a Cuban isle. It is at this point that one recognizes the heritage that this composition carries. It is a taste that cannot be described as anything other than subtly Cuban. A taste that so many friends of the Cuban cigar find incomparable. It is a pity that many passionados deprive themselves of experiences like this because they only ever enjoy cigars of a very specific provenance.

In the last third, slightly bitter hints of tart chocolate and coffee join the flavor spectrum. The cigar becomes even more complex, even denser, puff by puff. The smoke now seems almost fat and oily. The cheeks and palate seem to be moistened by the smoke. Cedar, coffee, chocolate and a slight sweetness swing with the scent of freshly roasted coffee into incredible spheres of pleasure. It is the drumbeat of a literal explosion of flavor – a crescendo of an incredibly well written symphony.

The last draws of the cigar once again bring all the individual flavor components to the tapestry. United by the last bitter hints of farewell. It is cigars like these that prove once again that the price of a cigar does not always provide information about its value. The La Galera Habano Chaveta is the perfect introduction to the world of Jochy Blanco cigars. We will certainly still get the opportunity to taste some cigars from this house together. I am already0020looking forward to that. And until then, never forget that the best cigar is always the one that can still inspire us in the future.

Klaus Hruby learned his trade as a journalist at a young age and published articles in various media such as Die Zeit, Der Falter, as well as in renowned literature competitions in German-speaking countries. His love for cigars was ignited during his apprenticeship; his great-grandfather still owned a tobacco field. Klaus Hruby has been writing Austria’s biggest cigar blog, www.derblauedunst.com, since 2014.


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