Nashville is known as “Music City” but it is quickly making a name for itself as a Cigar town. One special company that calls Middle Tennessee home is Principle Cigars, created and owned by Cigar Smoking World Champion Darren Cioffi.
Inspired by Cioffi’s love of antiques, vintage cigars and artwork, Principle Cigars not only offers aficionados a variety of cigars, but a bit of a visual history lesson with each draw. The first thing that jumps out at you are the sizes, material used, are the varieties of bands on the cigars. The detail and artistry of the labels look like scenes from old movies and architecture from the early part of the 1900’s.
For this eval, we take a look at the Envoi, a 5×52 vitola from the signature line, the Aviator Series. Blended by Hendrik Kelner, Jr. (son of Hendrik Kelner of Davidoff), the cigar consists of:
Wrapper: Criollo Dominican
Binder: Peruvian & Dominican
The cigar was sturdy, firm and very veiny. It felt really full and packed tight, so initially I was a little worried that the draw would be tight. Upon cut, the dry draw was smooth and just right, and I tasted a little hay with a hint of licorice. Off the bat, I could tell that this would be a complex smoke given the unique blend.
The 1st third of the Envoi gave off a lot of flavor; creamy yet citrusy on the retrohale, with some tang that hit me in the back of the cheeks. There was a lot of nuttiness and leather also. I loved the construction as it burned, as the double binder gave it a thick and strong look. The burn was very clean and sharp and the draw opened up just a little more as I went.
On the 2nd third, the Envoi transitioned just a little with little sweetness and it reminded me of coffee. It picked up an almost floral scent, but that didn’t last long at all. It had a think ash and a lot of tooth and I went ahead and tapped it one good time before it had a chance to fall off on me.
Finishing up, the Envoi remained really earthy and nutty. I tasted hints throughout of some buttery sweetness but my overall thought was “this is a leathery cigar”.
Overall, the Principle Aviator Envoi is well constructed and performed very well with an excellent draw and a razor-sharp burn. The flavor of earth, leather and natural tobacco was pleasant and consistent. There was just enough complexity in the flavor to make it a very interesting smoke.
While the Principle Aviator Envoi isn’t available in many of your typical brick & mortar shops, it’s worth tracking them down or visiting their website at PrincipleCigars.com and checking out these unique sticks. This is definitely one that will make Nashville proud.