“Like smoke, those who breath perseverance will always rise to the top!”
—Ace Antonio Hall
What Makes It Special
Dominican Republic’s third generation cigar manufacturer, Tico Dilone (D), has teamed up with New York cigar connoisseurs Armen Caprielian (A) and Valot Atakhanian (V) to create DAV Cigars, the first sponsor of The Great Lakes Smoke Show and popular east coast cigar brand.
The hard work and perseverance of the company has elevated Armen to become the current President of The Boutique Cigar Association (BCA), which recently joined forces with The Premium Cigar Association (PCA). This exciting collaboration will include a twenty five vendor BCA pavilion at the 2023 Las Vegas PCA Tradeshow, and strengthen the cigar industry as they unite in the fight against onerous FDA regulations.
At the recent and very successful 2022 Smoke at the Creek BCA Festival, at the Cedar Creek Distillery in Martinsville Indiana, I was honored to meet Armen and Valot. Valot highly recommended their Series 1918 Robusto to pair with the BCA Festival’s special release barrel pick bourbon, from the Cedar Creek Distillery. This cigar features a darker shaded Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that gets its varying spicy and sweet flavors from the rich volcanic soil and minerals in Ecuador, which is ideal for growing the most oily and pliable tobacco. Valot and Armen blended this cigar at the Remembranza Factory in Santiago, Villa Gonzalez (Dominican Republic). The cigar contains seven different tobaccos.
The Great Lakes Smoke Show crew (Ronnie Pecorini, Kyle Jesso, Jerah Hutchins, and “Joey G”) covered the entire six hour BCA Festival, live from the beautiful Cedar Creek property. The show includes a special live pairing segment with BCA President Armen Caprielian and your humble Sippin’ with Stogies correspondent. Our epic live pairing discussion unfolds at the 1:18:00 minute mark, as the entire mobile Corona Studio collapses in the wind. Click here for a great laugh.
Series 1918 Robusto
Brand: DAV Cigars
Filler: Dominican / Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Body: Medium to Full Boldness
Age: 1 Year
Visual / Pre-light Draw
Dark brown and oily Ecuadorian habano wrapper with a bold exterior floral/potpourri odor and smooth overlapping veins. The cigar’s fancy shield shaped purple band displays a silver star over fancy interwoven DAV lettering, over a silver tobacco leaf, and decorative silver bordering. The cigar also has a fancy purple foot ribbon to match the band. There is no spice on the palate when prepping the cap for a nice Colibri V-Cut, which produces very nice earthy oat notes on the dry draw. There is the slightest softness to the cigar’s hard construction, a hint of exterior plume, and it appears to be packed very tight. A perfectly primed, fancy, and dark looking robusto cigar.
Mouth coating creamy cookie crisp cereal on an incredible first draw. Then comes some earthy hay notes along with hints of potpourri, a very complex start to this medium draw medium bold first third. The cigar pulls very nice and burns extremely well with a nice chocolaty foot smoke odor. The cigar notes transition again to hints of vanilla and cherry, then back to those dark earthy tones…what is happening here!?
Robusto size cigars typically last approximately thirty to forty five minutes, so we’re quickly off to the second third, with a perfectly held and shaped ash. Now comes some obvious creamy caramel chocolate cake batter notes, followed up with a slight spicy saltiness. There is so much flavor going on in this cigar, I almost don’t need to introduce the bourbon, but I will! Holy fruit cake bomb pairing! To honor New York based DAV Cigars, I added New York based electronica-rock band LCD Soundsystem’s hit song, “New York I Love You” to the mix. This produced a beautifully balanced melodramatic cigar journey, which helps slow the smoker’s roll!
That perfect ash finally fell off with dignity. The band easily slid off toward the head of the cigar, without disturbing its beautiful construction. Time to sit back and relax, in anticipation of more crazy transitions and interactions with the bourbon. Here we go, yet another transition to sweet metallic tannins and bold earthy notes, followed up by cereal oats that coat the entire palate. The addictive retro-hale produced a very brief but intense spicy punch with tons of flavor, reminiscent of that minty smoke machine odor that hovers over a live music concert. The cigar’s burn then slows along with the time spent enjoying it. The ash’s second chapter held all the way to the nub. My Cigarmedics NubTee was required to fully enjoy the bold back end flavors of this ninety minute smoking experience. Truly an amazing and highly recommended robusto cigar from www.DAVCigars.com.
Paired with the cigar, there are awesome salty chocolate covered marzipan notes over very fruity fruit cake, with a big vanilla bomb finish. The smooth and easy sipping bourbon mellowed out all of the intense flavors of the cigar, and a Nesquik chocolate milk, palate coating flavor lingered…and lingered. Absolutely amazing and extremely enjoyable. Some of the cigar’s ash just fell in my bourbon… f*@k it, this is an amazing marriage of mother nature!
To help celebrate boutique cigars, the Cedar Creek Distillery bottled a special single barrel picked bourbon, aged four years, featuring the BCA’s Smoke at the Creek Festival logo, at a solid 50% ABV. There were only 200 bottles of this special festival bourbon available for purchase, which quickly sold out. Bottle #17, purchased by my awesome cousin and WBSE member, Paul Kosiek, was used for this pairing. On the nose and palate there were nice fresh fruity notes perfectly balanced over nice light notes of cedar wood. The bourbon is incredibly smooth and very enjoyable, even outdoors in the summer heat.
Paired with the cigar, there are awesome salty chocolate covered marzipan notes over very fruity fruit cake, with a big vanilla bomb finish. The smooth and easy sipping bourbon mellowed out all of the intense flavors of the cigar, and a Nesquik chocolate milk, palate coating flavor lingered…and lingered. Absolutely amazing and extremely enjoyable. Some of the cigar’s ash just fell in my bourbon… f*@k it, this is an amazing marriage of mother nature! After pouring another glass of bourbon, I noticed toasted marshmallow notes rolled right into bolder and a spicier notes of dark chocolate on the cigar. Hats off to Cedar Creek’s pick on this sweet barrel of bourbon, it definitely mellowed everything out, and there was no bitter aftertaste from the cigar. This pairing and melodramatic cigar journey got me there, on level, in a beautifully buzzed state of relaxation. DAV Cigars, New York, I Love You!
Thank you BCA President Armen Caprielian, the Boutique Cigar Association Board, Cathy Poturny’s New York based Cigar Box Marketing company, and the Cedar Creek Distillery for hosting such an amazing Boutique Cigar Festival.
BCA founder, Dr. Gaby Kafie of Kafie 1901 Cigars, emphasizes that the Boutique Cigar Association is about the power of community, quality, and an ego free platform where all BCA members can succeed.
To help support the cigar industry in their fight against FDA over regulations, please visit the Cigar Rights of America (CRA) website at cigarrights.org.
Photography by: James Archie