Le Navarre

The Le Navarre is a cigar that differs from any other cigar I’ve had before.  This is because the Le Navarre is made in a non-traditional cigar-making country – France.  It is also because the Le Navarre is a French puro – meaning that it is comprised of 100% French tobacco.  The actual thought of trying something different was enough to intrigue me to try this cigar.  The Le Navarre is also a limited production cigar – and is only found in select retailers around the United States. As different as the background of this cigar is, it also delivers a very different cigar experience than I have had before.  Overall, this is a classic change of pace cigar – and in my opinion, it does bring a positive smoking experience.

The name Navarre comes from the one of the Navarre region of France. Navarre is a region located in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of France – located in the southwest part of the country in the Pyranees mountains.  The tobacco for the Le Navarre cigar is actually cultivated in Bearn – which is another region in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.   According to the company website, this is an ideal region to grow tobacco.

Le Navarre has enlisted the help of a tobacco grower from Pinar del Rio, Cuba.  In addition Cuban techniques have been incorporated into the production process.

Without further adieu, let’s break down the Le Navarre cigar and see what it brings to the table.

Blend Profile

As mentioned, the Le Navarre is a French puro.

Wrapper: French
Binder: French
Filler: French

Vitolas Available

The Le Navarre is available in five sizes.  Because this is a European cigar, the sizes are listed in metric (mm). However, we include approximate English measurements for reference

Athos (Petit Robusto): 105mm X 19.84mm (4 1/8 x 50).
Aramits (Robusto): 124mm X 19.84mm ( 4 7/8 x 50)
Milady (Grand Corona): 143 mm x 18.6 mm (5 5/8 x 47)
Porthos (Grand Robusto): 150mm x 20,64mm. (5 7/8 x 52)
D’Artagnan (Grand Double Corona): 230mm X 19.84mm ( 9 x 50)

The cigars are packaged ten per box.

Appearance

For this cigar experience, I sampled the Aramits (Robusto) vitola. The Le Navarre Aramits has a caramel colored wrapper. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion. Upon visual inspection of the wrapper, there are visible veins. The wrapper seams are very well hidden, but can be noticed upon close examination of the wrapper.

The band of the Le Navarre is primarily an orange metallic color. There are white and gold pinstripes across the top and bottom. On the center of the band is the text “NAVARRE” in white font. Below that text is a gold oval with the text “FRANCE” in small white font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I normally do I opted for a straight cut into the cap of the Le Navarre. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes yielded a combination of wood, citrus, mint, and a unique earthy/herbal component. I’ve heard some call this earthy/herbal component a”musty” flavor, but I don’t think that fits the bill here. The pre-light draw did lend itself to a unique flavor At this point, it was time to light the Le Navarre and see what else this cigar would bring to the table.Flavor Profile

The start to the Le Navarre continued the combination of the unique earthy/herbal flavor and woody notes. Some black pepper notes surfaced and joined the earthy/herbal notes in the forefront. The wood notes remained secondary in the early phases.

Toward the end of the first third, the Le Navarre changed up. The earth/herb and pepper combination moved to the background. Citrus and raw caramel notes emerged as the primary flavors. This created a unique sweetness that was balanced by the earth/herb/pepper combination in the background.

In the last third, the raw caramel notes moved to the background. The earth/herbal/pepper combination joined the citrus notes in the forefront. The Le Navarre continued to deliver its unique flavor profile. I did find the very end of the cigar to be on the harsh side. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

From a construction standpoint, the Le Navarre scores well. This is reflected in the attributes of burn and draw. Overall, the burn of the Le Navarre performed nicely. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish requiring occasional touch-ups. The ash was firm, but was not a tight ash. The color of the ash was definitely on the blacker side. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

The draw was effortless. yet at no time was I worried about over-drawing on this cigar. It made a cigar that was easy to puff on from start to finish.

Strength and Body

Overall the Le Navarre is not a cigar that is going to overpower you with nicotine. I assessed the strength to be mild to medium in the first half. By the second third, the strength does progress to medium. As for the depth of the flavors, they start out medium-bodied. Like the strength, the body does kick it up in the second third, but in this case it kicks up to medium to full-bodied. Overall, I say this is a cigar that has an emphasis of flavor over strength.

Final Thoughts

The Le Navarre is different. French tobacco is not something commonly found in cigars. Overall, this is a cigar you will either like or dislike. I don’t think there will be a middle ground with this cigar. The flavor profile is very unique and it is one that is “take it or leave it”. While I wouldn’t say this is a gamechanging flavor profile, it still satisfied my flavor profile. Depending on the size of the vitola, I’ve seen these cigars priced between $15 and $22 dollars (U.S.). While we don’t factor price into our assessment ratings or scores, we do mention this so the consumer is aware. Overall, while this is not an overpowering cigar strength-wise, I’d still recommend this more for an experienced cigar smoker who is looking to expand one’s flavor profile. As for myself, I would smoke the Le Navarre again.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium (Mild to Medium for first third)
Body: Medium to Full (Medium for first third)
Finish: Fair
Assessment: See What You Think
Score: 89

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from Smoke Inn in West Palm Beach, Florida.