Aviator Series Cochon Volant: An Art Nouveau masterpiece of a cigar
The Cochon Volante from Principle Cigars Aviator Series has been sitting in my humidor for a fair while now. Its striking silver band with an art nouveau winged knight holding a sword always seemed to find its way to the top, constantly enticing me to choose it as my evening smoke. On several occasions I had nearly succumbed to the allure of its Metropolis-style band, holding the piramide vitola in my hand, admiring the pigtail foot and smooth wrapper with a single small vein delicately curving across it.
Every cigar has the right moment to be smoked, and the correct time for the Cochon Volant was on a virtual herf with Cigar Club LDN one Friday evening in late March. Once again I took the cigar out of my humidor, but this time it was with the firm intent to light it up and savour the flavours it had to offer. As I held it in my hand, it felt evenly firm throughout its length. The piramide vitola started at a generous 65 ring gauge at the foot with its fabric band, narrowing to about 50 at the head.
Aromas of caramel and spring grass oozed from the cigar and a quick v-cut allowed rich espresso, freshly cut grass and warm hay to wash over my tongue. I took a few moments to admire the neat pigtail on the closed foot before starting the ritual of lighting and smoking this beautiful looking cigar.
My first draws on the Cochon Volant stopped me in my tracks. I was taken back to childhood when I would skip down to the corner shop and buy a pick and mix, filled mostly with creamy toffee that I would suck wantonly as I dawdled back home. Now don’t get me wrong. This is not a sweet cigar. Nor is it a flavoured one. Rather, this is a cigar that is full of sweet and sumptuous flavours. As I settled back to enjoy good conversation on the virtual herf, I made a conscious decision to make plenty of notes and pay as much attention to the cigar as I could.
With childhood memories dancing through my mind, I took some more leisurely draws and found my mouth filled with moreish cherries drizzled with vanilla cream. I poured myself a generous glass of Bulleit bourbon over a large ball of ice and marvelled at how the humble tobacco leaf could elicit such opulent and varied flavours.
About half and inch in, I decided to have a retrohale of the Cochon Volant and see what other flavours were hiding beneath the sweet and fruity overtones. There have been times that I have very much regretted this decision so early on in a cigar’s life, but I was rewarded with super smooth honey roasted hazelnut praline. This left me wondering where the cigar could go from here and whether Principle Cigars had packed all of their best flavours into the first third and if the remaining 4.5 inches would be rather lacklustre. I needn’t have worried as the cigar had plenty of treats in store for me.
Heading into the middle of the Cochon Volant, the fruity notes remained and I felt almost as if I was eating a plate of summer fruits that had been soaked in honey and vanilla with a scrunch of Himalayan sea salt added to balance the sweetness. I leant back a little more and took some time out of the conversation to focus on the smoke. The texture was smooth and creamy, and as I sighed it out, I watched it morph into gentle summer clouds before dissolving into the ether. This truly was a gorgeous cigar to smoke, and I was barely halfway through.
The final third of the cigar coincided with the last sip of my bourbon so it was time for a top up. Being rather too relaxed, comfortable and engrossed in the current topic of conversation to be bothered to walk to a different room to retrieve the Bulleit, I opted to lean over to the nearer cupboard that was filled with whisky and rum and grabbed the nearest bottle I could find which happened to be Glenfairn Caribbean Reserve. Sometimes being lazy pays off because this was the ideal pairing for the remainder of the Cochon Volant.
An intense nuttiness signalled the start of the final third. The sweet fruits that had been present all the way through the cigar also intensified and the overall flavour got progressively richer. Right from first lighting, the burn and construction on the Cochon Volant had been perfect. The light grey ash was sitting in my ashtray in exquisite 1.5 inch sections, holding the piramide shape and telling a story of the vitola.
Right at the close of this delectable work of art also known as the Cochon Volant, I got a mouthful of apricot jam on French toast. This was a suitably extravagant close to a truly memorable cigar that I very much hope to enjoy again and will more than likely make it to my top cigars of the year.
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Aviator Series Cochon Volant Cigar Details
- Origin: USA
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo
Aviator Series Cochon Volant Review Summary
This was a beautiful looking cigar with a smooth flavour from beginning to end that was exciting and delicious to smoke
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