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Cigar Review: Principle Cigars Aviator Series Cochon Volant

Principle Cigars Aviator Series Cochon Volant




Veteran treasure hunter, Darren Cioffi, developed a deeply rooted passion through years of handling antique tobacco artwork and vintage cigars dating back to the 1870s.

He embarked upon creating a series of Cigars that encompassed the entire beauty of this product, to give harmonious pleasure to all the senses.

Along with Hendrik Kelner Jr., scion of the legendary ‘Henke’ Kelner, the two spent a year and a half selecting tobaccos and working to create blends that met with the vision.

This task took them through several countries, many farms and discussions with countless estate growers.

Cultivated tobaccos were fermented repeatedly to their tastes and put aside until maturity at the very small ‘Kelner Boutique Factory’ in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Production is severely limited, for some vitolas to as few as 10 cigars per day.

Much like Champagne, the blends are tweaked continuously by Darren and Hendrik to maintain the consistency of this vibrant, living product.  -Principle Cigars




Aviator Series

The Aviator Series is a truly artisanal range of cigars made from aged tobacco selected from private estates.

This limited, ongoing production from Principle Cigars is sophisticated, vibrant and delicately-balanced.

Blended by Darren Cioffi, hand-crafted by a small, permanent group of rollers at the Kelner Boutique Factory under the supervision of Hendrik Kelner, Jr.




Available Aviator Series Sizes:

  • Envoi: 5 x 50
  • Cochon Volant: 5 x 65
  • Vainqueur: 6.5 x 56
  • Grande Pyramide: 7.5 x 60





The Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper is MED brown in color with minimal seam, heavy tooth and vein.

At 5 x 65 it’s shaped like a mini trumpet it has a tapered cap with a large covered foot with a mini pig tail in the center.

Two large bands sit on the uniquely shaped vitola.

The primary band is silver depicting a large statue with wings, looking like a large Luftwaffe symbol representing the “Aviator Series” from Principal Cigars.

The band on the footer is white nylon with a blue circular symbol and the words “AVIATOR SERIES” in blue font.

A circular sticker holds the band together with a holographic prop looking like it’s in motion.

Pre-light aroma had notes of floral, sangria and dried fruit.

The cold draw had resistance due to the covered foot producing flavors of leather spice, black tea and cedar.









Heavy resistance off the covered foot opening up after a few draws.

An aroma of heavy cedar off the toasted foot.

Initial flavors of cedar char and bitter raw walnuts.

Once the blend settles in flavors of rich cedar, burnt maple and leather.

Background flavors of cashews and almonds.

The spicy element is in the form of a leather bite rather than any detectable pepper notes.

MED white pepper on the retro evolving into flavors of dried fruit on the finish.




Heading into the second half core flavors of rich cedar, maple sweetness and creamy leather are up front and on point.

Background flavors of assorted roasted nuts most notable almonds and plain cashews.

The leather bite notable at first light has completely dissipated allowing a caveat of earthy rich nuances to dominate the blend thus far.

The retro has decreased with MILD white pepper through the nose with a long finish brown sugar spice.




In the final third flavors of woody cedar, maple sweetness, leather and earth have been dominating the flavor profile since the second half.

Background flavors of assorted roasted nuts with an appearance of sweet tea and floral.

The leather bite notable at first light has re-appeared with minimal effect on the strength profile of the Cochon Volant, which thus far has been consistent in the MILD to MEDIUM bodied wheelhouse.

MED white pepper on the retro with a slight sting of brown sugar char in the finish.




CONSTRUCTION: Uniquely shaped the Cochon Volant was solid with no blemishes, cracks or soft spots.


• BURN: Using extra time to toast the over sized covered footer the burn line was never straight and slightly wavy. At times the wrapper bunched like soft leather in spots separating from the binder self correcting in the final third.


• ASH: The ash was a lighter shade of black holding 2” plus requiring force to tap off.


• CUT: Straight cut all three examples smoked for review.


• DRAW: Heavy resistance off the covered foot transitioning to a milkshake type draw after 10-15 seconds.


• RE-LIGHTS: A few re-lights required for consistent wrapper combustion.


• FIRE: JetLine triple torch.


• STRENGTH: MILD-MED with consistent flavors of rich cedar, earth, floral, sweet tea and dried fruit.




Principle Cigars blipped on my radar last July 2018 with a cigar called “Money to Burn”, with further investigation of the company I discovered the “Aviation Series”.

I would classify the company as “Unique Boutique”.

The Cochon Volant looked different enough and right up my alley.

Recently a chart dissecting the cigar into flavor segments such as “Wood Powder” and “Peppermint” has been surfacing and I didn’t detect any of those flavors.

However, I found the cigar very mild in strength with a minimum leather bite that dissipated almost as fast as it appeared with consistent flavors of cedar, sweet tea and dried fruit.

In the wheelhouse of MILD to MED that will pair well with morning or evening coffee.





Cigar reviewed: Aviator Series Cochon Volant from Principle Cigars

Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars smoked for review: 3

Cigar Smoke Rate: 85

Size: 5 x 65

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Corojo

Binder: Dominican

Filler:  Dominican, Nicaragua, Peru

Factory: Kelner Boutique Factory

Country of origin: Dominican Republic

Photos by: Cigar Smoke


Toar Campbell

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, Stouts, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untappd @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder
Toar Campbell

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