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Stogie Reviews: Davidoff Maduro R

8 Dec 2008

This past summer, Davidoff announced it would be releasing the first maduro cigar in the company’s storied history. The announcement caught many, including myself, by surprise. After all, Davidoff’s strength is generally considered to be its complexity and balance often in mild to medium cigars. Maduro wrappers present significant challenges to that formula, not to mention that Davidoff’s master blender Henke Kelner is reportedly not a fan of maduro cigars.

Still maybe the introduction of Davidoff’s first maduro should not have been a complete surprise. I’m just speculating here, but given Davidoff’s special connection with the Cuban Cohiba brand, maybe we should have expected Davidoff to follow when Cohiba introduced its first Maduros under the Cohiba line in 2007. (The introduction of Cohiba’s Siglo line in 1992 was widely considered to be a move to replace Davidoff’s Cuban lines, after Davidoff stopped making cigars in Cuba following disputes with the Cuban government.) More than any other non-Cuban company, Davidoff directly competes with Cohiba and other handmade Cuban cigars, so the move may be a reaction to competition from the new Cuban maduros.

But no matter the impetus for the cigar, it is one of the new releases that I was most looking forward to reviewing. The cigar is a five inch by 52 ring gauge robsuto (the maduro is only offered in the robusto), and it consists of a Dominican wrapper and a San Vincente binder with a sungrown Nicaraguan Cuban-seed “natural maduro” wrapper from the Jalapa Valley.

The maduro wrapper is the color of dark roasted coffee beans. Before lighting, I notice cocoa and vanilla bean flavors.

Once lit, I’m greeted with a combination of classic Davidoff flavors—balanced cedar and coffee—along with some new flavors including a little, though not an overwhelming amount, of the classic maduro sweetness. I also notice hints of charred oak, banana peel, and maybe even saffron.

Both cigars I smoked for this review developed uneven burns, but both self-corrected before they became problems. Besides that, the construction was flawless, with a predictably easy draw and firm, sturdy ash. One word of advice: Take this cigar slowly. Rush it and the rich, balanced flavors will develop a bitter edge.

While there wasn’t much variation as the cigar progressed, the complexity of the flavor was more than enough to keep me interested. And it strikes me as a cigar with some tremendous aging potential.

I paid $15 each for these cigars, which is in line with Davidoff’s MO. At that price you expect a superior cigar and it delivers, though it still doesn’t gain any points for value.

Those who enjoyed the Millennium Blend, another fuller-flavored Davidoff, should definitely give this cigar a try. As should fans of maduro cigars, particularly those who think that maduros need to have overpowering sweetness or must be one dimensional.

For this well-balanced blend of the best of maduro and classic Davidoff flavors, the Davidoff Maduro R receives a rating of four and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Davidoff Maduro R”

  1. furious Monday, December 8, 2008 at 4:37 am #

    I picked up one of these while in Manhattan recently and I cannot wait to light it up. Also I smoked a 20th anniversary robusto that was specifically made for the Manhattan location and it was excellent. Traditional Davidoff flavor profile and excellent construction.

  2. GeorgeH Monday, December 8, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    My local BM recently became a Davidoff stockist and I have been exploring the line. I must say that I really enjoy Davidoff – particularly the Grand Cru #3, Anniversario #3, Special T and the Entreacto. I haven't tried the maduro but will do so based upon this review.

  3. Daniel Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Classic Davidoff flavors.

    Not sure if I would go for this, especially if it’s a maduro. The sweetness, however, is something I would go for. Maybe I’ll give it a try. But for $15, it’s a gamble.

    …then again, it’s Davidoff.

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