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Stogie Reviews: Winston Churchill Chequers

11 Mar 2009

Davidoff Winston Churchill CigarsThis pricey corona was a gift I smoked after several months in the humidor because it was a pretty day that seemed to call for a lovely cigar. With an Ecuadorian sungrown Connecticut wrapper and a great prelight aroma, this Davidoff-produced stick launched by no less than Sir Winston’s grandson seemed to fill the bill.

As is so often the (annoying) case, getting straight information on the cigar’s composition isn’t easy. The Davidoff site says the four sizes “incorporate four different specially composed tobacco blends,” while the cigar’s site is a little more informative. It refers, without specifics, to all the tobaccos as Dominican, Peruvian, Nicaraguan, and Ecuadorian.

At any rate, the Chequers, a 5.5 inch cigar with a 46 ring gauge, proved to be an interesting smoke. I have seen some criticism calling it a one-dimensional cigar, but I didn’t find it that way. At the light, there was a mixture of roasted nuts and leather. Later, I got some citrus notes, hay, and a little cedar as the strength remained medium. It had a slow burn though the ash was not tight.

Each of the four sizes in the line is named after a place that was significant in Churchill’s life, with a thin secondary identifying band. Chequers is the prime minister’s country home (think of a much older, much grander version of Camp David) that Churchill often visited during World War II and was the site for some of his famous broadcast speeches.

As you would expect from Davidoff, who is in this venture with global giant Swedish Match, the Winston Churchill is expensive. A box of 25 Chequers will run you in the neighborhood of $320 and a single from $12 to $15.

Is it worth the money? Well, you’ll have to make up your own mind about that. After all, one man’s “affordable” is another man’s “outrageous.” I found it to be a good cigar, worthy of four stogies out of five.

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

George E

photo credit: Absolute Cigars

8 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Winston Churchill Chequers”

  1. Smarty Jones Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    Funny that I'd never heard of such an expensive cigar. So is this supposed to be a more premium line from Davidoff?

    I thought Davidoffs were already super-premiums…

  2. dmjones Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    Davidoffs are "super-overpriced." Especially for mild cigars with muted flavors. The time I felt best about a Davidoff was one of their "Private Stock" cigars when I only paid about $4.25 for it.

    As for the Winston Churchill, I got two of the Marrakesh size at the Big Smoke last November. At the time I was living in Southern California and they retail there at about $25 a stick. I smoked one and was thoroughly unimpressed; I found it to be a "good cigar" if you were paying about $5. I'm keeping the second one "on ice" in the humi for a few months and I'll re-visit it and see if there's anything there that I missed the first time.

  3. George E. Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    My review was based, as I hope I explained, mostly on the cigar, not the price. To be honest, I rarely smoke high-dollar cigars. I can't afford them. But some people can, and they might want to try these. As for Davidoff, they are expensive cigars but, unlike some other very expensive lines, Davidoff has a long reputation for quality; operates its own factory, which is usually ranked among the best, with highly skilled, well-paid employees; enforces quality control standards that are among the industry's strictest; and uses aged, top tobaccos. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone is going to like Davidoff cigars. Still, I do think it's reasonable to recognize at least some of what goes into the price of the product. Now, as to whether they're worth the price or not is a decision for the individual smoker.

  4. dmjones Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    No offense intended, George, just putting in my two-cents-worth. I simply can't justify the price of Davidoff cigars when they tend to be so uninteresting in flavor. I'm not opposed to occasionally paying big bucks for a cigar, but it has to be something worth my time and money. In the past couple weeks, for example, I splurged and picked up a Padron 1964 Maduro and a La Flor Dominicana Salomon. I'm quite sure that both will be bursting with flavor and worth the money I paid. Some people may feel that way about Davidoffs or even W. Churchills, but I can't understand why.

  5. George E. Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Absolutely no offense taken by me. I always appreciate readers who take the time to comment. My only intent was to point out that high prices for cigars can come from any of a number of reasons. But no one should assume that a high price will guarantee that you like a cigar.

  6. ROTHNH Friday, March 27, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Naturally, with the current full-bodied, spicy, peppery, strong cigar fad, the mild, even medium cigars too often get a bad beat as their nuances go completely unappreciated by the fans of the current craze. The reality of life is, there are many cigar smokers out there who, like myself, prefer mild, mild-medium and medium cigars over any full-bodied offering. As much hype as DPG/Litto/Rocky/Eiroa cigars receive, cigars like Davidoff's offerings, though pricey for some, remain at the pinnacle of cigar enjoyment for many.

  7. George E. Friday, March 27, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    ROTHNH – You make an excellent point. I know I'm often struck by how much I enjoy a good mild cigar when I light one up. Why I should be surprised, I don't know. Just like I don't know where the idea got started that people should begin smoking mild cigars and "graduate" to stronger ones.

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