22 Jul 2013
And so it begins: The flurry of reviews about cigars that debuted at the IPCPR Trade Show. I remember flying back home from Las Vegas, thinking about which cigar to light up first.
It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that I chose the new Davidoff Nicaragua blend. First off, it’s a Davidoff. While I don’t smoke many cigars from this super-premium cigar maker, I definitely enjoy the ones I can afford every so often. Second, it’s crafted by Hendrik “Henke” Kelner, a master who also blends cigars for PG and is one of the best in the business. And finally, with a price point of about $10-17, you’d expect this to be one fine smoke.
Davidoff Nicaragua is a stark departure for the brand, and not just because the black band is strikingly different from the white ones that adorn other Davidoff smokes. This is Davidoff’s first Nicaraguan line—a Nicaraguan puro, to be exact. “This is a major step for Davidoff to expand to a new territory,” said CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard in a press release. “Davidoff’s mission is to bring aficionados delightful experiences regardless of territory.”
This particular experience is derived from a 10-year-old Habano Rosado wrapper, a Jalapa binder, and filler tobaccos from Estelí, Condega, and Ometepe. It is offered in three formats: Short Corona (3.75 x 46), Robusto (5 x 50), and Toro (5.5 x 54).
The Toro is a gorgeous, reddish cigar with few veins and plenty of tooth. The feel is moderately firm from the foot to the beautiful cap. Pre-light notes are of syrup and damp earth.
In many of Kelner’s cigars I often find a light, mushroom-like flavor. Davidoff Nicaragua is no exception. After establishing an even light, the slightly peppery core is joined with background notes of creamy mushroom and dry wood. The texture is heavy yet the nicotine kick is minimal and the spice is muted.
After the first third, the Toro increases in intensity as tastes of espresso and bitter chocolate enter the equation. Traces of sweetness come and go to provide a little balance. All the while the draw is smooth, the smoke production solid, and the gray ash firm. The burn line does tend to wander, though, so touch-ups here and there are necessary to keep an even light.
This is a solid blend and one that provides some welcome diversification for the Davidoff portfolio. I may be a little unconvinced the construction and complexity are outstanding enough to justify the exclusive price. Taking all this and several samples into consideration, I’ve arrived at a rating of four stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys