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Cigar Review: Davidoff Grand Cru No. 4

13 Jan 2014

Back in 2006 when I was starting to get into cigars, Mike Copperman of Bethesda Tobacco generously donated his time (and cigars) to give me a private session on cigar tasting. Copperman, now the legislative director for Cigar Rights of America, is about as well-versed in the field as anyone. His invaluable—albeit brief—tutelage made a huge impact on me.

Davidoff Grand Cru No. 4I remember tasting cigars with Copperman at his Maryland shop, which today is another DC-area location of W. Curtis Draper. We were on the second floor of Bethesda Tobacco, in a small room with scant ventilation that assured the cigar smoke would hang heavy enough in the air to sting the eyes. On a muggy summer day we sampled sticks that were comprised entirely of Piloto Cubano tobacco, then Viso, then Ligero. Tasting these tobaccos independently instilled a great appreciation for the final cigar, which was a harmonious combination of all three: the Davidoff Grand Cru No. 3.

I didn’t know much about cigars at the time. But, thanks to Copperman, I really adored the Davidoff Grand Cru No. 3. It was a cigar I later reviewed, and it became the first cigar to earn a five-stogie rating on this website, which was only a few months old in the summer of 2006.

Hundreds of cigar reviews and almost eight years later, I still fondly revere the Davidoff Grand Cru line. For reasons including price and the need to constantly smoke different cigars for this website, I don’t smoke the blend often. But when I do, I love it. Flying in the face of today’s obsession with thick smokes, the five Grand Cru vitolas all have ring gauges less than 50. According to Davidoff, “only the Corona shape gives the Grand Cru the ideal ring gauge with which to enjoy this medium-bodied flavor.”

For this review, I bought a five-pack of No. 4s (4.75 x 41) for just under $50. Like the other sizes, the No. 4 is a gorgeous smoke with a clean wrapper, a well-executed cap, and faint pre-light notes of molasses and hay off the foot. After setting the burn with a wooden match, a bright, crisp, mild- to medium-bodied profile emerges with flavors of oak, peanut, cream, and earth. The finish leaves a surprisingly long-lasting sensation of spice on the tip of the tongue. The texture is dry and silky and the combustion properties are perfect.

I’m not sure it’s possible for me to write a completely unbiased review of a Davidoff Grand Cru cigar. Even when I do my best to set aside the memories and nostalgia, I can’t help but arrive at the same conclusion: This is a tremendous blend with exquisite balance and subtlety. Now keep in mind I’ve always had a soft spot for cigars at the milder end of the spectrum. Some cigar enthusiasts live for those full-bodied flavor-bombs and could never imagine paying $10 for a milder smoke—particularly one this small. Not me. I adore the Davidoff Grand Cru No. 4, and I can’t think of a more suitable rating than five stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here. A list of other five-stogie rated cigars can be found here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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