Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013

The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 is a cigar that is a limited edition cigar that was awarded to those retailers that were recipients of a 2013 Golden Band Award.  The awards program is meant to honor and the company’s best Appointed Merchants that according to Davidoff “truly embody the Davidoff Standard of Excellence”.  The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 marks the second year in a row the company has awarded a special cigar to those retailers that received the award.  While it’s unclear how different the blend is, the 2013 edition is a smaller vitola than the Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2012 edition.  Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 edition.  My overall impression of this year’s cigar is very similar to last year’s edition.  It’s a good cigar and one that is certainly on-par with many other Davidoff limited editions.

This year the Davidoff Golden Band Awards were presented at two separate events.  The first in July, 2013 t Davidoff’s Black Tie Dinner in Las Vegas Nevada during the IPCPR Trade Show.  The second was during the Davidoff Horse Race as a part of the festivities of Inter-Tabac Tradeshow in Dortmund, Germany this past September.

We covered the U.S. version of this awards as a part of our 2013 IPCPR coverage.  The following lists the award winners for both the U.S. and Europe.

U.S. Awards

Best Merchandising: Prime Cigar & Wine Bar (Boca Raton, FL)
Best Davidoff Performance (Single Location): The Tobacconist of Greenwich (Greenwich, CT)
Best Davidoff Performance (Multiple Locations): Ambassador Fine Cigars (Scottsdale, AZ)
Davidoff Growth Award (Single Location): Angry Moon Cigars (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Davidoff Growth Award (Multiple Locations): Corona Cigar (Orlando, FL)
Industry Service Award: Finnie Helmuth, The Humidour Cigar Shoppe (Cockeysville, MD), Curt Diebel, Diebel’s Sportsmens Gallery  (Kansas City, MO), Gary Pech, Old Virginia Tobacco (Woodbridge, VA)
Appointed Merchant of the Year: Maxamar Cigar (Orange, CA)
Zino Davidoff Legacy Award: David Berkebile, Georgetown Tobacco (Washington, DC)

European Awards

Best Davidoff Performance Award: Edward und Eddie Sahakian, Davidoff of London, UK
Best Davidoff Merchandising Award: Mirko Pettene, Max Zechbauer Tabakwaren, Munich, Germany
Davidoff Newcomers Award: Bogdan Ciocarlan, Davidoff of Geneva Banesa Shopping City, Budapest, Romania
Davidoff Depositaire Of The Year: Aram Manukyan, Davidoff Moscow, Russia
Zino Davidoff Legacy Award: Urs Portmann, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland

Without further ado, let’s break down the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 edition and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

It isn’t clear whether or not the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 cigar is different than the 2012 edition. This cigar is a Dominican puro using a wrapper grown in the Yamasá region of the Dominican Republic.  Wrapper from this region has been used on many special Davidoff-branded releases over the past year including: Davidoff 2014 Year of the Horse the Davidoff of Geneva 25th AnniversaryDavidoff Madison Avenue 25th Anniversary, Davidoff Masters Edition 2013 Club House Toro,  the upcoming Avo Limited Edition 2014 cigar, and the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar.

Wrapper: Dominican Yamasá
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Vitolas Available

The Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2012 cigar is made in one size – a 5 1/2 x 52 robusto.  This is smaller than the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 which was  5 3/4 x 54 sized cigar.

Appearance

The Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2013 has a medium brown colored wrapper that almost has a wood/oak color to it.  There is some oil on the surface of this wrapper.  While it is light in terms of the amount of visible veins and visible wrapper seams, the wrapper itself also has a bit of a bumpy feel to it.

There are two bands on the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 cigar.  The first band is similar to the classic Davidoff White label.  It features the name “Davidoff” in classic cursive gold-colored font on an oval field of white.  There are small gold circles going around the perimeter of the oval.  The word “GENEVE” (in gold font) flanks to the right of the oval field.  To the left of the oval it features the text “GENEVA” – in gold font.

The second band rests just below the primary band.  It is also white in color with the text “GOLDEN BAND AWARDS” (no year)  in gold font with gold pinstripes.  It does not contain the year like the Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2012 cigar.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Prior to lighting up the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 cigar, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut.  After removing the cap, I proceeded with the pre-light draw phase.  The dry draw was pretty much classic Davidoff as it provided a mix of grass, natural tobacco, and light black pepper notes.  Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw.  It was now time to light up my Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2013 cigar and see what the smoking phase would have in store.

Flavor Profile

When reviewing the flavor profile of the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 cigar, I did find some parallels to the Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar, but the 2013 did provide its own story as well.

The start to the Davidoff Golden Band Awards provided notes of grass and black pepper.  There was a sweetness in the background that I could not quite draw an analogy to.  Meanwehile I picked up black pepper on the retro-hale, but it was not a very sharp sweetness.  As the cigar moved through the first half, the sweetness joined the grass and pepper notes in the forefront.  The three flavors alternated throughout the first half as to which had the upper hand.

In the second half, the pepper and grass was joined by a classic natural tobacco flavor.  The sweetness I had been picking up throughout the experience now receded into the background.  This is the way the flavor profile held until the end of the cigar.  In the later stages, I did pick up a few harsh notes at the end.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Overall I found the burn to be good, but short of excellent.  The burn in the first third was low maintenance in terms of touch-ups.  By the second third, I found the Davidoff Golden Bands 2013 needed frequent touch-ups to keep the burn going straight – more touch-ups than I prefer.  The resulting ash was on the firm side.  It had a silvery gray color with some darker speckles in it.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013

The draw was excellent.  I didn’t find the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013’s draw to be too loose or too tight.  It was a very easy cigar to smoke from start to finish.

Strength and Body

From both a strength and body perspective,  I found the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 to be a medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied cigar.  I found this cigar had a little more strength and body than the 2012 edition right out of the gate.  While the 2012 edition increased in strength and body, I found the 2013 edition to hold its strength and body.  Both attributes balance each other nicely with neither the strength nor body overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

From a flavor standpoint, I liked how the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 performed – and I thought the way the flavor notes balanced each other was even better than the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar.  While this wasn’t a problem-some burn, it didn’t perform at the level the 2012 edition – or many other Davidoffs perform.   This cigar carries a price point higher than $20.00, so my expectations were high here.  Still, this is a cigar I would recommend to Davidoff fans and experienced cigar enthusiasts.  While it might have a little more kick for a novice, I certainly would not discourage the novice from trying this.  As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and one that I would keep five in my humidor.

Summary

Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 90

References

Price: $21.95
Source: Purchased
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