Davidoff Golden Band Award Cigar – 2012

The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 is a cigar that is a limited edition cigar that was awarded to those retailers that were recipients of a 2012 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”.  2012 marked the first year that Davidoff introduced this program.   The awards consist of several categories and there were a grand total of eleven Davidoff Appointed Merchants that received the award.  Recently, I visited one of the shops (W. Curtis Draper) that was a recipient of this award and have had an opportunity to sample the awarded cigar – the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012.  Overall, I did find it to be a good cigar, and one that is certainly on-par with many of the other Davidoff limited editions.

The 2012 Golden Band Awards were presented at the Davidoff Black Tie Dinner in Orlando Florida during the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show.  The following are the award categories along with the retail and individual award recipients.  I cannot confirm which of these retailers still have this cigar, but these were the only ones who could receive this cigar.

Best Merchandising
Island Smoke Shop (Key Largo, FL)

Best Davidoff Performance (Single Location)
The Tobacconist of Greenwich (Greenwich, CT)
Best Davidoff Performance (Multiple Locations)
Humidor Of Westmont  (Westmont, IL)

Davidoff Growth Award (Single Location)
Ambassador Fine Cigars (Scottsdale, AZ)

Davidoff Growth Award (Multiple Locations)
Cigars by Chivas (Pasadena, CA)

Industry Service Award
John Andersson, W. Curtis Draper (Washington, DC)
Craig Cass, Tinder Box of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
Jeff Borysiewicz, Corona Cigar (Orlando, FL)
Christian Hutson, Just for Him Cigars (Springfield, MO)

Appointed Merchant of the Year
Tinder Box Waldorf (Waldorf, MD)

Zino Davidoff Legacy Award
Diana Silvius, UpDown Cigars (Chicago, IL)

Let’s take a closer look at the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar and see what it brings to the table.

Blend Profile

There isn’t a lot known about the blend.  I’ve seen some conflicting information.  The cigar was described to me as a Dominican puro.  Halfwheel.com reports the wrapper is the Yamasa wrapper. Yamasa is a region in the southern part of the Dominican Republic.

Wrapper: Dominican
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican

Vitolas Available

The Davidoff Golden Bands Award 2012 cigar is made in one size – a 5 3/4 x 54 sized parejo.


The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar has a medium brown color that I describe as a “shade of caramel”.  Upon closer examination, you can see some darker marbling.  There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper.  Most of the wrapper seams are well hidden and there are also a couple of visible veins.

There are two bands on the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 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 2012” in gold font with gold pinstripes.

Preparation for Cigar Experience

For my smoking experience of the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut.  Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw.  There were no surprises on the dry draw as I detected the classic Davidoff flavors of hay, grass, and natural tobacco sweetness.  Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory.  At this point I was ready to light up the Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar and see what the overall smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 also started out with a classic Davidoff profile.  The start yielded notes of pepper, grass, and some background natural tobacco sweetness. The grass and natural tobacco sweetness moved into the forefront during the early stages.  The pepper flavors would diminish and become a background flavor.  I also detected some toast notes in the background as well.  The retro-hale produced a classic Davidoff black pepper.

The flavor profile above held throughout the first half.  As the Golden Band Awards cigar moved into the second half the grass notes receded into the background and the pepper notes started to increase in intensity.  The pepper eventually joined the natural tobacco sweetness in the forefront. The grass and toast notes continued to be background notes.  In the latter stages of the smoke, the pepper emerged as the primary flavor.  The end of the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 was spicy, but not harsh.  The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012  cigar has excellent construction.  It has the type of construction I would expect from an ultra-premium, “award” cigar.  This is reflected in both the burn and draw attributes of this cigar.  The burn line did meander a little, but for the most part, it needed minor touch-ups and never was in any danger of canoeing or tunneling.  The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color with some dark spots.  The ash also remained on the firm side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.


Burn of the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 Cigar

The draw to the Davidoff Golden Band Award 2012 was excellent.  It was not too tight, yet not too loose.  It made this cigar a real joy to puff on.

Strength and Body

From a strength perspective, the Davidoff Golden Band Award 2012 cigar starts out as a medium strength cigar.  The strength slowly increases and by the second half, it crosses into the medium to full strength range.  Overall, it never developed into a nicotine bomb and remained in the medium to full range until the very end.

Meanwhile the depth of the flavors start out with a similar pattern.  The flavors start off medium-bodied.  By the second half, the flavors are medium to full-bodied.  I found the depth of these flavors to be just right for this particular blend.  Overall, there is great balance between the strength and body with neither attribute overshadowing the other.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 was a very nice release by Davidoff.   Davidoff has recently given out their 2013 Golden Band Awards and has not disclosed information on what cigar those retailers will carry, so it’s possible that supplies of this cigar will dwindle.  I thought the 54 ring robusto extra format worked very well for this particular blend.   This cigar seems in-line with many of the other Davidoff limited editions.  These aren’t going to be flavor transition machines, but they are going to deliver some nice flavors.  The Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 is the kind of cigar that can be enjoyed by either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast.  It does carry a higher price point (around $20.00 – depending on your state).  While price was not factored into this assessment rating, this is mentioned for informational purposes.  As for myself, this is a cigar definitely worth investing a 5 pack of for the future.  It certainly is a cigar I would smoke again.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 90

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from W. Curtis Draper in Bethesda, Maryland