|Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary|
At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, Davidoff showcased a cigar to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary in the United States. The cigar is appropriately titled, “Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary”. Prior to the trade show, we noted an appearance by Davidoff North America President Jim Young on Kiss My Ash Radio where he announced a pair of limited edition commemorative cigars. In addition to the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary, there is also a different cigar to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the flagship Davidoff of Madison Avenue store in New York. Today, we focus on the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary. Overall, I found this to be another solid limited edition cigar that should keep Davidoff fans satisfied.
This cigar traces back to a point in Davidoff’s history where they made a major change in direction of the company. Davidoff was in a partnership with Cubatabaco, the Cuban state run tobacco company. In the late 1980s, the relationship strained over product quality and legal issues. By 1989, Davidoff president Zino Davidoff made a decision to end the relationship. In fact, in August of 1989, Zino himself publicly burned 100,000 of the Davidoff Cuban cigars that he considered to be of low quality. A decision was made to transition production to the Dominican Republic. This lead to the formation of Davidoff of Geneva. In 1990, the first Dominican Davidoff was released and was soon made available in the United States. By 1991 the Davidoff Cuban cigars were discontinued.
The big question is in terms of why 2013 for the 25th anniversary as 1989 is 24 years ago. With a late 2013 release, I’ll infer there was some latitude with the anniversary date and the release date.
At this point, let’s take a closer look at the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Davidoff 25th Anniversary is a Dominican puro. Davidoff is using its proprietary wrapper from the Yamasa region of the Dominican Republic for this cigar. Yamasa region wrappers have been found on the Davidoff Masters Edition 2013 Club House Toro, Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012, and the Davidoff Puro D’Oro.
Wrapper: Dominican Yamasa
The Davidoff 25th Anniversary is a limited production cigar available in one size – a 5 x 56 robusto. The cigars are packaged in boxes of ten and a total of 3,000 boxes are being produced. The 5 x 56 continues a recent trend of Davidoff making cigars with a larger ring gauge. In fact. Davidoff is producing their first 6 x 60 with the soon to be released (at press time) Davidoff Year of the Horse 2014 Limited Edition.
|Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary
(Cigar Coop IPCPR Photo)
The Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary’s Yamasa wrapper is very similar in color and complexion to the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012‘s wrapper. It has a medium brown color with what I describe as a “darker shade of caramel”. The wrapper seams are well hidden and there are also a couple of visible veins.
There are two bands on the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary. It also has a similar scheme to 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 “DAVIDOFF OF GENEVA” in gold font. Under it, it says “25th Anniversary”. Remainder of the band with gold pinstripes.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary, I opted to go with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. It was then on to the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw notes provided a mix of black pepper, natural tobacco sweetness, and some classic Davidoff grassy notes. Overall I thought this was a solid pre-light draw. I was now ready to light up the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary and see what this cigar would deliver.
While I drew some comparisons early on to the the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2012 cigar in terms of appearance, I did find a very different cigar with the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary.
The Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary started out with a short and moderate shot of pepper. The pepper quickly subsided and was joined by grassy notes and some caramel sweetness. There also were some background nut flavors that surfaced. While the grass notes were primary, the caramel sweetness complemented it very nicely. Meanwhile the pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale.
In the early part of the second third, the grass and caramel flavors were still primary while the pepper was now in the background with the nut flavors. As the cigar moved into the second half, the caramel receded into the background and the pepper inched its way into the forefront.
In the final stages, the pepper and grass notes took over. The caramel sweetness played less and less a role. Without the sweetness, the flavors were a little rougher with some bitterness. This is the way the cigar experience closed. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary performed very well. The burn line remained relatively straight. There was some jaggedness from time to time, but the burn was never in any danger of canoeing or tunneling. The resulting ash was tight. It started out with a darker salt and pepper color, but it got whiter as the cigar burned. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary|
The draw was stellar. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something I really like. In my book, the draw made the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary an ideal cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Davidoff has a reputation for making medium strength and medium-bodied cigars. In recent years, I believe they have tried to amp things up a bit in both of these categories. The Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary falls into this category. Both the strength and body start out medium, but by the second half, the cigar progressed to medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied. There was never a point where this cigar overpowered with nicotine or flavor weight. The balance between strength and body was outstanding as both attributes complemented each other perfectly.
Overall, the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary was a very nice cigar. The only disappointing thing was some of the harshness I got toward the end of the cigar. The Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary’s blend seemed very well suited for the 56 ring gauge. At no time did I feel this ring gauge was “too big”. The price point to the Davidoff of Geneva 25th Anniversary is $22.00. While I did not factor price into the final rating and score, I do mention this for informational purposes. I believe if someone is a core Davidoff fan – whether experienced or novice, they should get the most out of this cigar. As for myself, while the end wasn’t ideal, this majority of the cigar was still enough for me to keep five or so in my humidor to smoke.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Source: The cigars for this assessment were provided by Davidoff Cigars. One cigar was pre-release at the Davidoff Golden Band Awards 2013 dinner.