2018 marks the 50th anniversary of when Zino Davidoff established the Davidoff White Label brand. While the centerpiece of the 50th anniversary has been the re-release of the Davidoff Diademas Finas as the 50th-anniversary cigar, the company has done other things throughout the year to mark the occasion, including putting special 50th-anniversary bands on select White Label cigars. The Diademas Finas is not the only cigar that made a return. Two other releases that were re-released include the Davidoff Limited Edition 2011 White Edition Belicoso Supremo and the Davidoff Seleccion 702 Limited Edition 2009 – with the latter considered to be one of the iconic releases in Davidoff history. Today we take a closer look at the re-release of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition.
The Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition 2009 derives its name from the “702” wrapper that covers the cigar. This is a Habano wrapper grown in Ecuador exclusively for Davidoff. It originates from Finca San Juan in the Ecuadorian province of Cotopaxi. Last year, Davidoff decided to take the 702 wrapper and use it on some of its popular existing Davidoff White Label brands and thus the Davidoff 702 Series was born. Some mistake the use of the 702 name as a return of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition, but that was not the case. The 2018 release marks the first time the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition has returned.
In addition, there have been other Davidoff and AVO branded releases where this wrapper is found:
- Davidoff 2013 Year of the Snake Edition
- AVO Limited Edition 2012 La Trompeta
- AVO Limited Edition 2015 Classic Covers Volume 1
Blend and Origin
In addition to the 702 wrapper, the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition features a San Vincente binder, and a combination of San Vincente, Piloto Cuban, and Olor tobaccos.
Wrapper: 702 “Habano” from Ecuador
Binder: San Vicente Seco from the Dominican Republic
Filler: San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Seco, Piloto Ligero and Olor Seco from the Dominican Republic
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
The Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition is available in one size – a 6 5/8 x 48 Toro Especial. A total of 2,000 boxes will be produced.
The 702 wrapper of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition has a medium brown color with a Colorado red tint to it. There was a light coating of oil on the surface. There were some visible veins as well as some visible wrapper seams on the surface of the wrapper.
There are two bands on the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition 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, is the text “LIMITED EDITION” in gold font.
The secondary band is also white in color. There is a gold pinstripe near the top of the band, as well as one toward the bottom of the band. On the center of the band is the text “Selección 702″ – also in gold font.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition. After clipping the cap, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of leather with a natural tobacco note. I found a slight amount of bitterness to the natural tobacco. This wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since this activity is not factored into the overall assessment, there was no loss of points. With the pre-light draw completed, it was time to light up the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition and see what the smoking phase would offer.
The Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition started out with a combination of cedar, classic wood, natural tobacco, and black pepper. Early on the cedar notes moved into the forefront. There was a slight creamy texture that emerged, smoothing out the flavor profile. The classic wood, natural tobacco, and black pepper settled in the background. As the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition moved through the first third, there were also some hay notes that surfaced in the forefront. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of hay and black pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third saw the cedar notes remain in the forefront. During this stage, the natural tobacco notes increased. The bitter component to the natural tobacco notes was also present, but it never became overpowering. By the midway point, the natural tobacco joined the cedar in the forefront. There were still notes of classic wood, hay, and black pepper in the background
The last third saw an earthy component join the natural tobacco and cedar in the forefront. Meanwhile there was a slight increase in the black pepper. In the background were touches of classic wood and hay. This is the way the experience of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
In terms of the burn, the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition scored very well. The cigar didn’t have any problems in terms of maintaining a straight burn line and a straight burn path. The resulting ash had a classic salt and pepper color complexion. While this cigar didn’t produce the firmest ash, this was not a loose or flaky ash either. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw to the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition also performed quite well. This draw maintained a nice balance of openness and resistance. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition started out medium. Along the way, there was a slight increase in the strength and body, but it wasn’t enough to go beyond the medium range of the spectrum. As a result, the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition maintained its medium profile from start to finish. Meanwhile, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
I have not smoked the original Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition 2009, so I don’t have a baseline to compare the 2018 edition. What I can say is on merit alone, the 2018 edition of the Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition scores a respectable 89. While respectable, that doesn’t translate to the epic levels I have heard about this cigar. At the same time, at $30.00 it is a pricey cigar. While price doesn’t factor into our merit score, it does have considerations when it comes to value. I’m not opposed to paying $30.00 plus for a Davidoff, but this wouldn’t be the cigar I’d pick to spend the money on. In the end, this is a cigar I’d certainly recommend trying a sample of first if you can, then decide if its in your profile and worth a purchase.
Key Flavors: Cedar, Natural Tobacco, Black Pepper, Classic Wood, Earth, Hay
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: Try a Sample
News: Davidoff Selección 702 Limited Edition 2009 to Return in May
Brand Reference: Davidoff
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted