Each year fans of Davidoff Cigars have looked forward to the company’s Chinese Zodiac-inspired limited edition cigar. Each year these cigars feature a different blend in a different size with exquisite packaging reflecting the particular Zodiac theme. The Chinese New Year falls between January 21st and February 20th, but typically Davidoff has released the Zodiac around Thanksgiving in the prior calendar year. The year 2019 is the Year of the Pig and not unexpectedly, the Zodiac release slated for 2019 was the Davidoff Year of the Pig release. Today we take a closer look at that cigar.
The series actually launched in 2012 with a small “Year of the Dragon” release for the Asian market. In 2013, the series became a more global offering with the release of the Year of the Snake.
2012: Davidoff Year of the Dragon (Limited, small release for Asian market, re-released late last year)
2013: Davidoff Year of the Snake
2014: Davidoff Year of the Horse
2015: Davidoff Year of the Sheep
2016: Davidoff Year of the Monkey
2017: Davidoff Year of the Rooster
2018: Davidoff Year of the Dog
2019: Davidoff Year of the Pig
Assuming Davidoff continues to annually cycle through the Chinese Zodiac, the following would be the four remaining releases,
2020 Year of the Rat
2021 Year of the Ox
2022 Year of the Tiger
2023 Year of the Rabbit
As for the series itself, most of the Chinese Zodiac Series has been among the higher-rated Davidoff cigars in the history of the Cigar Coop brand. In 2013, the Year of the Snake and Year of the Horse finished as the #2 and #17 cigars for the year, respectively. In 2014, the Year of the Sheep ranked as the #13 Cigar of the Year. Last year, the Year of the Dog came in at #22.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Davidoff Year of the Pig Limited Edition 2019 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Year of the Pig is a multi-national blend highlighted by a Habano Ecuador 2000 wrapper over a San Andres binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. It is also noteworthy that the Ecuadorian wrapper was used on a U.S. release, and a separate Year of the Pig was released into the International market utilizing a Dominican Yamasá wrapper.
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador 2000
Binder: Negro San Andres from Mexico
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí Ligero, Condega Seco), Dominican (Piloto Visus, Hybrid Olor/Piloto Visus and Piloto Seco)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
The Davidoff Year of the Pig is available in one size – a 6 x 56 Toro. Next to 2014’s Davidoff Year of the Horse, this is the second largest ring gauge that has been seen in the Zodiac series.
The cigars are packaged in ten-count boxes and a total of 9,300 boxes were produced.
The Habano Ecuador 2000 wrapper of the Davidoff Year of the Pig is one of the darker ones I’ve seen on a Davidoff product. It has a milk chocolate color with a slight mahogany tint. Upon closer examination, there was some subtle mottling on the surface. The darker color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. This was a wrapper that had a slightly bumpy surface. There were some visible veins. The cap of the cigar is finished with a short “pig” tail.
There are two bands on the Davidoff Year of the Pig. The first band uses the design of the Davidoff White label band. It features the name “Davidoff” in classic cursive gold 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.”
The second band is primarily red in color with gold accents. In the center of the band is the text “YEAR OF THE PIG” in gold font.
Instead of pulling off the pig-tail cap of the Davidoff Year of the Pig, a straight cut was used that removed the cap and pig-tail concurrently. From that point, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of chocolate, leather, and some floral notes. This was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Davidoff Year of the Pig and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Davidoff Year of the Pig started out with short spurt of black pepper and natural tobacco. As the pepper subsided some notes of coffee, fruit, and baker’s spice emerged. The coffee joined the natural tobacco in the forefront. The pepper, fruit, and baker’s spice settled in the background. While there was an additional layer of black pepper and baker’s spice on the retro-hale, the spice was not overpowering by any means.
Toward the latter part of the first third, the coffee notes subsided and fell in the background leaving the natural tobacco notes in the forefront. The coffee notes were now background notes joining the black pepper and baker’s spice. This continued throughout most of the second third. During the second third, the fruit sweetness also subsided.
The last third saw the natural tobacco remain grounded in the forefront. The pepper notes increased and became a close secondary note. There were still notes of coffee and baker’s spice present. This is the way the Davidoff Year of the Pig came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Davidoff Year of the Pig had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but this was more cosmetic as opposed to problemsome. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm. There also was a slight amount of flaking along the way. This was an ash that was a silvery-gray color to it. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw to the Davidoff Year of the Pig performed very well. This was a cigar that had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Davidoff Year of the Pig started out as a medium strength, medium to full-bodied smoke. By the midway point, there was an increase in strength that pushed the cigar’s strength into medium to full territory. As for the body, it had a slight increase along the way, but in the end, didn’t reach the threshold of full-bodied.
In terms of where the Davidoff Year of the Pig ranks in Davidoff’s Zodiac series, I put it somewhere in the middle. There certainly have been ones I have enjoyed more, and there certainly have been ones that have been disappointments. The flavors of the Davidoff Year of the Pig were enjoyable – not off the chart amazing, but still enjoyable. I also didn’t find this to be an overly complex smoke.
This is s a cigar I would recommend to a novice or seasoned enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would purchase and smoke again, but at a near $40.00 price point, I probably wouldn’t pick up more.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Natural Tobacco, Pepper, Baker’s Spice, Fruit
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Minus
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Davidoff Year of the Pig to be Released in November
Brand Reference: Davidoff
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted