The Davidoff Year of the Ox is the tenth installment of the company’s Chinese Zodiac-inspired limited-edition cigars. 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 in the November timeframe and the Davidoff Year of the Ox followed suit with this pattern. The Davidoff Year of the Ox is a 6 x 60 offering. While 6 x 60 cigars are a rarity in the Davidoff portfolio, this is the second 6 x 60 offering in the Davidoff Chinese New Year series following the Year of the Horse for 2014. Today, we take a closer look at the Davidoff Year of the Ox.
The Davidoff Chinese Zodiac series 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 in 2018 as a part of the VAULT Series)
2013: Davidoff Year of the Snake (Re-released in 2017 as a part of the Davidoff VAULT Series)
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
2020: Davidoff Year of the Rat
2021: Davidoff Year of the Ox
Assuming Davidoff continues to complete the cycle through the Chinese Zodiac, the following would be the two remaining releases:
2022 Year of the Tiger
2023 Year of the Rabbit
While Davidoff is the first company to launch a Chinese New Year Series, several other companies have released their interpretations of the Chinese New Year. For the Year of the Ox, there have been releases by not only Davidoff, but Maya Selva Cigars, Plasencia, General, and VegaFina.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Davidoff Year of the Ox and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Davidoff Year of the Ox features a Dominican-grown wrapper over an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Production is handled out of the Davidoff factory in the Dominican Republic.
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Dominican Republic Piloto Viso
- Dominican Republic San Vicente Mejorado Viso
- Dominican Republic Yamasá Viso
- Nicaragua Condega Viso
- Nicaragua Estelí Viso
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
As mentioned above, the Davidoff Year of the Ox is a 6 x 60. The cigars are presented in 10-count boxes. There were 13,500 boxes produced for worldwide distribution – making it the largest release in the Davidoff Zodiac Series to date.
The Dominican wrapper of the Davidoff Year of the Ox had a dark cinnamon color to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oil and there was a slight amount of mottling on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper had a slightly rugged feel to it. There were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Davidoff Year of the Ox. 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 with a gold stripe on the lower end. The gold stripe curves upward on the right stripe. On the red portion, there is an Ox logo. On the gold stripe is the text “YEAR OF THE OX” in gold font.
A straight cut was used to clip the cap of the Davidoff Year of the Ox. After clipping the cap, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco, earth, and cedar. Overall this wasn’t a very flashy pre-light draw, but it was a satisfying one. At this point is was time to toast up the foot of Davidoff Year of the Ox and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Davidoff Year of the Ox continued with the notes of natural tobacco, earth, and cedar on the pre-light draw. This was quickly joined by notes of black pepper, nut, and hay. As the Davidoff Year of the Ox moved through the first third, the natural tobacco, earth, and nut notes became primary. The cedar, pepper, and hay notes settled in the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
The second third picked up the profile of the first third. By the midway point, the nut and natural tobacco notes diminished leaving the earth notes grounded in the forefront. The nut and natural tobacco settled with the black pepper, cedar, and hay notes.
The earth notes remained primary during the final third. The pepper, cedar, hay, natural tobacco, and nut rounded out the flavor profile. Of the secondary notes, the pepper became the most prominent, but it did not overpower the flavor profile. This is the way the Davidoff Year of the Ox came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Davidoff Year of the Ox maintained a straight burn path, but also had a jagged burn line. This was a cigar that required frequent touch-ups along the way. The touch-ups kept the burn on track, but there were slightly more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but it wasn’t loose nor flaky either. Both the burn rate and burn temperature performed at ideal rates.
The draw to the Davidoff Year of the Ox was ideal. It had a touch of resistance – which as I have said many times is something that I prefer. At the same time, this was a low-maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Davidoff Year of the Ox started out with medium strength and medium body. Both attributes increased in intensity and by the second half, the Davidoff Year of the Ox was in medium to full territory for strength and body. The strength and body flattened out in the second half remaining medium to full.
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes balanced each other nicely with neither overshadowing the other.
Over the past nine years, I’ve found the Davidoff Chinese Zodiac series to be a mixed bag. There are some epic smokes like the Snake, Horse, Sheep, and Dog releases. Then there have been the Monkey, Rooster, and Rat releases, which were underwhelming. I’d put the Year of the Ox somewhere in the middle. I smoked the Year of the Ox three times and while the flavors produced have been consistent, the flavors came together very well on one sample, poorly on another, and in the middle for the third. At $40.00, I would expect more consistency from this cigar. In the end, I’d recommend seeing if you could try a sample before deciding if and how many to purchase.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural, Nut, Cedar, Hay, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Davidoff Limited Edition Year of the Ox Coming in November
Brand Reference: Davidoff
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop