In 2020, Davidoff Cigars went back to its past and re-released a limited edition known as the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana. This was a cigar that was positioned as a part of Davidoff’s “Vintage Series,” but in reality, it was at the time another installment of Davidoff reaching into its past and re-releasing a limited edition cigar. The “Special <<53>>” is because the cigar itself is a perfecto that at its plumpest position has a 53 ring gauge. The Capa Dominicana refers to the fact that the Special <<53> uses a Dominican wrapper. In fact, the Special <<53>>is a Dominican puro. Today we take a closer look into the re-release of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana.
The first Davidoff Special <<53>> was released back in 2002. At the time, it still was very much a challenge to create a premium all-Dominican cigar – specifically because of the difficulty of getting the wrapper. At the time the 2020 edition of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana was released; Edward Simon, Chief Marketing Officer at Oettinger Davidoff commented, “It is the pioneering spirit of our founder Zino Davidoff that the craftsmen at Davidoff relentlessly seek to mirror in their daily achievements. When challenged with crafting a blend of 100% Dominican tobaccos back in the 1990’s they set on a journey to identify suitable areas, cultivating soils and developing hybrid seeds that would yield tobaccos fit for the challenge. After nearly 20 years that journey found its completion in 2002 when our master blenders had turned these tobaccos into the beautiful and refined Special 53 – Capa Dominicana cigar.”
Without further ado, let’s break down the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned, the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana contains all Dominican tobaccos. The fillers contain a combination of San Vincente, Piloto, and Olor tobaccos – which are synonymous with many Davidoff blends.
Binder: Dominican (San Vicente Seco)
Filler: Dominican (San Vicente Seco, Piloto Ligero, Olor Seco from the Dominican Republic)
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
The Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana comes in one size – a 6 1/8 x 53 Perfecto. The cigar is available in two presentations: ten-count boxes; and a five-count box available for global travel retail. The total production was limited to 9,750 ten-count boxes and 1,875 five-count boxes.
The Dominican wrapper of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana had a medium brown color with a Colorado tint to it. There was some oil on the surface of the wrapper. Upon closer examination, there also was subtle mottling present on the surface as well. There also were some thin, visible veins and thin, visible seams. Being a perfecto, the cigar is tapered on both ends. The tapering toward the footer was much steeper and converges to a very small area.
There are two bands on the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana. The primary 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 secondary band is white with gold pinstripes near the top and bottom edges. In between those pinstripes is the text “SPECIAL <<53>>” in gold font.
The cigar experience of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana was commenced using a CREDO Special T cutter. This has a 38 ring gauge cutter and by cutting it, I can still get enough tapering to enjoy the smoking experience. From that point, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered notes of cedar, classic wood, and leather. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since this component is not part of the assessment score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to light up the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana and see what this smoking phase would have in store.
The Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana started out with notes of sweet natural tobacco, earth, and red pepper. The sweet natural tobacco became the primary note early on. Notes of nut and cedar emerged in the background with the cedar more prominent on the finish. Once the cigar burned through the tapered section, the cedar became more prominent and emerged as a primary note with the natural tobacco. The retro-hale delivered an additional layer of pepper – this one of the black pepper varietal.
During the second third of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana, the natural tobacco and cedar remained primary. A savory component also was present within the forefront. Meanwhile, earth, pepper, and nut remained in the background. The pepper notes started to increase throughout the second third. It was now a mix of black and red pepper.
By the final third, the pepper notes joined the cedar in the forefront. While there was a definite spice edge, it wasn’t quite overpowering. The natural tobacco, earth, and nut flavors in the background helped round things out. This is the way the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana had excellent construction and this was reflected on both the burn and draw. The burn maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was silver-gray and firm in texture. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw of the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana had what my colleague Ben Lee at The Smoking Syndicate refers to as the “milkshake draw.” It has that touch of resistance that makes for an ideal smoke. At the same time, this was a cigar that was low maintenance in terms of deriving flavor.
Strength and Body
The Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana started out as a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke. For the most part, the strength remained relatively constant throughout the smoking experience. As for the body, it did spike up just before the last third. When looking at strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience.
The way the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana started out I had high hopes as it started out with some really good flavors. However as the Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana moved into a second third, it got more ordinary. The cigar had excellent construction and enough complexity to keep me interested. Overall this is not a bad smoke. but I was still hoping for more. The Davidoff Special <<53>> Capa Dominicana carries a hefty price point of $32.00. Excluding price, on merit, this cigar pulls in a respectable 89 point score. In terms of a value rating, with a $32.00 price point, this is one of those cigars that I would recommend trying a sample before deciding whether it’s worth it to you to purchase one or more.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cedar, Earth, Red Pepper, Savory Notes, Nut
Complexity: Medium Plus
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Davidoff Special «53» Capa Dominicana Returns in July
Brand Reference: Davidoff
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted