Davidoff – The Chefs Edition 2021 was the third installment of its Davidoff Chefs Edition series. The Davidoff Chefs Edition is a limited edition project that was launched in 2016. It’s a project that brings together the world of cigar making with the culinary arts. For this project, Davidoff brings together a group of leading chefs to collaborate with its blending team to produce a cigar. The two previous installments were some of the higher acclaimed cigars on Cigar Coop. The first blend, the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2016 earned #4 Cigar of the Year honors in 2016 (and was re-released the following year). The Davidoff Chefs Edition 2018 would also do quite well earning #9 Cigar of the Year honors that same year. Today we turn our attention to the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 and see how this cigar stacks up.
Each of the three installments of the Davidoff Chefs Edition series consists of a different blend, a different size, and a different group of chefs who were brought into the blend development process with the Davidoff team. For 2021, these chefs included:
- Norbert Niederkofler (co-owner Food Space & Restaurant Alpina, Italy)
- Juan Amador (Amador Restaurant, Vienna)
- Masa Takayama (Masa, New York City)
- Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil, Mexico City)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 and see what this cigar brings to the table:
Blend and Origin
The blend for the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 features a Hybrid 238 wrapper from Ecuador over a San Andres Mexican binder and Dominican fillers.
Wrapper: Hybrid 238 from Ecuador
Binder: Negro San Andreas Seco from Mexico
Filler: Piloto Seco, San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Visus and Hybrid 192 Seco from the Dominican Republic
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
The cigar comes in one size – a 7 x 48 Churchill. The cigars are presented in unique ten-count packaging. The ceramic base can be used as an ashtray while the wooden lid can be used as a serving tray for spirit glasses and cigar accessories. A total of 9,700 of these ten-count units were produced.
The Hybrid 238 wrapper of the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 had a medium brown color with a Colorado tint to it. On the surface of the wrapper, there was some oil present. In addition, there were some visible wrapper seams as well as some visible veins.
There are two bands on the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021. 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 of the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 rests just below the primary band. It is white in color with a gold pinstripe near the top and near the bottom. The center of the band has a gold chef’s hat. To the left of the hat is the text “THE CHEFS” in black font while on the right is the text “EDITION” – also in black font.
Prior to lighting up the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The pre-light draw delivered a combination of mushroom, coffee, and cedar notes. Overall, this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 opened up with notes of cedar, earth, natural tobacco, mushroom, and a slight fruit note. During the first third, the earth and mushroom notes became the primary flavors. These were rounded out nicely by notes of cedar, natural tobacco, and fruit notes. On the retro-hale was a combination of cedar and white pepper. The retro-hale wasn’t overly sharp and didn’t overpower the flavors on the tongue.
The second third of the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 saw the cedar notes increase in intensity. Close to the halfway mark of the smoking experience, the cedar notes joined the earth notes in the forefront. The mushroom notes receded into the background, joining the white pepper notes. The fruit and natural tobacco notes were present, but their sweetness greatly diminished.
The last third continued to see the cedar and earth notes primarily. The white pepper notes increased, but didn’t quite make it to the forefront. There were still notes of mushroom and natural tobacco present, and any of the subtle fruit notes had dissipated. This is the way the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 was a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected in how the burn performed. This was a cigar that maintained a straight burn line and straight burn path requiring minimal touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash had a medium gray color to it. This was an ash that was on the firm side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw also performed quite well. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I consider to be on the positive side. This was a cigar that was also low maintenance to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
The Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 was the most dialed back of the three Davidoff Chefs Edition releases. Strength-wise, this cigar started out on the mild to medium side before progressing into medium territory in the second half. The flavors started out medium-bodied. There was a slight increase in the intensity of the flavors along the way, but overall the Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 remained in the medium-bodied range for the duration of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience.
The Davidoff Chefs Edition 2021 comes in at a respectable 89 point score, but unfortunately that falls short of its 2016 and 2018 predecessors. Flavor-wise, the Chefs Edition 2021 is a good cigar, but it really lacked a “wow factor”, and that’s something that I have come to expect with a Chefs Edition release. The other part is I felt the Chefs Edition 2021 lacked the boldness and robustness that both of its predecessors had. The $39.00 price point is on the high side. While price is never factored into a Cigar Coop score, a cigar at $39.00 that only scores an 89 is a tough one to embrace. In the end, if you have the opportunity, I’d recommend trying a sample first before purchasing.
Key Flavors: Earth, Mushroom, Cedar, Natural Tobacco, Fruit, White Pepper
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted