Davidoff took the reins on this cigar. They re-tooled the old blend and added the flashy new cigar bands. They did the same on the Connecticut, Corojo, Criollo, and the Diploma. The prices followed accordingly.
Actually, when the cigars debuted at the 2013 trade show, the retail price was around $3 more than they are now. Davidoff decided to bring the price down to a more affordable pricing.
And they reduced the number of sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Corona: 5.5 x 44
11/18: 6 x 48/54/48
Gordo: 6 x 60
Figuardo: 6.125 x 54
The first thing that strikes you is the billboard sized cigar band. And if that is not enough advertising for you, there is also a foot band. The only thing missing are neon lights.
Construction is beautiful. A lovely smooth wrapper that is close to being devoid of veins. Seams are near invisible. The cap looks like a triple and is impeccable. The color is almost charcoal black. And to clear up any confusion, the 11/18 is the birthday of Christian Eiroa’s mother. There is a very shiny oiliness that I can only hope my camera picks up.
I clip the cap and find aromas of the deepest depths that chocolate can go. It reminds me of melted chocolate in a double boiler filling the kitchen with an all-encompassing aroma of cocoa beans. There is also a bit of spice and sweet cedar. The freshly clipped cap allows rich deep aromas of baking spices; like vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, and black walnuts.
Time to light up.
Instead of a blast of cocoa, I get one of red pepper. The draw is a little tight but I think the shape of the cigar makes this inherent to the problem at first. And then to make me a blatant liar, the cigar spews smoke like a Pittsburgh chimney.
I like this type of pepper blast. A lot of smokers do not. I think it is a great way to start a cigar. It rarely persists past the halfway point and it’s a show stopper for a cigar to start this way.
Half an inch in, the cocoa kicks in. More of a tease than a full blown flavor. This cigar is shoveling out smoke more than any cigar I’ve had in a very long time. But the moment I lay it down to photograph it, it stops dead in its tracks.
The burn line begins to carve out a canoe so I correct it.
An inch in, the cigar reaches a gorgeous richness that is close to indescribable. The deep cocoa tastes like the most decadent French chocolate pastry. Or a chocolate truffle. The flavor intensity is so impressive that I see where the money went.
I read Jason Harding’s review and you should read it too. Jason is my link to BestCigarPrices.com. He is an excellent writer. He isn’t dry and I find him entertaining. He is a writer after my own heart. He talks about drinking a Dr. Pepper with the stick which is something a lot of cigar smokers do. I will have to give it a try.
The cigar is packed solid and hence; a very slow burner. All the better for us smokers. Especially, since this cigar is not on the inexpensive side. I saw it going for $10.50 in my local B & M. The $8.50 price point at BCP is about as low as you will ever see it. The owner of the B & M told me she was happy that the price recently dropped from $13.50. A little steep for my blood no matter how good the cigar.
So far, the only flavors I can discern are the cocoa and red pepper. They are such overwhelming forces it is hard for any other component to break through.
Surprisingly, the body has hit medium/full but no further. I have my crash helmet waiting.
And then some cooling creaminess shows up complementing the pepper and cocoa. The spiciness is still very strong.
The char line again needs some help. And the aluminum-type shiny cigar band is making me nuts trying to get a decent photo. Constant reflection from light.
Time for the 2-1/8” long cigar band to come off.
The second third finds the flavors tamed. The spiciness ratchets down allowing the other flavors to shine a bit more. And a comfortable complexity begins to assert itself. I never understood smokers who bought the cheap flavored cigars. I read that the chocolate cigars are the favorite.
This stick has enough chocolate to fill a muffin tin. While it seems to be a one trick pony with only a few flavors, it is anything but. The tobacco, and its blending, is so superb that I don’t need additional flavors. It is perfect just the way it is.
It had the spot on start of strong spice and cocoa. And found its way to complexity before the halfway point.
At the halfway point, new flavors are added. A very dark espresso shows up…as well as a nice woodiness.
There is another flavor laying low that is raisin, I think. The earlier flavor of bread becomes a buttery piece of toast thanks to the faint creaminess. Rye toast.
The char line goes astray once more.
I begin the last third with the body still at medium/full. And the flavor profile at full. This is, by far, the most chocolate flavored cigar I’ve ever smoked. And what makes it stupendous is that it comes naturally. Not artificially induced.
You get a lot for your money with this stick due to its shape and the solid packing of tobacco. I’ve been at it for almost 90 minutes with another third to go.
The strength begins its journey to full body. I am hyper sensitive to nicotine as I have never smoked a single cigarette in my life. Not once.
Flavors really go nuts now. It is a full menu of creaminess, cocoa, espresso, toast, wood, nuts, raisin, spice, and cinnamon.
This is an excellent cigar. I’ve hit the two hour mark. Even though flavors are extremely potent, it doesn’t meet the qualifications of a true flavor bomb. Most probably due to the fact that the flavors come and go and intertwine with each other as the profile changes constantly.
My only criticism is the burn issues. I expected a much better char line. The wavering line never got out of control but it needed several corrections.
The price point at $8.50 is right on point compared to other cigars. It is an intensely flavored cigar blended magnificently.
Once more, I must thank Jason Harding of BestCigarPrices.com for the samples.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS