Davidoff Nicaragua Toro | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Rosado (10-year-aged Cuban-seed)
Binder: Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Condega, Estelí Ligero & Ometepe)
Size: 5.5 x 54 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $17.20 MSRP ($16.35 online)

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davidoff_nicaragua_cigars

Davidoff-Nicaragua

Today we take a look at the Davidoff Nicaragua Toro.
A gift from a kind reader.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Cigars Davidoff
Regular Production.
Date Released: July, 2013 (Originally priced at $16.50 in 2013.)

From Cigar Aficionado:
“95-rating and the #3 spot of 2013’s ‘Best Cigars.’ “The Toro was our favorite, showing complexity, elegance and balance, with floral notes, hints of coffee and leather and a very long finish. This is a beautiful, elegant smoke that’s a worthy addition to the storied Davidoff name.

“Davidoff cigars have been made in the Dominican Republic under the watchful eye of Hendrik Kelner since the early 1990s, and the vast majority of those cigars have been a mild- to medium-bodied blend of locally grown filler and binder leaves wrapped with creamy, light Connecticut-seed tobacco. With today’s cigar aficionados having developed a tremendous appetite for Nicaraguan cigars, Davidoff’s new leaders aimed at expanding their footprint, and Nicaraguan tobacco
became the target.

“But rather than opening its own factory in Nicaragua, or contracting out a brand, the Davidoff team opted to make a different move and import tobacco from Nicaragua to its Dominican factory. There, they used tried-and-true construction and quality control methods to bring an entirely new taste profile to the venerable Davidoff brand.

“The result is Davidoff Nicaragua, the most exciting cigars from Davidoff in many years. The cigar line launched in the middle of 2013 to great fanfare, with three sizes:
Robusto, Short Corona and Toro. The Toro was our favorite, showing complexity, elegance and balance, with floral notes, hints of coffee and leather and a very long finish. This is a beautiful, elegant smoke that’s a worthy addition to the storied Davidoff name.”

DESCRIPTION:
Sleek in appearance. An oily, pecan cinnamon colored wrapper. Seams are tight. Few veins.
A beautifully applied, round triple cap.
The cigar is super solid without much give.
The double cigar bands are classy. The Davidoff in silver surrounded by what appears to be pearls or diamonds shimmer in the sunlight.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Short Corona 3.75 x 46 $10.29 MSRP (Regular Production)
Robusto 5 x 50 $14.50 MSRP (Regular Production)
Toro 5.5 x 54 $17.20 MSRP (Regular Production)
Salomon 6.5 x 50 $18.60 MSRP (Regular Production)
Belicoso 5.25 x 52 $17.25 (250 Humidors of 48 Cigars-$3,900.00)

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell creamy vanilla toffee, spice, cedar, cinnamon, floral notes, sweet caramel, and roasted nuts.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell strong roasted nuts, spice, cinnamon, hay, barnyard, very spicy notes, wood, and floral notes.
The cold draw presents flavors of warm spice, creamy vanilla, chocolate salt water taffy, caramel, cinnamon, floral notes, cedar, and baking spices.

FIRST THIRD:
We start off with a Pepin Garcia-like pepper bomb. The creaminess moves in quickly along with caramel, sweetness, vanilla salt water taffy, and cedar.

The Davidoff Nicaragua Toro is certainly intriguing. But for $17, it should come with a basket of never empty fries.
Strength is a solid medium body.
I have no idea how much humidor time this cigar has. I’ve had it for a couple months and the reader that sent it to me may have said how long he owned it but I can’t find the information or the name of the reader. My apologies.

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So the point is that I’m pretty sure this cigar has plenty of humidor time. This means I expect to taste the blender’s intent.

I read other reviews and, to be honest, they weren’t rave reviews. The reviewers viewed this cigar as just OK. I did find one reviewer that gave it a 95. Most hovered around 88. That’s a shame. But as I described my view in yesterday’s review of the Camacho Liberty Series 2014, timing is everything. Camacho, in both old and new incarnations, is Old School blending style. In other words, all blends need a lot of humidor time.

Same goes for Davidoff. And not a single review I read said how long they had aged the cigar they reviewed. I check again and not a single review happened more than a month after the cigar was released. One even occurred the same week as the release. If you’ve smoked Davidoff cigars, you know that ain’t enough time and hence; lukewarm reviews.

So clearly, Cigar Aficionado got some aged sticks for their reviews which got the Toro a 95 and #3 of 2013. Again, a rush to judgment by reviewers who just can’t wait to be in the group of first reviewers and the hell with the reader by misleading them because it’s all a game. And yes, I’ve been guilty of that as well. Just not lately. I stopped that horseshit a long time ago. Except in the case of a great boutique cigar that was rarin’ to go ROTT.

There are no transitions at 1-1/2” burned. No complexity. Balance is not so great. And a short finish.
It started out pretty damn good but what happened? The wrapper has been aged for 10 years for chrissakes. BTW- Happy Easter.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Strength is medium body.
I believe the Davidoff web site says this is a medium/full blend but it is anything but at this juncture of the burn.

A $17 cigar should pop from the very beginning and never stop accelerating. The Davidoff Nicaragua Toro has its tires stuck in the mud.

It is creamy. It has nice vanilla notes. It is nutty…like you have to be to spend $17 on this cigar, and it is totally devoid of any spiciness, cinnamon, caramel, and sweetness.
A big element missing is malt.

5third

I want to like this cigar. I want to like any $17 cigar. But that first third was a major disappointment. Davidoff is not one of those brands where a few years of aging diminish the flavor. They get better. Some folks mistake certain blends for those that get better with extended periods of humidor time. Most cigars in the $3-$7 range dissipate in flavor after 2-3 years of humidor time. I know this for a fact because it is what a certain percentage of readers send me. Cigars that are 2-5 years old. I light one up and it’s like smoking hay. Now I know my detractors are seething right now because I am behaving like an ingrate. You’d be surprised at the number of well-known and well respected brands go to shit after a few years aging. But I’ve kept them all because it still gives me something to smoke. Like now.

I want to thank Duff Ensign for the wonderful care package I received yesterday. Duff is 63, I believe, and we have become pen pals. He is a crazy fuck but we have a lot in common. So, thanks Duffy. You are a mensch.

The Davidoff Nicaragua Toro is bordering on being flavorless. I take back that Davidoffs get better with time. This tastes exactly like a cigar that has been overaged. Flattened out flavors.
I must admit that the construction is first rate. Near flawless char line. And not a single wrapper issue.

I’m beginning to wonder if the Davidoff Nicaragua Toro is a blend that tastes great in the first couple months after receipt but then goes downhill after that. The CA rating occurred a month after the cigar was released. It says that it has “Profound coffee and leather flavors.” So far, nothing has been profound. And I don’t taste coffee and I don’t recollect any reviewer stating they taste coffee.

I reach the halfway point.
Smoke time is one hour.
Strength is medium/full.

In fact, I just skimmed through a dozen reviews and only ONE states they taste coffee. Most are responding like me. And almost to a man, they call it “woodsy.”

The flavor profiles described by other reviewers is tight and small. They also describe the first third as nothing special. And nothing really happens until the last third.
This is the character of an inexpensive cigar; not a $17 stick.

6half

I’m actually embarrassed for Davidoff. I am even more flummoxed by Cigar Aficionado for making this their #3 cigar of 2013. And rating it a 95. Plus there is a lot of dissension amongst reviewers as to how they perceive this blend that it makes me wonder if we are all smoking the same cigar?

I don’t like accusing other reviewers of being in the pocket of certain manufacturers. I do believe most are forthright and honest. But I learned the hard way about this situation. You don’t dare give a manufacturer supplied sample a less than rave review. If you do, most manufacturers take you off their reviewer’s list. This has happened to me a dozen times. They all say they welcome criticism but they really don’t.

I was literally shitting my pants prior to the Bespoke cigar reviews. Both expensive cigars and what if they turned out to be dogs? Thankfully, they are brilliant blends.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 15 minutes.
Strength is medium/full.

Finally!! The flavors begin to pour out like a martini shaker.
We have malts, creamy vanilla, coffee, red pepper, cinnamon, caramel, fruit, wood, chocolate salt water taffy, leather, and a rich earthiness.

For me, unfortunately too little too late. The cigar should have been at this level from the start and built upon these flavors until my head was spinning. Instead, it held everything back til the last third.
Is this what CA experienced? Did they forgo the lack of flavor in the first two thirds in making their decision? Doesn’t make sense.

But then it brings us back to the sneaky suspicion we all have about CA. You read the monthly ratings of cigars and some you agree with and others leave you scratching your head wondering if the guys rating the cigars were on acid?
At last, the balance is spot on. Nice long finish.

7third

The Davidoff Nicaragua Toro gets better with each puff but I am truly bummed out.
The red pepper comes back in force. So does everything else.

I don’t know why this series of events occurred. In order to deserve a 95 rating, this cigar blend should have tasted like the last third at the very first puffs of the cigar. And only gotten better.
The only difference in my review to the ones that reviewed the cigar a month after it came out is the last third. They didn’t get to experience the blender’s intent as I am doing now.

Could this cigar need a couple years? No friggin idea.

You have no idea how disappointed I am. I don’t like thrashing a cigar blend. But then I just might be doing my readers a public service by warning them about purchasing a $17 cigar with high expectations only to be disappointed and let down.

The construction matched its price point. Impeccable. It needed just a couple minor tune ups on the burn line.
The only thing restricting me from giving it a 95 is the first two thirds. LOL.

Don’t waste your time, or money, with the Davidoff Nicaragua Toro. Unless you have the magic wand that CA also possesses.

I feel bad for the kind reader that sent me this cigar. Clearly, he must have bought more than one. If he bought them at his local B & M, instead of online, he paid a lot more than $17 depending on his state’s cigar taxes.

Clearly, Davidoff has a strict pricing schedule as every online store I visit sells these cigars for the exact same price so no deals anywhere. Unless some store is selling them for $7.00, there is no deal big enough to warrant buying the Davidoff Nicaragua Toro.

RATING: 85

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IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
Dear friend, and ardent cigar smoker, Darryl Martin lost his wife Penny a little over a week ago. Penny was 51 and had end stage cancer.
Darryl spent every dime they had going above and beyond normal health care. They tried experimental trials and other last hope measures to stop the cancer that was eating Penny alive. Darryl lives in Houston and he sent Penny to Seattle where there is a special clinic for cancer patients who are last stage. Their insurance did not cover this.
And now Darryl is left with a mountain of health care bills that is overwhelming. He even has to save his money to get Penny home. On the right side of this page is a Go Fund Me Campaign to help Darryl pay his heath care bills.
C’mon readers. Darryl is BOTL and is the type of guy who would take the shirt off his back if you needed it. If things were reversed, he would be first in line to donate money if you needed it. He is going through enormous pain now and on top of it he is at wit’s end trying to figure out how he can get Penny home and pay his medical bills. Do Darryl a solid and donate what you can.
Please do whatever you can. And size donation is a godsend.
Thank you and God bless.

The Katman

dar2

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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4 replies

  1. First Davidoff in this blog? Need more!

  2. Thank you. A cigar buddy of mine kept steering me away from this cigar, but wouldn’t say why; you have said it for him.

  3. I had the same experience with this cigar. I was gifted two of them and let them sit for at least three months. To say they were disappointing is an understatement of amazing proportions. I tossed the second one during the second third. Life is too short for boring and/or bad cigars.

    Just about anything on the Katman’s $5 – $8 list is better by leaps and bounds. If you really just have to spend the money on a cigar go get a Paul Stulac.
    https://kohnhed.com/2014/03/05/the-katmans-list-of-163-great-cigars-in-the-5-00-8-00-range-cigar-reviews-by-the-katman/

  4. I have tried this cigar on 3 separate occasions and found it to be extraordinary each time. We all have different palates and our own biases.