Wrapper: Aromatica Dominicana
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: 8 Year Aged Dominican ~ 5 Varieties: San Vincente Ligero, San Vincente Mejorado Visus, Piloto Ligero, Hybrid Olor/Piloto Ligero, Criollo Ligero.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (TABADOM)
Size: 8.25 x 57 Salomone
Today we take a look at the 2016 Davidoff Royal Release.
Thanks to Bruce S. for the samples.
This is the original 2016 release…4 years of hibernation.
The cigars are still available online.
According to Cigar Aficionado (10-11-2016):
“I’s a cigar fit for royalty—or anyone else willing to spend the money. The vaunted Davidoff Royal Release is now heading to retailers and it costs up to $100 per smoke. The high price, Davidoff says, is due to its aged tobacco and proprietary wrapper.
“According to the company, this limited edition is composed of a Dominican proprietary wrapper dubbed Aromatica Dominicana, an Ecuador Habano binder and a five-varietal filler blend of eight-year-old Dominican tobacco. And these smokes won’t come cheap. The Royal Release Robusto, measuring 5 1/2 inches by 55 ring gauge, will retail for $80 per cigar. The 8 1/4 by 57 Salomones will retail for $100 each.
“Said to be crafted by eight of Davidoff’s most experienced Master Rollers, both sizes are made in the Dominican Republic at the Cigars Davidoff factory and come in royal blue, lacquered boxes of 10. Only 500 boxes of each size will be produced.
“To complement the Royal Release, Davidoff has put out a limited-edition lighter and ashtray featuring the same royal-blue motif found on the cigars’ packaging. The Royal Release lighter was manufactured by French artisans S.T. Dupont and costs $970, while the Royal Release ashtray, which is made of handblown Murano glass, retails for $290.
“Royal Release is on its way to U.S. retailers now and will be shipping worldwide in late November.
“Expensive cigars are nothing new for the Swiss cigar company. While the price tag on the Royal Release is quite hefty, it’s not the most expensive cigar Davidoff has ever made. That accolade belongs to the Davidoff Oro Blanco, which debuted in late 2014 with a recommended retail price $500 per cigar.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto 5.5 x 55 $80.00
Salomone 8.25 x 57 $100.00
This behemoth of a cigar is beautifully rolled. But seams are visible; yet tight. Veinage moves in and out but no major disruptions by large unseemly tree trunk veins.
The stick is slightly toothy; but remains fairly smooth. By most standards, this is a heavy in the hand cigar. Remember my sons, no penis envy allowed during this review.
The color changes from paper bag brown to a ginger, orangish, penny, cinnamon hue.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
This is potent…big fat floral notes, dark chocolate galore (Pussy’s sister), disgustingly decadent vanilla creaminess, rich coffee, herbal notes, white pepper, cedar, more decadency in the form of rich and gooey caramel, no earth, wind, or leather…and the distinct aroma of well-aged tobacco.
I expected to be jabbing and jiving with my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool due to the size of the Royal Release…but no, the resistance is exactly my preference…flowing clearly without needed oxygen mask by my side.
The cold draw presents flavors of caramel, creaminess, nuts, vanilla, herbs, chocolate, malt, cedar, and white pepper.
Now I rail like an idiot all the time about cigar pricing. I can’t imagine a situation in which I could afford a fiver of these sticks…maybe the last days of my life when I want to go out extravagantly. Other than that…this cigar better bring me to multiple orgasms…before I light up. And make my butt plug fly out of my ear.
I’m actually afraid of lighting this cigar…take a deep breath, think of your first Playboy, harken back to the first time you dry humped your dog before he could do it to you, clarify those moments that defined you; like growing a foot in height in middle school or finding finding Kleenex in a flat chested girl’s bra at the age of 15. This will get me through this difficult time.
Technically, the cigar has 12 years of aging; 8 by Davidoff and 4 by Bruce.
I glanced at a few reviews of this cigar from 2016. My experience should be different due to time passage and allowing the cigar to breathe and assimilate. And by no means, did I see reviewers give this cigar stellar ratings.
The cigar was described in the info I got as mild/medium. I don’t get that. Are the one percenters really a huge group of wusses that forces Davidoff to produce a mild strength cigar so they can sell them? For a C Note, I want some real oomph. I hope the extended humi aging didn’t weaken this vessel.
The cigar starts off with some deep notes of complexity. The white pepper is upfront. Then followed by creaminess, graham cracker, nuts, cedar, malt, only touches of espresso and chocolate. Strength is medium. Whew.
Smoking this gargantua should take around 7 hours; which means it will take you 11 hours to read this review.
The Davidoff is warming up. It is clear as a bell that the blend is planning on becoming a most enjoyable cigar (as expected); but starts with more of a tease than seriously getting down to business.
I’m curious as to whether this cigar remains lit throughout all of my gyrations to get the review finished.
It’s not a smoke bomb. The smoke is limited to some striations caused by puffing but nothing to write home about.
With nearly an inch smoked, I expected more. The medium strength is waning back into the morass of mild meanderings.
The cigar needs several burn line touch ups. The cigar should have a flawless burn; taint so.
I become suspicious when I saw this was a limited run of only 500 ten count boxes 4 years ago; yet they are still available. Nicht gut. That’s a tell right there.
The strength now finds itself comfortable in the mild category. Flavors are dropping like flies.
Even with just 8 years on the original tobacco, the cigar should have been ready to smoke a few days of releasing it from its cello and dry boxing it. But add another 4 years of humi time…and this baby should have come out swinging.
Instead, if I close my eyes and forget all I know about this cigar, it could easily be any number of $8 sticks.
It’s not the first time that I’ve discovered an expensive blend needs a decade of humidor time before it shines. Waiting for a decade for me is expecting to see George Jetson fly by on his way to pick up Penny.
The blend ain’t going anywhere. It is now in stasis. Holy shit. It is becoming evidently clear why this limited edition is still on the market 4 years after its release.
Davidoff makes some fine tobacco sausages. This may not be one of them. In fact, it is not one of them. All the bullshit about aging and the 72 different tobacco leaves mixed together is meaningless if the cigar don’t taste good.
Complexity is missing in action. Virtually no transitions in play. The finish is now black pepper with a touch of creaminess. WTF?
Bruce is going to hate me when he reads this review.
I’ve found that even the best cigars bought in a cigar lounge and then immediately smoked don’t reach their potential til the second half. My fingers are crossed that this cigar at least does that. But by that point, I will have smoked $50 of cigar…LMAO.
A first sip of water and some hidden flavors are exposed to daylight: Rich tobacco, fresh herbs, smoked meat, and a butterscotch taffy.
Davidoff really fucked up. They expected this blend to become a monster with some humidor aging. Something went wrong in the laboratory. The wrong brain was used.
There are 4 types of Dominican ligero used in the blend. Yet, the cigar lays there like my first wife on our honeymoon. There should be jabs and uppercuts of power. Nada.
The aged tobacco is now all the blend has going for it. There is a rich depth to the flavor now, but it is missing ancillary flavors that bolster the character of a $100 cigar.
At this point, it is merely any number of $20 fancy shmancy sticks. But I can list a hundred other cigars under $10 that taste better.
I’m stunned that there is nearly zero complexity, balance, subtleties, or the slightest hint of nuance. The blend marches along spewing aged tobacco and spiciness while lying dormant in the strength category.
At least now, I can say I smoked a $100 cigar. I smoked a Davidoff 2017 Art Edition the other day and it kicked ass. I believe that was only a $40 cigar.
I worked the last 5 days in a row at Prime Cigar and was ready and anxious to pick something interesting to review. Damn my balls…
Improvement is looming. For the first time, the blend seems to be getting serious about its obligation. Complexity begins to seep in. Transitions start a slow crawl. The finish improves with some creamy unsalted butter and caramel.
The Davidoff Royal Release begins to make its move.
The strength returns to a solid medium. And releasing nicotine into the puny receptors of my brain.
Now it’s beginning to taste like a $20 stick. It just needs to get 5 times better by the end; no pressure.
I find that working part time in a cigar lounge is a dream job for this alta kaker. I am bathed by the slowly streaming lines of smoke. I am meeting some very cool smokers; both young and old. The best conversations are when it travels to music. No matter how different we are, the love of music is a common denominator. I can literally see customers’ eyes light up when they find they can sit at the bar and talk all sorts of music and concert experiences.
The Royal Release is making significant steps in the right direction. Still, a cigar of this ginormous price range should have come to the plate ready to hit one into the Jumbotron screen.
In 1998, I saw Mark McGwire going through batting practice at the newly opened Phoenix Diamondbacks stadium. Each hit was out of the park. His last shot smashed the Jumbotron. Of course, if I took half the steroids he was on, I might have been able to do the same thing. But then I’d look like Mickey Rourke.
Very, very tasty now. Flavor elements are not close to being bold and significant…but the aged tobacco is finally strutting its stuff. This is the gold of the blend.
The mild flavor profile is now nicely balanced. Nothing reaches out and grabs me by the berries and plants a flag…but it is nice to see something going on.
Black pepper reverts to the original white pepper. The spiciness stops getting in the way of the blend’s purpose.
So far, the purpose of the three ligeros is messing up my head with nicotine instead of boosting the strength.
The Davidoff does accomplish something nice at this juncture…it becomes a relaxing smoke. But this ain’t no yard ‘gar. I don’t want to be relaxed. I want to be dancing the Macarena. The price point of this blend should be causing out of body experiences.
I’ve smoked a variety of Davidoff blends this week and each one was spectacular. Not cheap…but they all dance on the grave of the Royal Release.
My daughter and grandson wanted to come by this morning to get out of the house and I told them it would need to be later so I can get this review in. Goddamm, I’m such a schmuck.
So, how is everyone in catching up with their bills? Yeah, I’m poor too. I dream of large hands being forced into my face; palms up, demanding compensation.
The burn is funky. 8 special rollers…uh-huh.
The halfway point arrives. $50.
I don’t understand where the fuck up occurred? At some point, the manufacturer had to have tasted the fruit of their spoils and talked themselves into believing this cigar is worth $100. Or they said fuck it, release it. I’m pretty sure they are not surprised that the low count of cigars released would be on the market for a while. Hendrik Kelner is no slouch. He works with Jeremy Casdagli on a lot of the Casdagli blends. Even Jeremy wouldn’t put this cigar out in the $22 range.
I also believe that in working with Kelner, Jeremy has been able to get Henke to up his game in the development of Casdaglis.
Oh lord, Bruce is going to send me a Ted Kaczynski package.
The forward momentum falters. Back to standing in one place. Wildly inconsistent. Damn.
As I said earlier, the Davidoffs I’ve smoked recently put this blend to shame.
The blend has ADHD. One moment the cigar shines from the taste of good tobacco…the next, meh.
Have I mentioned that drummer Stewart Copeland and I are cum brothers?
On the road in the limo, Stew claims he is bored. He asks if there is anything we can do? I bellow out “Blow jobs!”
Sonja immediately agrees. She asks who goes first?
I once again bellow “ME!”
Copeland asks why me?
“Because I suggested it.”
A muffled OK came from Stew’s mouth.
Sonja got down to business with me. A lovely time was had by all. Then it was Stew’s turn.
The three of us sat together in the back seat in a Sonja sandwich. She started on Stew and a few minutes later, Copeland’s head leans back to rest on the head rest, a big smile on his face, and says to me: “Kohn…we are cum brothers.”
Where was I?
An upside is that the cigar burns without interruption no matter the length of time it is left sitting in my ashtray while writing.
It is driving me nuts. The cigar will suddenly blast away with scrumptious flavors and complexity and the next, it falls flat.
If the last third doesn’t give me a giant boner this big…well, I will genuflect and call my daughter.
This review is turning into an 8500-word manifesto.
The nicotine really kicks in now thanks to the ligero.
Hey, you fatsos out there…I did some research and found a great diet: The Laker’s Diet. I bought the doctor’s 512 page book and have been following the rules…which will be devastating to most. But in 18 days, I’ve lost 12lbs. But is a life without carbs really worth living? I plan on losing 20 more. The downside is nothing will fit me. I will have to buy a new wardrobe.
The cigar is finally impressive. I get an idea of the blender’s intent.
Although, I’m not quite sure what that intent was.
The blend does not pop with a myriad of flavors.
It does provide some interesting notes from the different strains of tobacco. The other reviews I glanced at did not have a mile-long list of flavors. In fact, the descriptions were bereft of excitement over this cigar.
Complexity is now where I like it. Balance is good. Transitions are pretty much nonexistent. The finish is nothing special.
If the cigar was consistent from the beginning, I would have said this is a good $20 stick.
Ever notice that when Cigar Aficionado reviews a Davidoff, it always ends up at the bottom of the rating scores? What? Davidoff doesn’t play the pay to play game with CA? Must be a coincidence.
The cigar finishes without a flourish.
Sure, now it is very pleasant. But WTF?
I will be sending Bruce my social security number, driver’s license number, and all my credit card info to make up for this.
The Davidoff Royal Release has been a failure on all counts.
Make sure you run out and buy 10. Pay your mortgage next month.
And now for something completely different:
Charlotte has made a lot of friends while running the Polish deli in Milwaukee. She had both Polish customers and German customers.
So, I heard, “I will be back in a few hours” a lot. She visited her German customers who invited her over to see how the 1% lives. She returned to describe the most delicious food served.
I stopped asking, “What about me?
Then, miraculously, I was invited to an all German party. The people that showed up were members of two clubs: Berliners and Bavarians.
An afternoon of listening to people speak, mostly in German, was grueling. My own German is rudimentary at best, so I feel that these folks were pretty rude for leaving me out of the conversation. I hear you nod your head that you wouldn’t want me in your conversation either.
It was hot and muggy and I hate muggy. Makes me ill. I’m a Californian and didn’t grow up in humid weather. Can’t make the adjustment.
There were around 30 people there. And no shade at all. The 90 year olds snagged it all up.
We sat at the only table being directly hit by the sun. I was schvitzing like crazy. Soaked.
Sitting to my right was a fat Wisconsin woman (Aren’t they all?) and her skinny welder husband. Both thought they were very funny because while no one laughed at what they thought was funny; they picked up the slack and laughed at everything they said themselves.
I wanted to shoot myself.
I was looking forward to some good German food.
Food was served and it was all drek. I couldn’t believe that all these Germans, about 2 years from the grave, couldn’t cook. My mother’s side was German and my dad’s side was Hungarian. I grew up eating the most delicious food handed down from grandmothers. I’d hand over your last testicle to get my hands on those recipes.
I ended up throwing 90% of my plate of food away.
When all the food was eaten, the horror of my life occurred.
One of the guests brought his accordion and sat down right next to me. He then proceeded to play German polka songs while everyone sang in German. Nothing worse than music all played in ¾ time.
I thought I was at a Third Reich Bundestag meeting. And it felt like everyone was wondering why my Jewish star wasn’t sewn to my sleeve.
A woman sat down while Charlotte and Heidi took a walk around Heidi’s huge yard. Apparently, no one….I mean no one….liked this woman. She wasn’t that bad looking. Thin and wearing a loose fitting moo moo. Bleached blonde hair and bad teeth.
The women hated her because she only spoke to the men. Compared to the German folk, I was a little skinny guy. They all ate like someone was going to take their food away from them. One serving after the next. It was like visiting a pig farm. And the pigs knew I was a Jew.
I’m sitting there and she turned to me and exposed a tiny shrunken breast. All I could think of was where was Dr. Mengele when you need him?
In my right ear was loud accordion noise playing polka music that all sounded the same to me. I was packing my Glock because we had some errands to do afterwards. I actually thought of shooting the accordion, the accordion player, and then killing 13 more people. After that, I would be out of ammo.
Meanwhile, Heidi’s son was working on our 1977 Buick Le Sabre. The brake light was on and the dashboard beeped incessantly. He told us there was a leak in the brake line. He spent from 9am-2:30pm working on it. He didn’t replace it, but he cleaned the leaks and repaired them with all kinds of goop and tape.
I stayed on his ass to finish it. I kept hearing, “Only 20 more minutes” for hours.
I was only at the party for 2-1/2 hours. Everyone refused to speak English. So, I sat there sweating like a pig. My back was killing me from sitting in a plastic patio chair. And now I was getting nauseated from the humidity.
The car was done.
Gert told me that we still needed to take the car in to get the brake line replaced. He spent 5-1/2 hours gluing it together. And when he finishes, he tells us to take it to a pro. What a giant waste of time. But he didn’t charge us a dime, so he had a good heart.
I pulled out of the garage and we got about 2 blocks away when the beeping started, and the brake light went on. And it stayed like that all the way home.
I will never ask to go visit her friends again unless I can take the Israeli Defense Forces, or Mossad, with me to interrogate them about where were they in 1944.
I had nightmares, last night, of large beer halls and women in dirndls selling 5-gallon sized beers along with huge shaved white radish in a box hanging from their necks. Now that’s some fun. Drinking strong beer and eating white radish. Burp.
My dream smelled like a slaughterhouse.
And I kept seeing that shriveled breast staring at me and following me to the bathroom and then down the line of the buffet…. calling my name.
I felt all my dead relatives spinning at the speed of sound in their graves.
Do you think killing an accordion player is a punishable offense? Or would that be a misdemeanor? Maybe just a ticket?
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS