Cigar Review: Davidoff No. 1

DavidoffSize: 7 1/2×38, No. 1

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 25, $422.99

Grade: 9.2

Zino Davidoff, eldest son of Henri, was born in present day Ukraine in March of 1906. After fleeing to Switzerland, his family opened a tobacconist shop in 1912. Zino kept a steady eye on the tobacco industry and in 1924, after finishing school, he went to Latin America to learn more about tobacco. He returned to Switzerland in 1930 and took over his family shop. Zino helped the shop blossom and is even credited with creating the first desktop humidor during his time there. Additionally, he wrote several well-received books on cigars and cigar practices.

Zino’s success continued and he later sold the shop, in 1970, to the Max Oettinger Group. Zino stayed on as Davidoff’s ambassador until his death in 1994. Just before his death, in 1991, the entire production was moved from Switzerland to the Dominican Republic (source).

I received this stick in the great Cigar/Twitter pass of 2010 and, therefore, this review is based on one cigar. Now, on to the toasting!

Pre-light, 1.8:
From head to foot, the No. 1 was an elegant cigar. The triple cap was crowned with a pigtail and the foot was very well packed, though a bit rugged. In between the head and foot was a beautiful, almond shade wrapper sprawling with veins that resembled spider webs. There were no soft spots to mention and the construction was excellent. The aroma on the was sweet, mostly of cedar, with a slight lemon zest in the background. The draw was a bit tight and revealed barnyard flavoring of hay and grass.

Burn, 2.0:
Simply put, the Davidoff No. 1 created the finest burn I’ve ever experienced in a cigar. It toasted evenly and quickly and it produced a surprisingly slow burn and medium draw. The ash held toward two inches, which was remarkable for such a narrow gauge. The smoke emitted was thick and sweetly aromatic. Over nearly seven inches of burnt tobacco, the ash never once strayed from a razor’s edge and produced a flawless white sheet of ash.

Flavor, 2.7:
The No. 1 didn’t work its way through thirds for me, but rather provided a slow, smooth, and consistent smoke. At first light, there was a burst of mouth watering creaminess with barnyard notes in the background. There was some harshness in the back of the throat and this ended up coming and going throughout the entire smoke, though most prominent in the first third. Once the harshness passed, it returned to a very, very smooth cigar that proved to be the ultimate mild, non-obtrusive experience.

Overall, 2.7:
The biggest hit in the overall category is price; at around $20 a stick, this is not an every day smoke by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, a great celebratory smoke and I would certainly consider keeping a five pack on hand. The construction and the burn were first rate and the flavor, minus the harshness, was very pleasing. You’re never going to find these on sale, nor are you going to find a price reduction, so it is what it is – an ultra premium cigar that lives up to the price point, which can’t always be said.

(Total: 9.2)

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