Cigar Review: Davidoff Art Edition 2014

Cigar Review: Davidoff Art Edition 2014

Davidoff Cigars
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic (Mejorado)
Size: 5 15/16″ x 54
Strength: mild to mild-medium
Price: $35.00 MSRP

Overall Rating: 8.5

Davidoff is a brand that has been associated with the art world for a long time, but in 2012 Davidoff became an Associate Partner of Art Basel for their shows in Switzerland, Miami and Hong Kong. That same year Davidoff started the Davidoff Art Initiative to support contemporary arts and artists in the Dominican Republic and Caribbean. It wasn’t until 2013-2014 that Davidoff really got the program off the ground with the Davidoff Art Residency program, Davidoff Art Grants and the release of Davidoff Art Edition cigars.

The first in a series of annual limited edition art themed releases is the Davidoff Limited Art Edition 2014. With two designs featuring artwork of layered tobacco leaves by Dominican artist Quisqueya Henríquez and secondary bands featuring the same artwork, the Davidoff Art Edition is an impressively packaged cigar. The release is limited to 3,000 boxes of each box design (60,000 cigars total). Like all Davidoff cigars the quality is high. Flavors of nuts, hay, cedar and herbs are the most noticeable in this mild cigar. Collectors are sure to snap up as many boxes of Art Edition as possible, so it may be worth buying a box if you’re a fan of Davidoff’s cigars.

Pre-Light: The Art Edition 2014 is a great looking cigar, and I would expect nothing less from Davidoff. A light kaki brown wrapper has few noticeable veins. There are a couple really noticeable seams on the wrapper, but it doesn’t detract from the cigar. The gold and white Davidoff band looks classy as always, and the secondary band with the box artwork looks pretty impressive.

A slight spice aroma comes from the wrapper of the Davidoff Art Edition 2014. The cold draw is very easy considering the cigar’s shape, and lets through flavors of sweet pipe tobacco.

Burn: The construction on the Davidoff Art Edition 2014 is flawless, and I’d expect nothing less from Davidoff. The draw is perfect and the burn is razor sharp.

Flavor: There is a lemon and mild cedar flavor to the first third of the Davidoff Art Edition. Some cedar, pepper and spice makes an appearance on the retrohale. At the start of the second third there is a good amount of hay, cinnamon, herbs, lemon and cedar. It is the lemon flavor that is among the more interesting in the cigar. Natural tobacco and hay takes over at the halfway point. On the retrohale much of the pepper has died off and been replaced by an herbal spice. There is a really dominant floral flavor that is a bit hard to put a name to. As the cigar transitions into the final third the flavors become very muddled and hard to pinpoint for a bit. Some of the signature Davidoff tanginess begins to come out in the final two inches of the cigar. The last few inches of the Art Edition are dominated by flavors of cedar, leather, herbs, spice and sea salt. It’s the final inch or two of the Art Edition 2014 that are the most flavorful.

Overall: All it takes is one look at recent reviews to realize that I’m a huge fan of Davidoff and their other brands (Zino, Camacho, Room 101). I was looking forward to the Art Edition since it was first announced; I hoped it would be another Selecion 702 or Club House. Instead I was a bit underwhelmed by the actual cigar. There are some characteristic Davidoff flavors such as tangy cedar, spice and herbs, and some interesting lemon and sea salt. The construction is flawless. Still, it just seems like something is lacking. With all the impressive limited editions from Davidoff lately (such as the Year of the Snake, Club House of Madison Avenue) the Art Edition doesn’t quite seem to be at the same level (unless you count the packaging). Overall, it wasn’t a bad cigar and I will probably add a box or a five pack to my collection at some point. Fans of Davidoff cigars will want to give it a try, but the price is a bit steep for what you get with the Art Edition 2014.

Pairing: When pairing the Davidoff 2014 Art Edition, I’d suggest a Camus Ile de Ré fine island cognac. A good seaside single malt such as the Isle of Arran 14, Talisker Storm, Old Pulteney Navigator or Bruichladdich Islay Barley will all pair quite nicely with the Art Edition 2014.

On a side note: Like their Zino Make of L.A. and Make of New York, the Davidoff Art Edition has two different boxes and secondary bands, but the blend is exactly the same. This can be a bit confusing for consumers that are unfamiliar with the cigar, and it seems a bit gimmicky for such a classy brand as Davidoff. It’s basically the cigar version of alternate TV Guide or comic book covers. Collectors will find it cool, but it really doesn’t matter to the average cigar enthusiast.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)