Back in 2010 I attended the launch of the Davidoff Puro d’Oro which marked the first time the company used Yamasa tobacco which was grown on a farm in a region that had never been utilized for tobacco in the past. The event featured fine hors d’oeuvres from Rothsman’s steak house who catered the affair and we enjoyed some incredibly fine wine while mingling with world-renowned chef Wayne Nish and musician Christian McBride who performed “The Good Life” on an upright acoustic bass.
This year it was announced that the Puro d’Oro would be discontinued and the new Yamasa cigar from Davidoff would be released. Let’s face it, knowing one cigar featuring a Yamasa wrapper would be replaced by another cigar with the same wrapper, it’s not uncommon to think it’s the same cigar just rebranded. Yes, one was a Dominican puro and the new release is said to have Nicraguan tobacco.
The question is, is this the same cigar with a marketing ploy to bring the cigar in line with the subtle branding changes happening at Davidoff (Escurio, Nicaragua) or is it a new cigar ready to stand on its own?
Cigar Review: Davidoff Yamasa
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Binder: San Vicente from Yamasá
Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí) and Dominican Republic (Piloto, Mejorado)
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: The Davidoff Yamasa comes packaged in 12 count boxes with a slide top similar to that of the Nicaragua and Escurio line. The cigars are lined up inside with two rows of six featuring the same black and silver Davidoff band that emblazes the aforementioned lines. The cigar features a secondary band with colors of wine, silver and black denoting Yamasa. As for the cigar, the wrapper looks aesthetically better than the Puro d’Oro line and the cigar looks classier with its new branding. Speaking of classy, no one does a torpedo style cigar better than Davidoff with their piramide vitola.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Davidoff Yamasa has a sweetness to it that reminds me of the powdered coating on Bazooka bubble gum with hints of earth and saltines. The aroma off the foot of the cigar is sweet with hints of nuttiness and the previously mentioned saltines.
Once the cigar is toasted and lit, the early notes of the cigar are oak with a subtle underlying sweetness. There is also a saltiness to the smoke with hints of coffee and hay. Through the nose the retrohale offers up earth and a subtle spice with a relatively short finish.
On the second third, the notes of oak remain but become more subtle as the coffee component begins to grow in intensity. At the half way point of the cigar, coffee dominates the palate with an earthy finish that is joined by nutmeg and pepper on the retrohale as the finish grows in duration.
As we finish the experience known as Yamasa the cigar has a wonderful wood like aroma that is matched on the palate and retrohale. The cigar concludes with balanced elements of wood, coffee, and wisps of hay with a moderate finish in terms of length.
The Burn: The cigar featured a thin combustion line on a burn that was slightly asymmetrical but never needed to be touched up. Some might feel the urge to even it out, but the burn was constant and I felt no need to add extra heat to the cigar. The draw was near perfect, and the cigar which didn’t produce a lot of smoke never needed to be relit.
The Finish: I’ll be honest I was a little skeptical of this being a rebranded stick but in smoking it, the Davidoff Yamasa is considerably different than the Puro d’Oro which is extremely pleasing. The Davidoff Yamasa has better balance as well as a more enjoyable flavor profile. It was a rich medium bodied experience that was quintessential Davidoff. The notes kept me engaged and left me wanting to visit with the cigar again in the not so distant future. If you haven’t read the press release, it provides an interesting read to the challenges of growing this tobacco that justifies the hefty price tag.