Since 2012 Davidoff has released a special Limited Edition cigar that celebrates the Chinese New Year. Unlike the traditional Zodiac which is separated by 30 days, the Chinese Zodiac is set up by year in accordance to the Chinese calendar. To date Davidoff has released the Snake (Released 2012 / Celebrated 2013), Horse (2013/2014), Sheep (2014/2015), Monkey (2015/2016), Rooster (2016/2017), Dog (2017/2018), Pig (2018/2019) and now the Rat for 2019/2020. It is said that each person born in a specific year has traits specific to the animal, with those born in the Year of the Ray being quick-witted, resourceful, versatile and kind.
To celebrate the Year of the Rat Davidoff has released 10,000 boxes of 10 cigars for worldwide distribution that began showing up in November, 2019 although the Chinese New Year is on January 25, 2020.
Cigar Review: Davidoff Year of the Rat
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Nicaragua Semilla B
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli Visus, Condega Visus), Dominican Republic (Piloto Visus, Piloto Seco, San Vicente Mejorado Visus)
Ring Gauge: 52
The Look: The Davidoff Year of the Series features some of their best packaging each year. Each ornate box features prominent colors associated with the Chinese New Year. Red which denotes good fortune and joy and gold which signifies neutrality and wealth. Inside the cigars feature the classic Davidoff white label and a secondary band with artistic rendition of a rat. The wrapper is loaded with oils and the cigar is firm to the touch with a slightly spongy foot.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Year of the Rat is quintessential Davidoff with earthy notes and an abundance of grass while the aroma off the foot is earthy with subtle oak and white pepper. Once the cigar is it oak notes from the aroma show up instantly on the palate with a touch of white pepper
Moving into the first third the oak notes continue to be the focal point of the Year of the Rat with some subtle spices. Around the first inch of the cigar a fig sweetness begins to develop and as the first third comes to a close some notes of ginger linger on the finish. The retrohale sees notes of oak linger on a moderately short finish.
In the second third of the Davidoff Year of the Rat sees notes of oak develop with some dark chocolate components. The ginger experience in the first third disappears around the halfway point with some cinnamon on the retrohale. The finish of the cigar grows in duration with some saltiness on the lips.
The final third sees oak notes return in full force. It’s the dominant flavor profile from the secondary band right until there is nothing left to hold. The finish of the cigar is joined by espresso with the addition of the retrohale and a touch
The Finish: Spending $40 on a cigar is tough especially when my bench mark cigar could be had for half the price. The cold draw of the cigar was typical Davidoff and I was starting to have second thoughts. However, once I lit this stick up I grabbed a couple of more. It’s well rounded, complex and has a nice amount of strength to it. It’s a great Limited Edition cigar that you shouldn’t sleep on.
Price: $39.99 / $389.99