Outside of Cuban cigars, few brands are as trusted worldwide and as famous for their quality as Davidoff. Having left Ukraine for Geneva at the age of 5, Zino Davidoff took the cigar shop that bore his family name to heights never before dreamt of in the cigar industry, with branches across the world, a line of bespoke Cuban cigars and luxury accessories to aid the smoking experience all created under the Davidoff umbrella. Today, the brand’s relationship with Cuba is no more, but the cigars produced at their factories in the Dominican Republic and Honduras, using tobacco from around the world, are considered the gold standard for New World sticks.
The first Davidoff Cigars to be produced in Cuba were born in El Laguito, the same legendary factory where Cohiba are produced. In 1967 Cubatabaco (the state’s tobacco monopoly) approached Zino Davidoff personally to see if he would be interested in a collaboration, having already developed a reputation for himself in the cigar world as a legendary retailer of Cuban products. In fact, during World War II, Zino personally acquired the entire Cuban stock held in France, safeguarding them in his Swiss stores for return to the nation in peacetime.
This partnership continued in earnest for 20 years, and what was created had now become the stuff of legend. Rare caches of Cuban Davidoffs command extraordinary prices not just in store, but in some of the most luxurious and exclusive smoking lounges in the world. Sadly, the relationship turned sour when, in 1989, Zino Davidoff publicly incinerated a stock of 100,000 cigars sent to him by Cuba which he had deemed unfit to bear his name. Cuban production of his cigars was officially ceased in 1991.
In order to continue production for the brand after severing ties with Havana, Davidoff turned to the producers of the Dominican Republic, finding a master of the tobacco arts in cigar producer Hendrik “Henke” Kelner. Together, Kelner and the Davidoff company established a position in the upper echelons of the global cigar industry, when measured by both sales and quality.
Today, Davidoff blend tobaccos from many different countries to make some excellent, and varied, blends. Their range of cigar accessories has become as well-known for luxury and quality as their cigars are, and we are excited to stock them here at EGM Cigars. In addition to various Limited Editions and commemorative releases – including a series which celebrates the Chinese zodiac each year – Davidoff have a number of distinct lines underneath their brand umbrella.
Davidoff Winston Churchill
The Winston Churchill collection is expressed in 2 different ways. The Original Series is a medium-to-full blend featuring tobacco from Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Mexico, and delivers notes of cream, coffee and a touch of wood. The Late Hour series is more powerful than the Original, offered only in larger formats and brings rich notes of dark chocolate, black coffee, pepper and malt.
Davidoff Signature Blend
The original blend of Dominican Davidoff; mild, creamy and with woody notes that linger on the palette. This series is available in a wide range of sizes, from the brief cigarillo of the Ambassadrice to the robusto-sized Signature 6000. The Davidoff Signature 2000 is their biggest-seller worldwide, while the Signature No. 2 is the exact same size and shape as the iconic Laguito No. 2 vitola.
Davidoff Grand Cru Line
Derived from the original, and now legendary, Cuban Davidoff line, which was named for Zino Davidoff’s favourite fine wines. A little more body than the Signature Blend, but still a fairly mild-bodied option. Wood, earth, cream and velvety cappuccino notes are to be found, in sizes from a petit corona all the way up to the mighty Grand Cru Toro.
The Aniversario line marks another step up in strength from the Gran Cru, and primarily brings notes of leather and spice. This is a medium-strength collection, designed to mark those special moments in life and introduce the palette to somewhat unconventional flavour pairings. Sizes in the range vary, from the time-friendly Entreacto (roughly the size of an H. Upmann Half Corona) to the imposing, Aniversario Double R, comparable to the Partagas Lusitania.
Aged tobaccos from across the Caribbean are expertly blended in the Dominican Republic factory to create the medium-to-full blend of the Davidoff Millennium range. Expect power and flavour in spades; notes of white pepper, chocolate and caramel are underpinned by spice to create a truly special smoking experience.
This line is unusual thanks to its use of Brazilian tobacco in the blend. Filler and binder grown by the bay of Todos Los Santos in Brazil brings notes of salt and liquorice to complement the cream and coffee noted in this medium-bodied blend. Experiment with the Petit Robusto to gently get to know the new tobacco – you’ll move on to the Corona Gorda and Gran Toro soon enough.
Among the most powerful cigars Davidoff make, these Nicaraguan puros harness the bold flavours of the volcanic soil in which they are grown. Earth, coffee, leather, wood and spice will all play a part in the journey of flavour these sticks take you on. The legendary Edward Sahakian, owner of the Davidoff shop in London’s St James’s for 40 years, counts the Box-Pressed Robusto among his personal favourites, while the gargantuan Diadema truly is something to savour.
The swampy soil of the Yamasá region, just north of the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, was said for years to be impossible to cultivate for tobacco. Henke Kelner is a determined man, however, and after 20 years of trying he and his team finally pulled off the impossible. The Davidoff Yamasa cigars which are the result of his persistence are full-bodied, mingle sharp citrus notes with deep, rich earth and wood, and are a magnificent cigar to end an evening with. A true testament to the man who blended them, and the brand who had the courage to persevere in search of greatness. With these cigars, they have found it.