Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder:  Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler:  San Vicente Mejorado Seco & Viso, San Vicente VisoPiloto Viso (Dominican Republic)
Brand:  Davidoff
Factory:  Tabadom
Vitola:  Toro (6×54)
CigarNoise Price Range:  $25+
Availability:  Limited (1,500 boxes)
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Davidoff Chef’s Edition – First Thoughts

Unwrapping the Chef’s Edition, it certainly looks and feels like a $30 cigar.  The unpretentious second band along with clean lines and gold accents present an air of refinement and luxury.  I’ve been itching for days now to put this cigar under the microscope and see how it performs.

Davidoff Chef's Edition Review | CigarNoise

The wrapper serves up hints of grapes, flowers, vanilla, and cedar while the foot offers aromas of cocoa powder, tilled earth, and deeper tones of cedar.  A cold draw reminds me of Life cereal.

Davidoff Chef's Edition Review | CigarNoise

Davidoff Chef’s Edition – First Third

Sweet Cedar, Ancho Chiles, Chipotle, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, French Bread, Cashew, Oak, Cream, Leather, Cocoa Powder, Brownie Mix, Sweet Nuts, Raisins

My first puff, surprisingly, is of chili powder and sweet cedar.  Over the course of several savory moments, chili powder journeys through nuances of ancho chiles, chipotle, smoked paprika notes, and even raw cumin.  Pepper and cumin lingers in the back of the throat, completing one of the most interesting opening moments of a cigar that I can remember.

Davidoff Chef's Edition Review | CigarNoise

Like you would expect, a retro hale packs much more heat from the Davidoff Chef’s Edition than many of their lighter offerings.  Hints of french bread and cashew join the chili seasoning sensations in a punishing yet  pleasing retro.

Approximately ten minutes into this review, chili spices begin to retreat as french bread and cashew move from the retro hale to the forefront with an oaky finish.  Ten minutes later, layers of cream, leather, cocoa powder, and that self-same pepper wash over my senses.  There is so much under the hood of this cigar that I’m struggling to keep up.

Towards the end of the first third, I’m enjoying an exhilarating combination of cream, cedar, brownie mix, sweet nuts, raisins, and lingering pepper.

Davidoff Chef’s Edition – Second Third

Coffee, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Cedar, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Oak, Walnut, Bran Flakes, Vanilla, 

Dropping the ash, coffee and cream are standing by to welcome me into this segment.  Cream coats the palate as well, having a mouthfeel just like my morning coffee.  Burning down a little further, dark chocolate and cedar notes return to this delectable experience.  Although my sinuses still burn with a retro hale, pepper no longer lingers between puffs.  Cream is king in this third.

As sad as I was to see the chili seasonings depart in the first third, I’m equally delighted to see some of the components resurface towards the midway point!  Particularly smoked paprika and cumin.  I’m really beginning to wonder if this cigar was named the Chef’s Edition and then blended to match or vice versa.

Davidoff Chef's Edition Review | CigarNoise

But how are the mechanics, Dave?  Past the one inch mark, the burn has been relatively maintenance free.  The draw is near perfect to my tastes, having just enough resistance for plenty of pull and copious amounts of thick smoke.

At exactly the halfway point, a nicotine buzz has my head spinning.  The Davidoff website claims that this cigar has roughly a one hour burn time, but I’m not even to the secondary band yet at one hour and thirteen minutes.  Not sure what that says about me or them, but I wouldn’t change anything about this experience so far.

Getting ready to remove the first band, the flavors have shifted yet again with oak rising to the top amidst a background of walnut, bran flakes, and hints of vanilla extract.

Davidoff Chef’s Edition – Last Third

Oak, Walnut, Bran Flakes, Peppercorn, Coffee, Pork Tenderloin, Cumin, Bitterness

More is how I would characterize the last segment of this cigar.  More oak, more walnut, more bran flakes, and now generous amounts of peppercorn return.  Coffee also resurges, along with a familiar, oily texture.  Pepper isn’t bringing the spice this time around, but the tasting notes are unmistakable.

It could be that after such a robust showing in the first and third my palate isn’t up to the task of discerning everything else going on in the background.  Or it could be that the flavors are more pronounced towards the end and are settling in for the final stages.

Davidoff Chef's Edition Review | CigarNoise

Have you ever cooked pork tenderloin with coffee?  That sort of heartiness is exactly what the Davidoff Chef’s Edition tastes like just before removing the primary band.  I can also feel cumin making a final comeback as well.

As we work down a little but further, bitterness begins to seep in and I can tell that it’s almost time to call the time of death.  Considering I’ve been enjoying it for over two hours already, I’ll call that a win.

Davidoff Chef’s Edition
9.2 Reviewer
9.7 Cigar Noise Network (5 votes)

Unique Flavors


Excellent Draw

The Davidoff Chef's Edition is simply a remarkable cigar. If I had to choose one word to describe this cigar, it would captivating. Whereas some cigars seem to perform better in social settings, I would highly recommend finding a quiet spot and enjoying this one without distractions. Value was the hardest criterion to rate on this cigar, but I can't think of a similar experience regardless of price.
What Other Folks Are Saying: 5 Make some Noise
The Full Meal Deal
Appetizer, main course and dessert all in one. I haven't smoked many $30 cigars I felt were worth every penny. I found one. The flavor complexity of this cigar challenged my palate at every turn. Spicy, sweet, goodness delighted me; thick rich smoke intoxicated and the construction was simply flawless. This is one cigar I'm thankful to have more than one of in the humi!
February 2, 2017, 10:32 pm
Nailed this review!
I read Dave's review after smoking one of these, and he nailed it. We had almost the exact same experience. Couldn't have asked for a better cigar or a better review of it.
November 13, 2016, 9:55 am
Best cigar this year!
This cigar hits all the marks. It's a super model, a star athelete, and an exotic super car all rolled into one. As an experience the Chef's edition stands alone as a cigar that surpassed my expectations in a fantastic way. I'm usually very strict about my ratings, but I cannot think of another cigar that gives the flavors, complexity, construction, and pleasure that this cigar gives at any price point. I will buy a complete box.
October 31, 2016, 4:33 pm
5 Course Meal
Everything about this cigar is exactly what you'd expect from Davidoff. Expect to be taken on a journey through
July 30, 2016, 3:12 am
My favorite Davidoff currently
This is my favorite Davidoff currently. That might not be saying much to many but I have stashed different releases over the years and I just can't seem to smoke em after smoking a handful of these. To me it's totally different then anything else I have smoked which is just down right exciting!
June 14, 2016, 8:11 pm
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Dave West

Editor and Contributor at CigarNoise
Identifying as a Cigar Enthusiast more than an Aficionado, I enjoy trying new cigars and attempting to annotate my experience. Disclosure: As of June 2017, I began writing for SmallBatchCigar.com and will no longer be reviewing SBC exclusives
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