Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: San Vicente Mejorado Seco & Viso, San Vicente Viso, Piloto Viso (Dominican Republic)
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
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.