Wrapper: Yamasa (Dominican Republic)
Binder: Dominican San Vicente from Yamasa
Filler: Condega, Esteli, Dominican Piloto, Mejorado
Vitola: Toro (6 x 52)
Factory: Cigars Davidoff (Cidav)
Availability: Standard Production
CigarNoise Price Range: $20-$24
Davidoff Yamasa – First Impressions
The new Yamasa release from Davidoff comes out as a project designed to appeal to a new generation of cigar smokers. For many years, Davidoff has had the reputation of making perfectly constructed, expensive, mild cigars. This reputation has undoubtedly turned off many cigar enthusiasts that were unwilling to spend double or triple the money for a cigar that some might perceive to be less complex or interesting as some of the other options available on the market.
The Yamasa name comes from the Yamasa region in the Dominican Republic, an area that was considered unsuitable for growing tobacco due to the nature of the soil. Amazingly, and at no small expense, Davidoff has invested the time and resources of experts to transform the soil of this region into one that not only can grow tobacco, but can grow a very unique tasting leaf that cigar smokers will absolutely want to experience.
The wrapper on this particular cigar was not at all what I was expecting. Usually, Davidoff’s appear smooth and flawless as if they were made through magic in some artisan workshop in Switzerland, and not grown and processed in a rustic Latin American country.
The Yamasa has a rustic look to it, a slightly mottled dark-brown wrapper, and thick seams. The application of the cap also looked almost sloppy as the cuts were uneven. Aesthetic aspects may not matter as long as the cigar tastes and performs in a manner indicative to its price point, but to my tastes I would’ve liked the seams and cap to have been a bit flatter.
The pack on the cigar is firm with a little bit of give, and the wrapper has a wonderful spicy aroma of thyme and cedar. The foot on the Yamasa had a deep complex aroma of allspice, mild paprika, and cedar. This dark aroma reminds me of standing inside of an old dusty cathedral with all of its aged wooden pews and leather bibles. The cold draw seemed a little loose but provided flavors of leather, earth, and hints of raisins.
Davidoff Yamasa – First Third
Mild Cedar, All Spice, Turmeric, Leather, Raisins, Wood
In my experience the cold draw is rarely indicative of what the flavors will be like once fire is put to the cigar, but in this case I was pleased to see some of the leather and raisins return.
The loose draw, while a little disconcerting considering how Davidoff’s generally have a superb draw, performed well with this cigar. Thick, rich smoke drew out of this cigar smoothly, coating the mouth with flavors of dark, oily wood.
The retrohale is creamy and smooth with very little bite. A pinch of cumin spice hovers over the wood notes before transitioning into a raisiny finish on the tongue. The flavors are medium in strength and the actual strength of the cigar is also at about a medium.
Davidoff Yamasa – Second Third
Cedar, White Pepper, Brown Sugar, Leather, Mahogany, Toasted Bread, Cayenne Pepper
The ash fell off right as the second third began. The first segment had a slightly wavy burn, but as the cigar progresses the burn has become razor sharp and straight. The Davidoff Yamasa continues to provide a dark, woodsy flavor but now with a halo of cayenne pepper supported by a molasses sweetness.
I’m surprised when the retrohale brings up a piny green brightness that wasn’t present before. All of the flavors continue to be very rich and sumptuous.
Towards the end of the second third, flavors are becoming more characteristically Davidoff: wood is getting creamy and the other flavors are becoming more delicate and refined.
Davidoff Yamasa – Final Third:
Wood, Allspice, Cream, Cinnamon, Coffee
Here is where this cigar remembers its roots. All of the bold flavors from before have melded and everything has taken on a refinement fitting of the Davidoff name. Creamy wood and coffee provide a base where the spices can play – almost like a flute over a melody.
The strength of the cigar has crescendoed to full strength and the experience provides a mental image of drinking a strong latté in a beautiful room with mahogany panelling and rich leather chairs. A contrast to these elegant flavors manifested itself through a couple touchups to correct the burn.
The conclusion of this cigar arrives as the heat from the burn has made the latté taste more like a bitter espresso.
Available at select retailers
Minor Burn Issues
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