2013 Year of the Snake (Churchill), 7 x 48
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Hybrid 702 Sun Grown
|Cigar age||0 yr. 2.3 mo.|
BACKGROUND: Concurrent with the Chinese Year of the Snake, Davidoff launched the new 2013 "Year of the Snake” Edition cigars with exclusive limited-edition accessories. The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animal signs and the sign of the snake is the sixth in the cycle. The year 2013, beginning on February 10 and extending to the end of January 2014, is considered the Year of the Snake.
The sixth of the twelve Chinese signs of the zodiac is characterized as wise and graceful and is the quintessential symbol for intelligence and insight. Having a person in your household born under the sign of the Snake is a good omen because, according to legend, it means your family will never starve. It is also said that Snake-people like to possess the finer things in life.
Speaking of the finer things in life, the Davidoff cigar brand is also synonymous with luxury and therefore the "Year of the Snake" cigar is not just an unusual name given a limited edition cigar line, but also represents the quintessential quality and style of Davidoff.
The tobacco for this stylish cigar starts with a filler blend of Dominican Piloto Cubano, Dominican San Vicente and Dominican Yamasá Hybrid 192. This blend is wrapped in a Dominican San Vicente Seco binder for good burning and aromatic characteristics. And the crowing achievement is an Ecuadorian Hybrid 702 Sun Grown wrapper, which is the same leaf that crowned one of my all time favorite Davidoff limited edition cigars, the 2009 Seleccion 702.
The octagonal, red lacquered wooden box sports a velvet lid liner and contains eight cigars. This week’s featured cigar is the 7-inch by 48 ring gauge Year of the Snake Churchill.
TASTING NOTES: This cigar started out immediately with classic Davidoff musky and wet forest aromas and flavors. Grassy notes accompanied these quintessential Davidoff characteristics and the cigar developed good complexity and balance throughout the first half. When I retrohaled the smoke, there were floral and woody notes and a hint of vanilla sweetness.
As always the draw and burn were impeccable, which is a rock-solid feature of Davidoff-made cigars. The ash was very dark and deeply striated and held on firmly until I tapped off in 1-inch chunks.
I have to say that the Year of the Snake limited edition does not provide the same magic as the 2009 limited edition, which used the same wrapper leaf. In fact, I would have to go back pretty far to find any cigar in the Davidoff lineup that would supplant the 2009 LE on my “Best of Davidoff” list.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This cigar displayed quite a metamorphosis from the first to the second half. During the second half, the Year of the Snake Churchill displayed a sharp increase in intensity of flavor and pumped out a lot more natural tobacco sweetness.
I noted sharp cedar notes on the retrohale and an overall increase in body, flavor and strength. Speaking of which, I would say that this Limited Edition Churchill weighed in at medium-to-full in body, flavor and strength.
As I suspected, the construction and burn remained rock-solid throughout the entire smoke and the cigar emitted plenty of smoke with each puff, which made it easy to retrohale. By the last third, this cigar was really showing its best stuff and became a mouthful of complex and intense flavors.
Overall, the Davidoff Year of the Snake Churchill is a fine smoke and one that is certainly worth trying. However, the pricing and packaging leaves me somewhat skeptical. In the past, Davidoff has packaged their limited edition smokes in 10-count boxes, no doubt to make an overall box purchase price a little more palatable. The decrease to an 8-count box further hides a per stick price that is continuing to increase. I can’t see any justification for this kind of price hike and I see no reason for me to purchase another box of these cigars, if for no other reason than on principle.
In any case, I can recommend these cigars to Davidoff aficionados as another fine example of the cigar-making craft.
These cigars reside in their original box of 8 cigars. I have left the cellophane intact. As always, when they come that way, I leave them be.
I have the box stored in my Aristocrat M+ cabinet humidor. The active humidification system is set at 68%RH and the temperatures are a moderate 65-72°F.
This is the first of two podcast reviews.
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