Cigar Review: Year of the Dog by DavidoffBy Mariana Heredia
Davidoff’s Year of the Dog is a limited edition release influenced by a previous Chinese Zodiac release, the Year of the Snake – review it now!
Davidoff Year of the Dog Review
- Vitola: Gran Churchill
- 7” x 50 ring gauge
Dominican Piloto (Seco and Viso), San Vicente Ligero, and Nicaraguan Estel Seco fillers are used, as well as a Dominican San Vicente Seco binder and an Ecuadorian Habano Claro wrapper.
These are sold in boxes of ten, with just 9000 boxes available worldwide. The retail price is above $40 per stick, which is more than previous years (the Year of the Monkey was in the mid-high $30s), but lower than last year’s Year of the Rooster (a Diadema that went for $42+). With local tobacco taxes taken into consideration, those prices mirror what we’ve seen the cigars sell for. Some places may be less expensive (due to reduced taxes or a decision to stick to MSRP pricing), while others may be more expensive (lots of states out there with higher tobacco tax rates).
The Year of the Dog box, like prior years’ releases, is beautiful and almost extravagant. It’s a complex mix of wood grain and lacquered surfaces, with red and gold prominently featured (good luck colors colors culture). The design features unusual, eye-catching angles that make you think the box could double as a humidor…that it’s great.
The wrapper for the Year of the Dog was a milk chocolate brown tint with minimal mottling. It smelled like a combination of soil, cedar, and grass. The cigar’s foot had a little more earth and grassiness, as well as a hint of spiciness.
The first few puffs had a luscious, dark fruit sweetness on the palate, with minor flavors of cedar and hay, as well as a tiny pepper burn. The retrohale was hazelnut, with a peppery undertone. After around 10 minutes, we noticed some intriguing salty overtones in the mix. The flavor profile also picked up some leathery overtones toward the conclusion of the first third.
The second third developed with leathery notes at the forefront, earth and cedar in the background, and salty and sweet tastes continuing to provide a robust undercurrent of complexity. In the latter third, earthiness took center stage, pushing leathery notes down to mingle with the cedar.
The cigar is pricey. However, flawless execution and a wonderful flavor profile helped to offset the exorbitant price tag. The price point is definitely “special occasion only.”
In a medium-to-full-bodied cigar, the Year of the Dog was a masterclass in intricacy. In terms of overall flavor profile and level of experience, it’s a step up from the Year of the Rooster and sits comfortably alongside the Year of the Monkey. This isn’t a cheap cigar by any means, and it’s unlikely that anyone reading this will smoke it regularly, but it’s worth considering for Chinese New Year celebrations (weather permitting… it’s in February) or any other occasion when you want to live largely.
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