Davidoff has a long and proud history of innovation. The company’s namesake, Zino Davidoff, not only created game-changing experimental blends during his time in Cuba, he also invented the humidor as we know it today. Davidoff led the charge amidst the game-changing Cuban embargo, experimenting with Dominican tobacco to launch a new line of fine cigars. One such experiment involved a 20-year endeavor by master blender Henke Kelner to cultivating and refining tobacco from the swampy Yamasá region of the D.R. Welcome to the first of our four Yamasá reviews! Today, we’ll be puffing on the Petit Churchill vitola; can this little fellow honor Davidoff’s proud legacy of innovation?
Form and Substance
Vitola: Petit Churchill
Wrapper: Yamasá, Dominican Republic
Binder: Yamasá, Dominican Republic
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí, Condega
Dimensions: 50’ x 4”
Country of Origin: Yamasá, Dominican Republic
Aesthetics, Construction and Feel
The Yamasá’s distinctive nature is made immediately apparent by the cold odor of the body; it carries the velvety earth odor, a signature of Davidoff stogies, but it’s a far more strong and mature version than any other Davidoff I’ve ever had. The wrapper and the cap are both rustic, much like the swamps of the region it comes from; there are no veins, but the stems are visible from a mile away; yet, they’re also tough, the cap in particular showing no unraveling signs after the cut. The body is totally packed; there’s literally no room for soft spots. This should be good.
Smoke and Flavor
The Yamasá nearly knocks me off my feet on the introduction with a blast of dark hardwood in the foreground and a cinnamon kick in the background. The draw is tight, and the body has a little trouble burning evenly, but the smoke clouds are nice and thick, as is the texture of the puff, and the retrohale is full and peppery.
The second third only makes the Yamasá even stronger than before. The wood remains consistent in its strength, although its taste displays signs of slight immaturity at this particular stage. The texture of the puff becomes very dense and swampy, fittingly enough, and the heat intensifies, burning the tongue with every puff. Fortunately, the cinnamon in the background evolves into straight sugar, helping to counter and therefore ease the burgeoning intensity.
The final third is, per the usual, the best part. The harshness in the puff begins to wear off while keeping its dense and swampy texture intact. The dark hardwood in the foreground converges with the sugar in the background, maturing into a hybrid, redwood flavor. The retrohale stays peppery, though the pepper itself mellows somewhat with the addition of some sugar in the flavor.
The Final Verdict
This is definitely a cigar for the history books. The Yamasá is undoubtedly one of the strongest high-end cigars I’ve ever had. The dark hardwood was consistent, and the background notes gave the flavor the complexity and intricacy that Davidoff prides itself on. The fact that this cigar even exists at all is a miracle in and of itself; a testament to Davidoff’s efforts to continue their traditions of innovation and quality. The slight immaturity in the wood that I encountered during the second third indicate to me that the Yamasá can be improved upon somewhat. In essence, this means that there’s nowhere to go but up for this already exemplary line of cigars. Job well done, Davidoff, continue to push those boundaries!
Final Grade: A
Tips for a Perfect Smoke Experience
This cigar is one of the heaviest hitters on the current scene, so arm yourself with chocolate to eat, or something sweet to drink; it’ll help to balance the flavor, and it’ll protect your tongue from singeing during the second third.