From traveling to Central and South America for his rites of passage as a tobacconist in the 1920s to smuggling Cuban cigars out of France in the 1940s, Zino Davidoff had a thrilling and adventurous story behind his success. If the entertainment industry takes an interest in the history of tobacco, he takes the top prize as a success story in the industry. As for me, understanding the hardships he went through and the difficult decisions he had to overcome make me appreciate Davidoff cigars that much more.
Under normal circumstances, I would only smoke a Davidoff cigar when celebrating or for a special event, not a regular Tuesday smoke. To my surprise, I had the pleasure of doing a blind review on the Davidoff Aniversario Special R.
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Aniversario Special ‘R’
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size: Robusto (5” x 50)
Appearance & Construction
Without knowing the brand, I can tell this cigar is rolled with perfection in mind. The soft honey-colored wrapper feels very smooth all around. There are no noticeable veins or blemishes, just the right amount of tobacco packed, and there are no soft spots in the roll.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
The cold draw is very pleasing with a taste of sweet and tart of dry apricot. The draw resistance is perfect, about a 6/10 in terms of amount of restrictiveness.
Once I introduced a laser-sharp flame to the foot of the cigar, a scent of sweet caramel emits from the smoke. About another twenty seconds in, the cigar is lit and I’m able to take my first puff. The smoke is creamy with notes of cedar, dry hay, and light caramel accompanied by an undertone of red pepper.
On retrohale, red pepper spice sizzles through my nasal passage. Just when I think the burning sensation is about to become overwhelming, it mellows out and the scent of light caramel and vanilla wash over. Also interesting is that unlike any other Davidoff I’ve had, the Aniversario Special ‘R’ starts as a nicotine bomb.
An inch in, the ash holds sturdily in the wind. The smoke profile becomes sweeter and toastier, and it also introduces flavor notes of lily petals and fresh almonds.
Arriving at the second third of the Davidoff Aniversario Special R, the red pepper transforms to black pepper and the sizzling sensation moves from the back of my tongue to the tip. The overall flavors lighten up, and the smoke is sweet and floral with a citrusy tart aftertaste. The nicotine lets up a bit halfway through as well.
In the final third, the pepper spice dissipates on the palate. All that’s left are fresh almonds and cedar in the smoke, and pepper spice and barnyard in the retrohale. As the last bit of smoke dries out my tongue, I can’t help but compare it with the texture of sandy graham pie crust.
The Aniversario Special ‘R’ is a complex and nub-worthy smoke. The flavors are well balanced between the palate and the retrohale. As good as this cigar was to smoke, the unexpected nicotine bomb during the first third of the cigar was just a bit much. If shifted to the final third, then I think this would have been a near-perfect smoke.