In 2002 Davidoff released a limited edition cigar with a 53 ring gauge using aged tobaccos and in a perfecto format. What made this cigar unique was the utilization of a Dominican wrapper. Davidoff has now rereleased the vitola in another limited run with 10 year aged tobacco and another Dominican wrapper. I was able to smoke the original version back then and this made for an interesting comparison. Smoking blind I could only see the cigar itself was very well made and I was looking forward to checking out what it had to offer.
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Special 53 Capa Dominicana
- Wrapper: Dominican Republic
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Size:6 1/8 Perfecto
- Price: $32
Appearance and Construction
The Davidoff Special 53 Capa Dominicana is draped in a semi-dark, slightly slightly veiny wrapper with a pointed foot. The cigar is extremely well rolled and is packed full of tobacco. The foot smells of cocoa and strong cedar and the roll is solid which attests to the craftsmanship of the cigar.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
After a straight cut, I take a dry draw from the Davidoff Special 53. It’s airy and gives off impressions of raisin and wood notes. I light the cigar with a strip of cedar and the first few puffs are drying rather than leathery with some saltiness. I encounter some chary characteristics that become immediately bitter on the finish. As the cigar progresses a bit, there’s an emerging pencil lead followed by earth and cedar. The Davidoff Special 53 is medium bodied at this point with less than pronounced flavors.
At midway, what began as paper turns into oak and sweet cedar delivering a short bitter finish. The burn line is sharp and the ash somewhat flaky at its peak. Sweet and salty dominate the cigar with crema on the sides of the mouthfeel, albeit in short supply when it reaches the back of the tongue. As the Davidoff Special 53 progresses, it gives off a pencil lead note and a charry smell in its smoke production. I am drawing the cigar at a fine pace, but burns a bit hotter than I want. Despite this the medium body smoke remains the same and a bit of spice resonates on the retrohale.
Toward the final third of the Davidoff Special 53, sharp oak–almost like a bourbon–hits my throat in a surprising fashion. The flavor smooths out to become less woody and adds a bit of cinnamon spice. All the while there is the same underlying bitterness that makes the cigar unpleasant.
Happily the bitterness is later rounded out with a slight sweetness that tames the smoke. With the medium bodied profile continuing on, the interplay between paper and airiness creates a milder body that is lacking in depth. As I take the last few puffs of the Davidoff Special 53, cedar and bit of crema emerge, but with a short finish.
Not knowing what I was smoking, I wasn’t surprised when I later found out it was Davidoff. The construction, tobacco and roll was spot on. I was disappointed overall though. I’ve smoked the original Davidoff Special 53 and I recall it being a medium bodied, nuanced smoke with a tasty wrapper. While this cigar fell into the medium bodied range the flavors were either papery, arid or bitter. Even when salty, sweet and wood notes emerged they were short on the finish. The bitterness that came through especially midway hurt the smoking experience as well. Davidoff produces some excellent quality cigars and quite enjoyable blends. However for the price point I would look to other lines in their portfolio.