This year Davidoff revealed their anniversary program at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July. The program allows retailers who carry Davidoff’s White Label line to celebrate major anniversaries with special blends that are for the program and not from any of Davidoff’s current production blends. Each year Davidoff will choose a size and five different blends, then allow the retailers participating that year to choose which blend they want. There is a minimum order of 300 boxes of 10 cigars, and while there is no maximum, the retailer has to place their order all at once. For the first year of this program, four retailers decided to participate. Davidoff Retailer Anniversary Program 2014

  • Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary (5 1/4 x 54) — $29.50 (Boxes of 10, $295) — 500 Boxes of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Davidoff Cigarz on the Avenue (5 1/4 x 54) — $34.99 (Boxes of 10, $349.90) — 500 Boxes of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Davidoff Club Humidor (5 1/4 x 54) — $20 (Boxes of 10, $200) — 300 Boxes of 10 (3,000 Total Cigars)
  • Davidoff Tobacconist of Greenwich JGL 40 Years (5 1/4 x 54) — $20 (Boxes of 10, $200) — 400 Boxes of 10 (4,000 Total Cigars)

Today I will be looking at the BLEND Bar Inaugural Anniversary, which was the only retailer of the four this year to release the blend information. The other three retailers either declined to release the information, or in the case of Club Humidor, didn’t even want to know the blend The BLEND Bar’s blend is a Connecticut-seed Ecuadorian “Colorado Claro” wrapper, with a Dominican San Vicente binder that’s been aged four years and five different filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic that have each been aged four to seven years. Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary Box 1 Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary Box 2 BLEND Bar • Cigar is unique in that it also celebrating its first anniversary, as opposed to one ending in a zero or five, which was described as the basic requirements for being eligible for the program. Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff
  • Wrapper: Connecticut-seed Ecuadorian “Colorado Claro”
  • Binder: Dominican San Vicente
  • Filler: Dominican
  • Size: 5 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto Gordo
  • MSRP: $29.50 (Boxes of 10, $295)
  • Date Released: Aug. 18, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

The Inaugural Anniversary has a classic white label look with a great-looking medium brown wrapper and two clean white bands with gold embossed print. Running my fingers over the cigar the wrapper feels a little closer to tissue paper than silk – it’s smooth and not very oily, almost to the point of feeling a bit dry though it’s not under humidified. There is some give to it overall, with a minor soft spot near the foot. The aroma off the wrapper is great, reminding me of an old house with some aged wood, slight floral aroma and a slight musty hay note. I know that doesn’t sound overly appealing when I write it out, but it works together very well. The cold draw is very delicate with notes of almond, more of the musty hay, a touch of the aged wood and the slightest hint of orange zest. The first third starts off smooth, slightly sweet and with creamy overtones to the profile, which is made up of a nuttiness, musty hay, aged wood and just the slightest bit of pepper on the nose. The retrohale is incredibly smooth giving off lots of aged tobacco notes along with just a touch of pepper. The draw is good, well within the ideal range. Though the burn isn’t perfect, it’s mostly even with the light gray ash having a nice compact ring design to it and holding on to around an inch. Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary 2 As I move into the second third of the BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary it’s much the same as the first. Creamy nuttiness, musty hay, aged wood and pepper make up the profile, though the pepper has grown enough to join the rest of the profile instead of being in the background. The burn continues to have a few minor issues and needs a couple touch ups, though it isn’t anything serious and it’s still mostly even. Though the ash is holding on well it’s become a little flakey. The earlier nuttiness has resolved into a little more specific hazelnut and almond note, really adding to a distinct and enjoyable profile. Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary 3 The final third starts with significantly more pepper in the profile, though it isn’t anywhere near what I would call a pepper bomb. The creamy hazelnut, hay and wood are still fairly forward on the profile and haven’t taken a backseat to the pepper. One more touch-up is needed as a part of the cigar has fallen behind, but that’s only three for the whole cigar – not perfect but by no means annoying. The final little bit of the cigar sees the hazelnut turn into something like toasted hazelnut, along with the pepper and wood finishing up the profile nicely. Davidoff BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary 4 Final Notes

  • While both samples had a couple of burn issues, the first one I smoked had enough that I was worried it was a touch more humidified than it should have been. I kept the second sample at a slightly lower relative humidity for a couple days before I smoked it, and it fared a little better.
  • Though the first sample had a slightly more difficult time with the burn, both samples performed very similar as far as the profile goes.
  • This blend was based on the Davidoff Limited Edition 2009 Selección 702.
  • BLEND Bar • Cigar is the only appointed merchant in the state of Indiana.
  • It was previously known as Indy Cigar Bar before becoming BLEND Bar • Cigar. Corey Johnston, the original owner, is now listed as the president of CKM Entertainment, LLC, which owns BLEND.
  • If you’ve been to the Davidoff Golden Band Awards, or follow the results as your pastime, you’ll probably be familiar with both names as it’s a frequent nominee for various awards.
  • Davidoff is an advertiser on halfwheel.
  • The cigars for this review were provided to halfwheel by BLEND Bar • Cigar.
  • Final smoking time averaged around an hour and 45 minutes.
90 Overall Score

Having smoked both samples before I read what the specific blend information was, I could tell quite definitively that the tobacco used for the BLEND Bar Cigar Inaugural Anniversary was delicate, aged and developed. The aroma of the wrapper, cold draw and lit profile all had tell-tale signs of it, and the blend worked phenomenally. The flavors were clear cut and all worked together very well. The downside is of course the less than perfect burn performance, though I wouldn’t ever say it encroached into “bad” territory. And while we don’t take price into account for the score, I do want to mention that this is the first $30 cigar that I’ve actually considered buying a box of. It’s not cheap, so I understand the hesitation in buying a full box, but do yourself a favor and pick up one or two of these at the least. The profile is unique and enjoyable, and unfortunately with the limited production, they won’t be around forever.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.