In February, Davidoff hosted its annual Tour Gastronomique in the Dominican Republic for the first time in the event’s history. Historically taking place at locations around Europe, the event features the collaboration of Davidoff and famous chefs in order to create a unique meal to compliment the company’s cigars.
Although there have been cigars released by Davidoff connected to the Tour Gastronomique in the past, the last incarnation of the event saw the introduction of a special release to commemorate the event. Dubbed the Davidoff Chefs Edition, the new blend incorporates a habano 2000 wrapper covering an Ecuadorian Connecticut binder and Dominican San Vicente mejorado seco, San Vicente mejorado visos, piloto visos and San Vicente visas filler tobaccos. There is only one vitola, a 6 x 54 toro which is sold in boxes of 10 and retails for $30 each with only 1,500 boxes produced.
According to Davidoff, there were six chefs who “applied their refined palates in influencing” the Chefs Edition:
- Peter Knogl of the Cheval Blanc of Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland
- Renato Wüst of Bad Ragaz Grand Resort in Switzerland
- Ali Güngörmüs, of Le Canard HH Pageou, Münich, Germany
- Léa Linster of Restaurant Léa Linster in Luxembourg, Germany
- Michel Trama of Relais & Chateau, Puymirol, France
- Maria Marte of Club Allard, Madrid, Spain
“When I first met with my colleagues and the Davidoff team to discuss the blend of Davidoff’s first Chefs Edition, it was important to me that every connoisseur would have fun with the product,” said Peter Knogl, chef of the Cheval Blanc of Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland, in a press release. “As a chef, my key aim is to deliver new delights and to make people happy, and that’s why I love my job and the Davidoff Chefs Edition project.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Chefs Edition
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff
- Wrapper: Dominican habano 2000
- Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
- Filler: Dominican Republic
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $30 (Boxes of 10, $300)
- Release Date: July 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 10 (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Like many Davidoff cigars that I have smoked, the Chefs Edition is covered in a medium brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, albeit without any oil present. There are plenty of obvious veins running up and down the length of the cigar, and it has some nice give to it when it is squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of manure, leather, earth, barnyard, dark chocolate and fruit, while the cold draw brings flavors of distinct cocoa powder, hay, nutmeg sweetness, white pepper and slight citrus.
The Davidoff Chefs Edition starts off with an overtly creamy profile, dominated by flavors of leather and creamy almonds, followed closely by notes of gritty earth, hay, bitter espresso, bread and fragrant cedar. There is a wonderful—albeit subtle—maple syrup sweetness on the retrohale, along with some noticeable white pepper, both of which seem to be getting stronger as the first third burns down. Both the burn and draw are excellent so far, while the smoke production is both dense and white off of the foot. The overall strength starts out firmly in the mild range, and while it does increase, it is not strong enough to get it very far past that point by the time the first third comes to an end.
The sweetness in the Davidoff Chefs Edition shifts noticeably in the second third, morphing from a maple syrup note to a distinct butterscotch flavor that combines nicely with the dominant flavors of both creamy nuts and dark chocolate. Other notes of hay, earth, anise, leather and baker’s spices flit in and out, and there is is a touch of citrus as well. The white pepper on the retrohale has increased noticeably from the first third, and I am also picking up some slight spice on my tongue, although it is fleeting at best. Constriction-wise, the burn is close to razor sharp while the draw is still giving me my idea amount of resistance, while the smoke production shows no signs of letting up. In addition, the strength has increased enough to come close to the medium mark, but the second third ends before it reaches that point.
The final third of the Davidoff Chefs Edition has a totally different combination of domains flavors, namely leather and hay, followed by notes of dark cocoa, espresso beans, citrus, cedar and yeast. The sweetness on the retrohale also sees a shift for the third time, reminding me strongly of cotton candy, while the white pepper note is down significantly from its high point in the second third. Both the draw and burn continue to impress, and while the smoke production is a bit reduced, there is still plenty coming off of the foot of the cigar. The overall strength does finally hit the medium mark right before I put the nub down with less than an inch to go, but never threatened to go any further.
- Although the Davidoff Chefs Edition had an original ship date of March, it was later delayed until July, but then actually shipped in May.
- The Dominican event was held at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic, which also happens to be where the 2015 Tobacconists’ Association of America event took place.
- Although Davidoff’s website describes this cigar as a 3.5/5 on the strength level, I found it to be on the lighter side of medium, and never coming close to going beyond that point.
- In addition, the fact that the same site says that the cigar smoking time is one hour and 10 minutes is way off to me, as each one of the samples I smoked took over an hour and 30 minutes, with the average smoking time ending up at one hour and 40 minutes.
- I find it odd there is no apostrophe on used in the Chefs in the name of the cigar.
- Davidoff advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Davidoff Chefs Edition, site sponsor Cigar.com has them in stock.
I definitely have a love/hate relationship with Davidoff White Label releases: when they are "on fleek," they are excellent, but then there are some that I have not cared for. Thankfully, The Davidoff Chefs Edition is one of the former, and although I picked up that mushroom flavor here and there throughout the smoke, it was never close to strong enough to negatively affect the overall profile. In fact, the combination of distinct flavors, ever-changing sweetness, wonderful construction and excellent balance makes this one of the best cigars I have smoked this year. Yes, it is expensive, but well worth it for when you want to indulge on a great cigar.