Lanceros don’t sell well. The long and thin size doesn’t appear to most as a good value and the small ring gauge makes it more challenging to both roll and smoke than others. As such, it should come as no surprise that culebras—essentially an inch shorter than a lancero, but twisted into a unique shape—do even worse at the register.
Last year, Davidoff released the Davidoff Culebras Limited Edition but the company opted to only sell the limited amount of cigars in its own stores, a decision no doubt in large part due to the $55.50 price tag and the generally lackadaisical sales of the vitola.
In fairness, for $55.50 you get three cigars, but consumers still end up paying $18.50 per 6 1/2 x 33 cigar—and they’re twisted.
Each culebra actually included three different blends, one each of the company’s Discovery lines: Escurio, Nicaragua and Yamasá
I reviewed the Escurio version, which was good, but ended up being my least favorite of the trio:
I’ve smoked all three of the new Discover Series culebras and this is the only one I’ve had issues with. While the flavor was fine throughout, the constant burn issues were annoying and certainly didn’t improve on things taste-wise. Culebras are not the easiest size to smoke; the bends combined with the smaller ring gauge mean that I find myself constantly fighting between keeping the cigar lit, while not making the smoke itself too hot. In this particular case, I’m not sure I could have found a happy balance as all three cigars showed issues right around the one and a half inch mark.
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Culebras Limited Edition Escurio
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
- Binder: Brazil (Cubra)
- Filler: Brazil (Cubra & Mata Fina) & Dominican Republic (Olor & San Vicente)
- Length: 6 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 33
- Vitola: Culebra
- MSRP: $18.50 (Coffins of 3, $55.50)
- Release Date: April 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes of 24 Coffins of 8 Cigars (3,200 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3
This particular example has been sitting in the black coffin alone since the review and it seems like the time out of the unique shape has led to some slight changes, notably the bottom appears to have taken on a more angular shape. Aroma off of the wrapper is pretty mild with just some cedar and acidity. The foot reminds me of a burnt roux with nutmeg and cream being the two standout flavors. There’s lots of floral flavors and a bit of a gum-ball shell on the cold draw, though I cannot pick up any additional flavors no matter how many times I try.
The Escurio Culebra starts toasty with burnt sourdough bread the notable flavor on top of some earthiness and fruitiness. That continues for much of the first inch with floral flavors and unripe strawberries joining the fray in the retrohale. At times there are touches of creaminess, but there’s no real pepper. A bit past halfway, grapefruit and earthiness takeover, with the latter continuing to increase with each puff. A yogurt-like creaminess stays in the middle of the tongue, but it never becomes anything more than a secondary note. Unfortunately, with less than two inches left the earthiness has completely overtaken the profile and it’s become sharper. An herbal flavor wings around for an inch or so and some drier creaminess mixes in, but it loses the brightness and balance from the earlier portions of the cigar. With less than an inch, black pepper emerges, the first traces of any pepper throughout the entire cigar.
Construction is impeccable from start to finish. Despite the small ring gauge, I’m able to let the cigar sit for roughly two minutes between puffs and there’s only one time in which I find myself concerned about the cigar going out, which it doesn’t. Flavor is medium-plus at the start, picking up to medium-full by the second third while body and strength remain at medium-full and medium from virtually start to finish.
It was all going so well for the Davidoff Escurio Culebra—and then the final third happened. While it was a disaster, it didn’t live up to the first two thirds, which were extremely impressive. Still, the cigar is in a noticeably better place than it was 10 months ago, enough that I’d now place it on the same level as I remember the other two cigars that came in the box.