In 2013, Davidoff Cigars released the first line in its Discovery Series, which was created to include blends that focused on a particular place in the world. That inaugural line was a Nicaraguan puro appropriately named Davidoff Nicaragua, which was made with a 10-year-old Nicaraguan Havana-seed rosado wrapper.
The company added the Davidoff Escurio to the series in 2015, a blend highlighted by the inclusion of Brazilian tobacco in both the binder and filler. Just one year later, Davidoff finished off the trifecta by introducing Davidoff Yamasá, which paid tribute to the growing region of the same name located in the Dominican Republic.
Other than the somewhat predictable additions of various new vitolas to the existing blends, nothing much was heard about the Discovery Series until April, when Davidoff announced a new addition that combined the three previous releases into one creation.
That new hybrid blend turned out to be the Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro, a 5 1/2 x 58 parejo made with a Ecuadorian wrapper covering a Brazilian seco binder and five different filler tobaccos: Brazilian mata fina seco; visos from Estelí and Jalapa, Nicaragua; and a hybrid 2020 seco and San Vicente mejorado seco from the Dominican Republic.
“Our Black Band Collection lines depict the elements earth, water and fire,” said Edward Simon, chief marketing officer at Oettinger Davidoff AG, in a press release. “With their exceptional tobaccos originating in Brazil, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, our Escurio, Nicaragua and Yamasá lines have always been an adventure in taste. I am proud that with our new Davidoff Black Band Limited Edition, we combine the best of these three strong blends and create an exciting cigar for those seeking to discover new experiences and a fair bit of alternation in their cigar enjoyment.”
Each Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro carries an MSRP of $32 and production is limited to 13,500 12-count boxes. The cigars were rolled at the Cigars Davidoff factory in the Dominican Republic they started shipping to retailers on May 5.
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Brazil
- Filler: Brazil( Mata Fina Seco), Dominican Republic (Hybrid 2020 Seco & San Vicente Mejorado Seco) & Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 58
- Vitola: Gran Toro
- MSRP: $32 (Box of 12, $384)
- Release Date: May 5, 2022
- Number of Cigars Released: 13,500 Boxes of 12 Cigars (162,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Covered in a medium brown wrapper that includes a noticeable reddish tint, the Davidoff Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro has a substantial feeling to it when held in my hand. The wrapper is silky smooth to the touch with a bit of oil present, and all three samples are extremely firm when squeezed, although one cigar does have a soft spot right above the foot. Aroma from the wrapper includes light earth, cedar, leather, nutmeg and dark chocolate on all three cigars, but one sample also includes an obvious cinnamon note. Scents from the foot are more distinct and include dark chocolate, creamy cedar, cinnamon, hay, sourdough bread, vegetal, graham cracker sweetness and espresso beans. Finally, after a straight cut, the cold draw brings full flavors of strong, dry hay, mushroom, cocoa nibs, leather tack, citrus peel, cedar, straw, vanilla sweetness and white pepper.
A blast of caramel sweetness and leather is the first thing I notice after I light the foot of the Davidoff. While the caramel remains, the leather note is quickly replaced at the top of the profile by a strong combination of creamy cedar and dark chocolate. Additional flavors of hay, mushroom, mint leaves, leather, toasted bread, cinnamon and creamy cashews flit in and out, while the retrohale includes more caramel sweetness and plenty of white pepper. Flavor starts out with a bang at a solid medium, while both body and strength lag behind at points slightly under medium. In terms of construction, the draw is excellent and smoke production is well above average, but two of the three cigars run into problems early resulting in two separate corrections with my lighter for each.
There is a fairly significant change in the profile of the cigar during the second third when it comes to the main flavors, which have shifted from the cedar and dark chocolate to a combination of espresso beans and creamy cashews. Secondary notes still include leather, toasted bread and slight mushroom, but new flavors of baker’s spices and earth join the mix as well. However, there is almost no change on the retrohale, which still includes both white pepper and caramel sweetness in pretty much the same amounts as was seen in the first third. Flavor bumps up to medium-plus, the body is at a solid medium and the strength jumps to a point just over medium and is still increasing. Construction-wise, the story is almost identical to the first third: the draw and smoke production are both excellent across all three samples, but two of the three cigars each need two touch-ups before the second third comes to a close.
More changes are in store for the Davidoff during the final third, as the top flavors have shifted once again to a combination of distinct charred meat and black pepper followed by earth, cinnamon, creamy cedar, generic nuts, leather tack and musky mushroom. There is a minor but noticeable change on the retrohale, where the white pepper has receded, replaced by more caramel sweetness. Flavor ends the cigar just under full, body hits a point just over medium and the strength reaches medium-full before stalling out. Unfortunately, the burn continues to give me issues, with two of the three samples needing attention to keep on track, although the draw and smoke production remain trouble-free until I put the nubs down with less than an inch remaining.
- Interestingly, Davidoff’s press release announcing this cigar did not describe the series as the “Discovery Series” and instead used the name “Black Band Collection.”
- The logo for the Davidoff Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro combines the colors used in the marketing for each of the three cigars that preceded it.
- While there is some of that musky mushroom flavor that I notice in quite a few Davidoff blends—and that I don’t particularly care for—it remains a background note for the entirety of the cigar and never comes close to being strong enough to negatively affecting the profile.
- The Davidoff website lists the “Enjoyment Time”—i.e. the smoking time —as 60-70 minutes, which is an absolutely insane claim for a cigar this size that is this packed with tobacco.
- This is not the first time Davidoff has tried to combine the three Discover Series releases into a single package. In 2017, it created a limited edition culebra contained three different cigars: one of each blend.
- As you may have noticed when reading through the review, while both the draw and the smoke production were stellar on all three samples I smoked, the burn was another matter altogether. In fact, all three cigars needed more than one correction with my lighter and two samples had a noticeable burn issue—both in the second third—that I consider to be extremely unusual when smoking Davidoff cigars.
- Davidoff of Geneva USA advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for all three cigars averaged out to two hours and six minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Davidoff Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro cigars, site sponsors Corona Cigar Co., Famous Smoke Shop and JR Cigar have them in stock now.
It is easy to be surprised by the Davidoff Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro, albeit for two very different reasons. First, the amount of nuance and depth present in the blend is astounding, highlighted not only by caramel sweetness on the retrohale but also main flavors that continuously change throughout the two-plus hour smoking time: creamy cedar and dark chocolate in the first third shift to cashews and espresso beans in the second third before ending with charred meat and black pepper in the final third. Having said that, I was also surprised—and not in a good way—by the construction when it comes to the burn as each of the samples I smoked needed multiple corrections with my lighter, not all of them minor. In the end, the Discovery Limited Edition 2022 Gran Toro is well worth the time, money and effort to track down when it comes to flavor and complexity, but be prepared for significantly more frustrations than you may be used to when compared with past Davidoff releases.