In 2014, Greenwich, Conn.-based retailer The Tobacconist of Greenwich released an exclusive release meant to commemorate its 40th year in business. Named The Tobacconist of Greenwich JGL 40 Years, the new cigar was part of Davidoff of Geneva USA’s new retailer anniversary program, which gives retailers that are celebrating major anniversaries the opportunity to choose blends and attach their names to a commemorative release that are then packaged in specially-made boxes with appropriate secondary bands.
While there were only four cigars released during its inaugural year, the program has grown considerably since then. Perhaps the most obvious signs of the growth are two changes within the program: the first is that the exclusive cigars are no longer limited to just retailers celebrating anniversaries, but are instead created in collaboration with some of the company’s top retail and distribution partners around the world. The second major change is the sheer number of releases: while there were only four cigars sold under the program in 2014, the class of 2019 features 10 different exclusive cigars, including blends that will be available exclusively in countries like Austria, Dubai and Hong Kong.
“Davidoff Exclusives are extremely popular among our partners as this program allows them to offer aficionados exclusive, custom-made blends catering to the local taste preferences, and presented in beautiful personalized boxes,” said Edward Simon, chief marketing officer at Oettinger Davidoff AG, via a press release. “Our master blenders are pushing the boundaries of taste every year and manage to develop new and exciting blends every time. This year is no exception and we are sure aficionados will be delighted by our 2019 Exclusives cigar selection.”
One of those aforementioned 10 cigars is the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years, which commemorates the 45th anniversary of the store. Blend-wise, the cigars feature a habano wrapper from Ecuador covering a Mexican San Andrés negro binder and filler tobaccos sourced from both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The 5 x 52 robustos are packaged in 10-count white lacquered boxes that are individually numbered and feature the store’s logo in gold foil and there were only 3,000 cigars released with each carrying a retail price of $28.
There are a total of 10 different Davidoff exclusive cigars this year.
- Davidoff Exclusive Dubai (400 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available in Dubai travel retail and domestic only
- Davidoff Exclusive Hong Kong (600 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available in Hong Kong travel retail and domestic only
- Davidoff Exclusive Barcelona (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at domestic retailers in Barcelona, Spain
- Davidoff Exclusive Madrid (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at domestic retailers in Madrid, Spain
- Davidoff Exclusive Winzer Selektion (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at domestic retailers in Austria
- Davidoff Exclusive The China Whisky Association (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at domestic retailers in Asia
- Davidoff *****Ambassador Exclusive (500 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at Davidoff Ambassador accounts in Germany
- Davidoff Exclusive Maxamar Cigars – White Knight Edition (400 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at Maxamar Cigars in Orange, Calif.
- Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at The Tobacconist of Greenwich in Greenwich, Conn.
- Davidoff Exclusive Cigar Journal 25th Anniversary (300 Boxes of 10 Cigars) — Available only at retailers in Germany and the United States
- Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff
- Wrapper: Equador (Habano)
- Binder: Mexico (San Andrés Negro)
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $28 (Boxes of 10, $280)
- Release Date: April 2019
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 10 (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Visually, the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years is covered in a milk chocolate brown wrapper that features a very noticeable reddish tin as well as a small amount of oil. Although smooth to the touch, there are a number of obvious veins running up and down the cigar, and it is extremely hard when squeezed. The aroma from the wrapper is a combination of generic wood, hay, peanut shells, leather, strong earth, vegetal and manure, while the cold draw brings flavors of bitter dark chocolate, creamy oak, leather, anise, fresh cut grass, sourdough bread and a touch of banana sweetness.
Numerous flavors hit my palate the moment I light the foot of the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years, including a dominant combination of creamy leather and oak followed by notes of cereal, tree bark, hay, citrus, lead and coffee grounds. There is a touch of spice noticeable on my tongue—although it is so light I don’t expect it to hang around very long—as well as some white pepper on the retrohale, both of which combine nicely with some banana sweetness that is pulled over from the cold draw. While both the burn and draw are excellent so far, the smoke production coming from the foot is another matter, as it is not as copious as I would expect nor as dense. Strength-wise, the Davidoff starts out fairly mild, and although it seems to ramp up quickly, it still does not come close to the medium mark but the end of the first third.
Although the main flavors of oak and leather remain the same, the rest of the profile of the JGL 45 Years changes significantly in the second third, not only becoming more creamy overall but also adding a number of different secondary notes that include lemongrass, roasted corn, earth, hay and cocoa nibs. As expected, the spice on my tongue is long gone by the halfway point, but the white pepper and banana sweetness on the retrohale continue to provide complexity to the profile. Construction-wise, the burn and the draw remain excellent, but the smoke production continues to be thin in body, while the overall strength rises to a point just under medium by the time the second third ends.
Contrary to the second third, the final third of the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years does not feature near as many changes to the profile, and that is a very good thing. The overtly creamy leather and oak remain very dominant, followed by some new secondary flavors of mint, anise, almonds, roasted espresso beans, gritty earth and white chocolate. Both the white pepper and banana sweetness continue to be noticeable on the retrohale, and while I am picking up some mushroom mustiness on the finish, it is slight enough that it does not permeate the rest of the profile. While the smoke production remains quite thin, the rest of the construction continues to be top-notch, with neither the draw or the burn giving me any issues at all. In terms of strength, the Davidoff JGL 45 Years finally hits a solid medium mark—and perhaps just a bit higher—just as I put the nub down with a bit more than an inch left.
- If you are wondering, the JGL in the name of the cigar refers to the store’s original owner, James G. Lacerra who passed away in 2011.
- Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that one of the 10 cigars released under the Davidoff program this year commemorates Cigar Journal magazine’s 25th anniversary. Interestingly, Illusione Cigars also released a cigar this year celebrating the magazine’s anniversary dubbed ~eccj 25th~, which stands for European Cigar Cult Journal, a name the magazine was previously known as.
- The overall physical construction was excellent on each of the three cigars I smoked for the review, but one thing I noticed was that the smoke from the foot on each sample was quite a bit thinner in body that I have become accustomed to with Davidoff blends.
- Davidoff advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Tobacconist of Greenwich.
- Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 18 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years cigars, the only place you can get them is at The Tobacconist of Greenwich.
Whether talking about Davidoff’s program, Habanos S.A.’s Edición Regional program or any others, I have always loved the idea of stores, cities, states, regions or countries being able to sell exclusive blends, as long as those cigars are good enough to make the effort worth it. Thankfully, the Davidoff Exclusive The Tobacconist of Greenwich – JGL 45 Years is easily one of those releases. While the dominant flavors of creamy leather and oak stay fairly constant throughout the entire profile, the complexity in the blend comes from the large number of secondary notes that change with abandon, including bananas, mint, lemongrass, anise and even roasted corn. Although the second third was an obvious choice on all three samples when it came to enjoyment for me, the entire profile is complex, flavorful and extremely balanced, leading to a blend that is easy to recommend picking up for yourself.