While most cigar smokers—and even Davidoff retailers—likely think of the Davidoff Zodiac Series as an annual release of a different cigar each year, for the last couple of years it’s actually been two different cigars each year.

Davidoff makes more than 100,000 of the main cigar—the regular Year of the Rabbit is a 5 15/16 x 54 double perfecto—but the company also produces a very limited number of Davidoff Masterpiece Humidors to coincide with each release. For both the Year of the Tiger and the most recent release, the Year of the Rabbit, those humidors have contained cigars that use the same blend but are offered in a different vitola.

As part of the Year of the Rabbit release, Davidoff announced that it would create a Rabbit-themed Masterpiece humidor that contains a 6 x 56 toro extra version of the blend. However, it also announced that the vitola would also be sold in boxes at its Davidoff of Geneva — since 1911 flagship stores, i.e. the stores that say Davidoff on the outside. Officially, it’s known as the Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Exclusive. It uses the same blend as the regular cigar: an Ecuadorian hybrid 238 wrapper over a Mexican San Andrés negro binder and five fillers. Four of them are from the Dominican Republic—piloto seco, San Vicente ligero, San Vicente seco and Yamasá viso—and the fifth is seco from Estelí, Nicaragua. Davidoff says the average age of the filler tobacco is four and a half years.

The Davidoff Zodiac Series has been known for its high-end packaging and the Year of the Rabbit Flagship Edition might be the best in terms of craftsmanship. It’s a 24-count box that has been upgraded in just about every way imaginable. The top of the box is covered in high-gloss lacquer allowing both the red to shine through, while the woodgrain is left without the lacquer which helps create contrast. Instead of having a clasp, the box is opened by a push button, which unlocks the lid. Rather than being stacked on top of one another, the cigars are packed in four trays of six cigars. All that together makes for a large, beautiful and very heavy box.

Davidoff set the MSRP for the Year of the Rabbit Flagship Edition at $72 per cigar—a $22 premium compared to the perfecto—and it is limited to 600 boxes.


In 2012, Davidoff released the Davidoff Limited Edition 2013 Year of the Snake—yes the years don’t align—as a limited edition in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year. The snake was the animal of the upcoming year—it typically starts in January or February—on the Chinese Zodiac calendar. In a reference to Chinese culture, red and gold were used as prominent colors because they symbolize wealth and good luck. Further keeping with this theme, it came in eight-count boxes as eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture.

There is no way that Davidoff could have seen what was coming.

A year before, Davidoff stores in Asia had released the Year of the Dragon as a regional exclusive that went without the red and gold theme. That release was so unheralded that even to this day, few at the company seem to know what actually happened with the first release of the Dragon. For the first few years of the series, the American Davidoff employees initially denied that the release existed, they simply were unaware. Pretty quickly, the overall Zodiac Series exploded in popularity and has since become one of the most important releases in the company’s annual calendar. It’s also inspired copycats by a number of companies including Drew Estate, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Tabacalera and even Habanos S.A.

Note: The following shows the various Davidoff Zodiac Series releases over the years. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was published. The list was last updated on Jan. 29, 2023.

  1. Davidoff Cuvée Selection 2012 Year of the Dragon (6 x 52) — $35 (Bundle of 10, $350) — Undisclosed
  2. Davidoff Limited Edition 2013 Year of the Snake (7 x 48) — $29.90 (Box of 8, $239.20) — 4,500 Boxes of 8 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
  3. Davidoff Limited Edition 2014 Year of the Horse (6 x 60) — $31 (Box of 9, $279) — 5,000 Boxes of 9 Cigars (45,000 Total Cigars)
  4. Davidoff Limited Edition 2015 Year of the Sheep (6 1/2 x 54) — $35 (Box of 8, $280) — 3,000 Boxes of 8 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
  5. Davidoff Limited Edition 2016 Year of the Monkey (6 1/2 x 50) — $34 (Box of 10, $340) — 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
  6. Davidoff Limited Edition 2017 Year of the Rooster (6 3/4 x 50) — $40 (Box of 10, $400) — 8,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (80,000 Total Cigars)
  7. Davidoff Limited Edition 2018 Year of the Dog (7 x 50) — $39 (Box of 10, $390) — 4,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (45,000 Total Cigars)
  8. Davidoff Limited Edition 2019 Year of the Pig (6 x 56) — $39 (Box of 10, $390) — 9,300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (93,000 Total Cigars)
  9. Davidoff Limited Edition 2020 Year of the Rat (6 x 52) — $39 (Box of 10, $390) — 10,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (100,000 Total Cigars)
  10. Davidoff Limited Edition 2021 Year of the Ox (6 x 60) — $40 (Box of 10, $400) — 13,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (135,000 Total Cigars)
  11. Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 Year of the Tiger (5 x 52) — $42 (Box of 10, $420) — 17,350 Boxes of 10 Cigars (173,500 Total Cigars)
  12. Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 Year of the Tiger Toro — $397 (Humidor of 88, $35,000) — 24 Humidors of 88 Cigars (2,112 Total Cigars)*
  13. Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit (5 15/16 x 54) — $50 (Box of 10, $500) — 19,200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (192,000 Total Cigars)
  14. Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Edition (6 x 56) — $72 (Box of 24, $1,728) — 600 Boxes of 24 Cigars (14,400 Total Cigars)

*Not pictured.

91 Overall Score

If I was smoking this blend blindly, I wouldn’t initially guess this as a Davidoff cigar. Though, I don’t think I’d be that surprised that it is in fact a Davidoff. Over the years, Davidoff’s eponymous brand has added a second blending profile that is rather different than the one I associate in cigars like Classic, Signature or the discontinued Millennium Blend. This is in that more modern profile, akin to cigars like 2016 Chefs Edition or the Year of the Horse. Like those two cigars, I really like the Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Exclusive. There were minor construction issues that cost this review some points, but at the end of the day, there are very few new cigars I’d prefer over this one, at least, until I got to the register.

Technically, the release of the Rabbit cigars means that Davidoff has completed the calendar, in the sense that Davidoff has released a cigar for each of the 12 symbols on the calendar. That said, the Dragon release was not done in the same format as the other 11 symbols have been celebrated, so I suspect there will be a new Year of the Dragon cigar in late 2023 to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year in early 2024.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Edition
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Hybrid 238)
  • Binder: Mexico (San Andrés)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic (Piloto Seco, San Vicente Ligero, San Vicente Seco, Yamasá Viso) & Nicaragua (Estelí)
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • MSRP: $72 (Box of 24, $1,728)
  • Release Date: November 2023
  • Number of Cigars Released: 600 Boxes of 24 Cigars (14,400 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 3

The first thing I notice once these cigars are removed from the beautiful box is that they feel light. I weighed two of them—19.8 and 21.8 grams—but it seems like they should be heavier given the pretty large size. The wrapper has a good amount of reds breaking through the brown color and it feels super supple to the touch. Appearance-wise, I have some minor quibbles: one cigar has a nasty-looking vein, another has some mild discoloration, and the caps could be applied cleaner. I’d say if this wasn’t a very expensive Davidoff, I wouldn’t think twice, but this is a very expensive cigar, even for Davidoff. The aroma from the wrapper reminds me of the smell of potato rolls, joined by some acidity. At medium-full, the foot’s aroma is much more intense with redwood smells, brownie, red apple and a faint of acidity. Cold draws have a milky creaminess, lots of grain flavors akin to Life cereal, along with minor amounts of red apple skin, floral flavors and acidity.

Sweet creaminess, floral flavors and bread—sometimes more cake batter, though mostly sourdough bread—lead Spanish cedar and a mild fruity sweetness. It’s medium and dry, but a very smooth and vibrant start to the Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Exclusive. Those redwood flavors return, now joined by oak, and mix with the sourdough bread for the main flavors. Secondary notes include oats, white pepper, peach sweetness, floral flavors and some mild meatiness. There’s also a very mild amount of generic harshness, though I don’t really taste any pepper. It sticks around through the finish—again, very mild—and is joined by sourdough bread, sawdust, egg noodles and a mild saltiness. Retrohales are much more aggressive with red pepper and toastiness leading white pepper and lavender. I can still taste most of the non-retrohale finish flavors in the mouth, as the retrohale is decidedly different from where it delivers the flavors. Flavor is nearly full, body is medium-full and strength is medium. Construction is pretty good, though I have some minor issues: one cigar’s draw is slightly loose, two cigars are burning hotter than I’d like, and one cigar needs a touch-up to correct an uneven burn.

Sourdough bread and a canelé-like sweetness lead the second third. If you are a fan of carbohydrates like I am, it’s a very enjoyable leading flavor. Secondary notes include cashews, a butter creaminess’s saltiness and mild amounts of harsh earth and wasabi. The finish is a medley of bread flavors, softer in flavor texture than before, along with herbal flavors, a lemonade-like sweetness and some inconsistent earthiness. Once again, there’s a very mild—yet noticeable—amount of metallic harshness and a wasabi-like burn. Retrohales remain distinct, yet milder than the main flavors. Sourdough bread remains along with an increased amount of saltiness, raspberry fruitiness, egg noodles and some sharper wood flavors. The finish sees the egg noodles get as strong as the bread flavors, though it’s more remarkable about how each flavor seems to go to a different place on the palate. Saltiness is in the back of my throat, dry herbs are on my tongue, the bread is in the mouth, the egg noodles more in the nostrils, and I pick up the metallic flavors on the sides of my tongue. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium. While the ash formation remains very impressive, two cigars need a touch-up each during the second third and I continue wishing the cigar burned at a slightly lower temperature.

While the first two third were relatively similar, the final third is decidedly toastier, which changes things up a lot. The mild amounts of earthiness have gained a campfire-like edge, there are more burnt bread flavors than there are non-burnt flavors, and black pepper and herbs seem to have gained an accent that seems like they might have been bloomed in a hot pan. While it’s still not very harsh, the finish is a notch harsher than it was before. There are lots of toasted bread flavors that carry through and after about 30 seconds, a dry swallow reveals an aftertaste that seems like I might have just eaten a bag of hard pretzels. Retrohales don’t seem as affected by the toastiness and are more familiar to the profile. Sourdough bread and leather lead citrus, herbal flavors, a less burnt black pepper and faint hints of metallic harshness. The finish keeps the unique combination of lemonade sweetness and meatiness—now very much like a generic hamburger patty—before sourdough bread drowns those out and leaves some herbal flavors and the wasabi pepper-like sharpness. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. Construction-wise, all three cigars need a touch-up of some sort to correct an issue.

Final Notes

  • There are Davidoff of Geneva — since 1911 flagship stores in Hollywood, Fla., Houston, Las Vegas and four locations in New York City—three in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. The company’s e-commerce store also gets access to flagship exclusives like this.
  • While the regular Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit is a perfecto with a pigtail, this is a toro extra without a pigtail.
  • The regular Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit finished #8 on our Packaging Top 10 for 2022. That box is far more creative, but this box is more impressive in terms of quality.
  • During our Packaging Awards Live Show—or at least the practice show we did internally—Patrick Lagreid remarked that the rabbit logo looks like a pair of cigar scissors. Now that he said it, I can’t unsee the cigar scissor comparison.
  • I have not smoked the regular Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit. Given how enthralling I found this to be, I’m curious to smoke one soon.
  • At $50 per cigar and 192,000 cigars released, the regular Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit is worth $9.6 million in retail sales. Figures like that lead me to believe that this series is not ending anytime soon. I think it’s more than just Davidoff that wants to keep this series going, I cannot imagine that Davidoff’s retailers would be very happy if the company pulled the plug on it now.
  • While there are a lot of cigars released—65,000 for the U.S.—these are typically sold out within a few months.
  • It’s been a while since I was around redwood trees, so I feel like I probably need to calibrate my smell of woods. The scent here is one that I associate with redwoods, but I’m not sure how correct that is at this point. It’s a decidedly different smell than cedar, oak or maple, however.
  • Davidoff advertises on halfwheel.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by Davidoff.
  • While the first inch or so burns quite slow, the burn rate picked up a lot after that. Final smoking time is a decently quick two hours to two hours and 15 minutes. I’m sure Davidoff recommends smoking this cigar in 57 minutes or some ridiculous time.
91 Overall Score

If I was smoking this blend blindly, I wouldn’t initially guess this as a Davidoff cigar. Though, I don’t think I’d be that surprised that it is in fact a Davidoff. Over the years, Davidoff’s eponymous brand has added a second blending profile that is rather different than the one I associate in cigars like Classic, Signature or the discontinued Millennium Blend. This is in that more modern profile, akin to cigars like 2016 Chefs Edition or the Year of the Horse. Like those two cigars, I really like the Davidoff Limited Edition 2023 Year of the Rabbit Flagship Exclusive. There were minor construction issues that cost this review some points, but at the end of the day, there are very few new cigars I’d prefer over this one, at least, until I got to the register.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.