In June, as part of the company’s annual reports for 2013, Oettinger Davidoff AG teased a new cigar. There was no name given, but it would be from tobaccos harvested in 2002; it would be limited; and it would be the most expensive cigar in Davidoff’s history.
That cigar will be the Davidoff Oro Blanco, white gold. It’s a play off the two colors Davidoff is famous for: gold text, on its signature white bands.
The company is not saying much about the blend, other than that it’s a Dominican puro that uses leaves from the 2002 vintage. Eladio Diaz—officially listed as director of quality at Davidoff, but more appropriately, its chief blender—recognized the leaves and their aging potential when they were first harvested, so he set them aside for a project just like this. After over a decade of aging, the tobaccos were removed from storage, rolled and then the cigars were set aside for further rest—a minimum of 18 months according to the company.
Diaz’s name is found on the secondary band of the cigar. It’s a literal signature required for Oro Blanco. Diaz decides when the tobaccos are ready to be rolled, and Diaz determines when the cigars will leave the aging room be shipped to retailers.
Next month, the first batch of Davidoff Oro Blanco will arrive at flagship locations, though Davidoff has not indicated which stores will meet that requirement. Because of the unique approval process, there is no release cycle or set production size for the new line, but the company is clear, it will be limited.
The exact dimensions of the cigar have also not been announced, although it will be a parejo,
While Davidoff has had flagship products before, it’s likely that Oro Blanco will be its first halo product. In order for it to live up to the claim of the most expensive Davidoff of all time it will need to carry a price tag north of $50, the retail price of the Davidoff Diademas 100 and Royal Salomones, two gigantic perfectos that both lived up to the merits of a flagship product.
In both instances, Davidoff restricted the amount of retailers that could sell the cigars and largely did not talk about the cigars themselves. With Oro Blanco, the company is once again intent on restricting the amount of product and where it is sold, but there will be a large focus on Eladio Diaz and the 12-year-old tobacco.
While Oro Blanco is both a first (vintage) and ultimate (price) for Davidoff, it’s perhaps an ever bigger moment for the duo responsible for the creation of its cigars, the aforementioned Diaz and Henke Kelner. While the pair have worked together for years, Kelner has essentially been the sole public face of the company’s manufacturing operations.
Oro Blanco changes that in the biggest way possible.
November will be a busy month for the Swiss giant’s eponymous brand. The Davidoff Limited Edition 2015 Year of the Sheep is also slated to begin shipping. In each of the past two years, the company has discussed the upcoming limited edition at the annual IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in July, it did not do so this year, and as such details are essentially non-existent. Unlike Oro Blanco, Year of the Sheep will be available to Davidoff appointed merchants worldwide.
All Davidoff cigars are produced at the company’s factory in Santiago, Cigars Davidoff.