Review: Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series

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On May 29, 2005, Davidoff of London, a British retailer, celebrated their 25th anniversary at Mosimann’s Resturant. At that same celebration, a new Davidoff blend was released to commemorate the occasion. Dubbed the Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series, it was meant to be as close as possible to the Cuban Davidoff No.2 blend, the cigar Zino Davidoff smoked. Only 250 boxes of 10 were released.

Says Eddie Sahakian, owner of Davidoff of London:

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The blend was developed by Eladio Diaz (Master Blender in Davidoff Dominican Republic) and Edward Sahakian during the 2 years up to 2005. The intention was to emulate the characteristics of the cuban Davidoff No. 2 (my father’s favorite), i.e. mild strength and rich flavour. At launch, the blend was considered stronger than most Dominican Davidoffs, however it seems to have mellowed over the last 7 years.

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But enough about that, let’s get down to business, shall we?

Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff
  • Wrapper: Connecticut
  • Binder: n/a
  • Filler: N/A
  • Size: 6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Vitola: Petit Lancero
  • MSRP: £18.50 (Boxes of 10, £171.00)
  • Release Date: May 29, 2005
  • Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1

 

The cigar itself is a fine specimen with a pigtail cap and a light brown wrapper that is almost totally seamless. It has the perfect amount of give when squeezed and is quite attractive. The wrapper is silky smooth to the touch and smells strongly of cinnamon, sweet cedar and graham cracker.

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The first third of the Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series starts with a strong combination of black pepper and slightly bitter espresso, along with cedar, leather and a slight honey sweetness that comes and goes. At the start of the cigar, there is just a tiny amount of spice on the tongue, but it does not last long and does not return in the first third. Burn and draw are wonderful, but the strength is not a factor and ends the first third as a solid mild.

Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series 2

The second third of the 25th Anniversary Series continues the trend with a great sweet and creamy profile and adding flavors of wood, coffee and nuts. The sweetness in the profile has gotten stronger, but has also changed flavor-wise and is now more of a graham cracker note. The spice from the first third is long gone, but there is a nice white pepper note on the retrohale, albeit not very strong and not very consistent. Construction remains excellent and the strength remains mild, although it is on the full side of mild by the end of the second third.

Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series 3

Coming into the final third of the Davidoff, the sweetness changes flavors yet again into more of a molasses sweetness, along with notes of nuts, chocolate, cedar and a great floral note, although the profile remains creamy overall. Burn and draw continue the trend of excellence, but the strength does pick up on the final third and ends as a solid medium by the end of the smoke.

Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series 4

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Final Notes:

  • The Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series comes with a second white band on which is written the dates “1980 – 2005″.
  • This is not the first time Davidoff has celebrated a specific store anniversary with a different blend. In 1997, Davidoff released the 535, a 6 x 50 cigar, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its flagship U.S. store located at 535 Madison Avenue in New York City. Only 1,000 boxes of 10 were released. Interestingly, Davidoff released the 535″again in 2007 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the New York store, albeit in a Perfecto vitola instead of the original Robusto.
  • Current conversion rates put the MSRP for a box at around $270.00.
  • Although the size used for the Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series is meant to emulate a Davidoff No. 2, the Cuban Davidoff’s official size is actually 6 x 38.
  • This is not a cigar you want to smoke too quickly, as it gets bitter FAST if you puff too hard.
  • Do I have to mention that I absolutely love this vitola? It is not a size you see very often in Davidoff limited editions, in fact, this is the first that I remember and I really wish there were more.
  • Construction is phenomenal, not exactly unexpected for a Davidoff. Burn and draw were close to perfect for the entire cigar, just a joy to smoke in that regard.
  • The ash is a almost bright white and was perfectly formed.
  • The final smoking time was just over one hour and 10 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any Davidoff of London 25th Anniversary Series, Davidoff of London still has a few available. Just email Eddie at [email protected] or call +4420 7930-3079.

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The Bottom Line:I was a bit surprised at the strength of the flavors in this release by the end of the smoke, especially compared to almost every other (Dominican) Davidoff cigar I have smoked — complex and constantly changing, especially the sweetness, which changed profiles every third. Perhaps I should not have been considering the vitola. The size really seemed to make the blend shine and I was extremely impressed with the perfect draw and burn, even knowing it was a Davidoff. Yes, it is still a fairly mild cigar strength-wise, although that was not always the case, apparently, and yes, it is still a very expensive cigar price-wise, but it is also among the best Davidoffs I have smoked and that is saying something.

 

Final Score: 90

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Brooks Whittington
About the author

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.

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