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Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema (Prerelease)

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Ask any Davidoff smoker to name classic cigars from the Swiss company and eventually you are going to stumble across the Diademas Fina. The 6 3/4 perfecto was one of three cigars created to celebrate the 100th birthday of company founder Zino Davidoff.

While the blend created by Henke Kelner and Eladio Diaz was never disclosed, there was most certainly some Dominican tobacco in it and there probably wasn’t much, if any, Nicaraguan tobacco. That’s because it was 2006, seven years before Davidoff would introduce the world to Davidoff Nicaragua, the company’s first major foray into blending with Nicaraguan tobacco.

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The Davidoff Nicaragua debuted last year in three sizes, made at Cigars Davidoff by the aforementioned team of Kelner and Diaz, using a variety of aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. At last year’s IPCPR convention and trade, the company announced a Belicoso would be offered, sold only in a limited edition humidor. Earlier this year, a perfecto emerged, the next cigar in the line.

Davidoff Nicaragua Vitolas

While the blend only stands at five cigars, there are two additional vitolas that carry the Davidoff Nicaragua branding, Primeros by Davidoff Nicaragua and Primeros by Davidoff Nicaragua Maduro. The petit cigars feature different blends with Dominican filler tobacco and the Maduro featuring a Mexican wrapper, and as such, we did not include them in the above photograph.

Davidoff will formally unveil the Nicaragua Diadema at next week’s IPCPR convention and trade show and expects to ship the cigars on Sept. 1.

Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua Rosado
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega, Estelí & Ometepe)
  • Size: 6 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: $17.90
  • Release Date: September 1, 2014
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

The Diadema is a unique vitola, a salomon with a molded cap that comes to a nearly flat point and an extremely angular foot. Regardless of what you think about the way the Davidoff Nicaragua tastes, each example I’ve seen looks great—the black band, orange secondary band rosado wrapper work very well together. Out of the cellophane, I pick up sawdust, touches of leather and earth; rather Davidoff-like in that is both restrained and refined while being medium. It’s hard to get a good read on the foot, but I do find a bit of sourdough bread notes, which is nice. I have no issues with tightness on the cold draw and am greeted with the signature mustiness and a black pepper, both in the medium range.

Fortunately, the musty characteristics of the cold draw never make it to the profile itself. Instead, there’s a big smooth cedar flavor that begins the Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema. It’s joined by a creaminess, earthy and nutty characteristics on the finish—all three are detailed and active well into the finish. I pick up some harshness on the tongue, the first time I’ve ever had that happen with a Davidoff Nicaragua, but the rest of the flavor makes up for it. There’s sweetness, black pepper, a familiar cedar and traces of peppermint in the mouth, while the retrohale delivers much sweeter notes, creaminess, burnt coffee and a touch of sour citrus. While smoke production is a bit anemic for the first inch, by the time the nipple has been burned through, it picks up dramatically.

Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema 2

A pretzel flavor works itself into the second third of the Diadema, a nice surprise, but it’s overwhelmed by the musty characteristic found in so many Davidoffs. That’s hardly the end of the story as a burning cedar, mineral flavor and a jalapeño salt are all introduced. Fortunately, the profile is very active and quick to jump from one state to the other, so by the mid-point of the cigar leather had taken over for the mustiness. The burn and draw are both excellent, my only nitpicking attempt would be at the temperature of the smoke, which is getting a bit warm even without pushing the cigar.

Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema 3

The final third of the Nicaragua Diadema begins with cinnamon, leather and a familiar peppermint. As I’ve mentioned above, the profile moves very quickly with flavors being shuffled every two puffs or so. The cedar note, which had gone away for an inch or show, makes itself known again a few minutes into the final third—similar to the smell you get when you open up a brand new humidor. While the temperature does not recede, it does not increase at all and I’m able to get past the inch mark without any issue.

Davidoff Nicaragua Diadema 4

Final Notes

  • As with many of my preferred Davidoffs, this cigar produces a lot of salivation.
  • Interestingly, neither the name or size is identical between this cigar and the 2006 release. The original Diademas Finas measured 6 3/4 inches, while the new Diadema is only 6 1/2 inches long.
  • While I would never describe the other vitolas of the Davidoff Nicaragua as dormant, the Diadema had a ton of changes and was much more active than I’ve ever found the line to be.
  • It always amazed when peopled smoke the Davidoff Nicaragua expecting a strong (Nicaraguan) cigar. Davidoff has Camacho to make their full-bodied/full-strength cigars. One other misconception can be found when you smoke some of the private cigars Diaz and Kelner blend for themselves—they make very strong cigars for themselves.
  • Construction was great, particularly after the nipple of the cigar was burned through. I do not know why the smoke was warm, but it was never problematic.
  • Somewhere along the lines, people started advising to clip the feet of perfectos in the name of a better draw. I haven’t ever felt the urge to do so and in this case—it would ruin a unique start to the cigar.
  • I find the Diademas Finas vitola to be one of the more challenging to cut, the way the cap is shaped is really odd.
  • Strength was in the medium range, I think the Belicoso remains the strongest in the line, although I would consider every vitola to be medium in nicotine.
  • The Primeros by Davidoff Nicaragua appears to have arrived at certain European retailers.
  • Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Davidoff, who advertises on halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 50 minutes.
89 Overall Score

Is this as good as the Diademas Finas? Nope, but most cigars are not. I have found the Davidoff Nicaragua to be acceptable, but outside of the Belicoso vitola, I could never actually see myself purchasing any. It’s a decent blend, but Davidoff makes some brilliant cigars. The Nicaragua Diadema Fina is not one of those brilliant examples, but it’s a lot better than the rest of the black-banded cigars as far as I’m concerned. If you are expecting this to taste anything different from a Davidoff, you will be disappointed. If anything, this vitola of the Davidoff Nicaragua is closer to some of the company’s more notable Dominican cigars: more refined, better developed and with a balance I struggle to find in the rest of the line.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

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.

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