Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona (Prerelease)

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On April 9, 2013, Davidoff announced—after much speculation—that it would be producing a cigar made entirely of Nicaraguan tobacco. The release features not only a stark silver on black main Davidoff band that has never been used before, but also a new secondary logo made up of three triangles, which signifies the mountains and volcanos of Nicaragua. Given the company’s “White Label” moniker for its releases, it’s expected “Black Label” will likely become a common nickname from the Dominican-rolled cigar.

We covered the details in a news post:

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Davidoff is doing something that most in the cigar world thought they would never do: release a Nicaraguan puro.
News of the new cigar, appropriately called the Davidoff Nicaragua, was released in the April 9, 2013 issue of Cigar Insider. It is scheduled to be released at the upcoming IPCPR Convention and Trade Show being held in Las Vegas in mid-July.
While the cigars use only Nicaraguan tobacco, they are being made at the Cigars Davidoff factory in the Dominican Republic under the watch of Hendrik “Henke” Kelner. It will use a 10-year-old Nicaraguan Havana-seed Rosado wrapper over a blend of Nicaraguan tobaccos that come from throughout the country’s prime growing regions. The binder comes from Jalapa, while the filler draws tobacco from Estelí, Condega and Ometepe.
The Davidoff Nicaragua will be available in a trio of vitolas at its debut: a 5 1/2 x 54 Toro; a 5 x 50 Robusto; and a 3 3/4 x 46 Short Corona. The cigars carry price tags of $16.90, $13.90 and $9.90, and while all three sizes will be available in four-packs, the Short Corona will be available in boxes of 14 while the Toro and Robusto will be packaged in 12-count boxes.

More information was given in a press release:

Basel, June 2013. Davidoff Cigars has unveiled its first Nicaraguan cigar line, Davidoff Nicaragua, at a New York City pre-launch event on June 20, 2013.
“This is a major step for Davidoff to expand to a new territory,” explains Oettinger Davidoff Group CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard. “Davidoff’s mission is to bring aficionados delightful experiences – regardless of territory.”
Exploration, adventure and discovery
Inspired by Zino Davidoff’s pioneering spirit, Davidoff Cigars has made it a mission to delight the cigar aficionado by bringing him a variety of taste experiences and cigar pleasures.
Davidoff masterblenders, led by Hendrik “Henke” Kelner, went on an exploration for a new type of blend that would stimulate both the bitter and sweet taste buds. The team embarked on an adventure searching for tobacco across the world’s renowned tobacco regions that would enable the creation of such a cigar. The relentless pursuit for the right blend paid off when they discovered that a blend crafted with the finest leaves from plants grown in the fiery volcanic soil of the Esteli, Condega, Jalapa and Ometepe regions of Nicaragua created just the right balance of sweet and bitter notes to tantalize the palate.
It took time, patience and perseverance to create the perfect conditions in which to craft these fine cigars. 10 years were needed for the preparation, curing and ageing to tame the wilder tendencies of the Nicaraguan tobacco, and to deliver an exceptional blend with all the intensity, excitement and refined sophistication aficionados would expect from Davidoff. As with all Davidoff Cigars, and to guarantee its quality and exceptional craftsmanship, the new Nicaragua range is hand rolled in Davidoff’s Dominican facilities by expert rollers.
“Davidoff Nicaragua has been crafted to delight today’s adventurous aficionados who are in the mood to discover new and exciting experiences to fill their time beautifully. These superb cigars combine the signature Davidoff refinement with all the intriguing intensity of Nicaraguan tobacco,” notes Charles Awad, Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Innovation at Oettinger Davidoff Group.
The Davidoff Nicaragua Experience
The 100% Puro Nicaraguan blend combines a 10-year-old Habano Seed Nicaragua Rosado wrapper in a beautiful colour, with a binder from Jalapa and a filler blend of tobaccos from Esteli, Condega and Ometepe. The range comes in three sizes: Toro (5 1⁄2 inches; 54 RG); Robusto (5 inches; 50 RG) and Short Corona (3 3⁄4 inches; 46 RG).
The new range was very well received by aficionados who had a chance to experience it. In a blind taste test conducted at the Art Of Smoke in Germany, Davidoff Nicaragua ranked as of the five best cigars ever tested across all tobacco origins and blends. “One of the best cigars I’ve ever smoked. The cigar would be a regular in my humidor,” reveals a participant of the taste test carried out by Art of Smoke.

There are three different vitolas of the Davidoff Nicaragua at launch.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona Robusto Toro

  • Short Corona (3 3/4 x 46) – $9.90 (Boxes of 14, $138.60)
  • Robusto (5 x 50) – $13.90 (Boxes of 12, $166.80)
  • Toro (5 1/2 x 54) – $16.90 (Boxes of 12, $202.80)

 

The boxes for the Davidoff Nicaragua look like this:

Davidoff Nicaragua Box

(Photo via Davidoff)

 

The Robusto vitola only will come in tubes that look like this:

Davidoff Nicaragua Robusto Tubo

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (10-year-old Nicaraguan Havana-seed Rosado)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí, Condega and Ometepe)
  • Size3 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Short Corona
  • MSRP: $9.90 (Boxes of 14, $138.60)
  • Date Released: June 20, 2013*
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 6
     *The company held an event on June 20 for the launch of Davidoff Nicaragua, the cigars will not be available to retailers until after the IPCPR 2013 release in mid-July.

The Davidoff Nicaragua is an impressive looking cigar with a reddish brown wrapper that is smooth as silk to the touch. There is quite a bit of resistance when it is squeezed, just short of rock hard, and the aroma coming off of the wrapper is of strong barnyard, cedar, earth and pepper.

The first third of the Davidoff Nicaragua starts off with some creamy oak, leather, nuts and earth, along with a slight white pepper on the retrohale that is just strong enough to notice, but not really strong enough to affect the profile. I am tasting some nice general sweetness on the finish—but like the pepper—it is just not strong enough at this point to do more than comment on. Smoke production is about average, while both the burn and draw are phenomenal through the first third. Strength-wise, the Davidoff Nicaragua finishes the first thirds at a light medium.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona 3

Coming into the second third of the Davidoff Nicaragua, the sweetness from the first third has gotten a bit stronger, allowing me to pinpoint it as a distinct vanilla note. The leather note has become dominant with other flavors of creamy oak, earth, espresso and nuts flowing in and out. The white pepper has all but disappeared, but the smoke production has remained constant. Construction-wise, the draw and burn remain virtually flawless. Strength has increased only slightly, ending the second third just below the medium mark.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona 2

The final third of the Davidoff Nicaragua continues the trend of flavors with a coffee bean/chocolate note becoming dominant joined by other flavors of oak, leather and nuts. Thankfully, the white pepper on the retrohale returns and remains until the end of the cigar, as does the vanilla sweetness from the second third. There is also the addition of a noticeable yet fleeting citrus note, almost like a tart lemon flavor that kicks in about an eight of an inch from the end. Smoke production continues to be fairly standard and the burn and draw continue to impress, especially the nub, which does not even come close to getting hot at the end, despite the fact that I have smoked it to about a half inch left. The overall strength has barely budged ending the cigar firmly at the medium mark.

Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona 4

Final Notes:

  • I smoked six cigars for this review: three Short Coronas, two Robustos and a Toro. As I expected, the flavors on the Short Corona are more distinct than the other two sizes, but the profile in general is very consistent through the line. The Toro is creamier throughout and has a mushroom note that is missing in the other sizes, while the Short Corona has more of the vanilla sweetness present, along with the aforementioned tart lemon note that I did not taste in either of the other two vitolas. To me, the Toro was clearly the least enjoyable flavor wise out of the three while the Short Corona was easily the best.
  • I am fully prepared to admit that my expectations played a big role in my opinion of this cigar. Knowing the market that Davidoff caters too, I did not expect a spice or pepper bomb, of course. However, considering the tobacco they were working with, I did expect a blend that was slightly more of a departure from Davidoff’s already available offerings. A bit more body, a bit more strength, a little more of the classic Nicaraguan profile. Basically, I suppose I was expecting them to blend a cigar that took full advantage of the differences Nicaraguan tobacco has to offer from the typical Davidoff profile.
  • For some reason, I find it fascinating that Davidoff is importing all of the tobacco for this puro release from Nicaragua so they can roll the cigar in their factory in the Dominican Republic. Kelner has said repeatedly that they are doing this because it is the only way they can assure that the cigars have the quality construction they are known for.
  • In conjunction with the release of the cigars, Davidoff will be releasing a new limited edition humidor, its first jet flame lighter and a punch cutter in August. Prices for all three have not yet been finalized.
  • While discussing the cigar at the launch with Davidoff representatives, I learned that the unofficial code name for the Davidoff Nicaragua was the Davidoff Black.
  • I love the fact that Davidoff gives so much information on the tobacco they are using in their blends, and I really wish that other manufactures would follow suit.
  • I am extremely impressed with how aggressive the pricing is on this line. For comparison’s sake, you can buy a Davidoff Nicaragua or an Ezra Zion TANTRUM in a very comparable size for essentially the same price.
  • The wrapper on Toro vitola is a noticeably lighter shade on all the samples that I saw and smoked, while the other two sizes were fairly close.
  • This is not Davidoff’s first foray into Nicaraguan tobacco. The Davidoff Maduro features a Nicaraguan wrapper. Zino Platinum, a Oettinger Davidoff Group brand, has used Nicaraguan tobacco as well.
  • The samples that were given out at the release event in New York City came in triangular box with the logo on the front and the three different vitolas arranged around inside. A very cool look, and a great extension of the logo they are using for the release.
    Davidoff Nicaragua Presentation box
  • Along with the above, Davidoff produced an interesting hermetically sealed tube branded with the same triangular logo—and interestingly, sans any Davidoff logo—that holds a single cigar on one end and a shot glass on the other. They were produced only for attendees of the launch party.
    Davidoff Nicaragua Short Corona Tube
  • Along with the normal GENEVE on the right side of the main Davidoff band, each of the sizes has the vitola name printed on the left hand side.
    Davidoff Nicaragua Vitola Names
  • I have to say, I absolutely love the black and silver Davidoff band that is used on this release, and the copper and black colors on the secondary band blend very well together. It’s also a bit easier to photograph.
  • Along with the above, Davidoff has always been fairly consistent with using the classic gold on white Davidoff band with the vast majority of their releases, but have used other colors in another recent release other than the Nicaragua, namely gold on red for the Up Down 50th Anniversary. I think both are a good look and hope they continue the trend.
  • The construction on all samples of the Davidoff Nicaragua that I smoked were virtually perfect. I had no problems with the draw on any of them, and the burn line was extremely impressive.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were supplied to us by site sponsor Davidoff. The company also hosted me at the launch party.
  • The average smoking time of the three Short Coronas that I smoked was just under one hour.
  • The Davidoff Nicaragua will not be available until July, but site sponsor Cigar King (1.800.669.7167) has a preorder page up already and Famous Smoke Shop (1.800.564.2486) is also all Davidoff Appointed Merchant. Don’t forget to tell them halfwheel sent you.
88 Overall Score

When I first third that Davidoff was producing a Nicaraguan puro, it immediately moved to the top of my Most Anticipated Cigars of 2013 list. The possibilities of what Kelner and his team could create using Nicaraguan tobacco instead of Dominican are almost endless. Having said that, I find it fascinating that Davidoff has essentially blended a Nicaraguan cigar that basically tastes very close to…well… a Davidoff. I really enjoyed the Corona, as it is very smooth, creamy, nutty, slightly sweet and a bit of citrus, with excellent construction and solid medium strength. The Short Corona easily has the most complexity despite its smaller size, and the whole line is extremely well balanced. Is it a good cigar? No doubt, and well worth the money that is being charged, especially for the smallest size. If you are looking for a classic Davidoff cigar with classic Davidoff attributes, you will love it. If you are wanting something significantly different then what Davidoff has done in the past, this release might not everything you are looking for.

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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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