I don’t think there’s any point in denying it. I’m a cigar event whore. I love going to cigar shops to begin with, and when you add a cigar rep or manufacturer and a good crowd, it’s hard to beat. And I definitely picked the right place to live for cigar events. It’s just not possible to make it to all of them.
The cigar I’m checking out this week I picked up at one of those events: The Winston Churchill No. 10 by Davidoff. The story behind this cigar is that it’s the first cigar produced by Davidoff that doesn’t bear the Davidoff name. And more importantly, it’s made with the approval of Winston S. Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson. And the No. 10 of this vitola is a reference to 10 Downing Street, the official home of British Prime Ministers.
But don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it yet, it was launched without a great deal of fanfare. Judging by the number of Davidoff events in my area, they may be trying to spread the word about the new cigar. (Man, there were at least three!)
And with all this build up, I really hope I like it. Let’s find out.
Size: 5 1/4 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sungrown
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic, Peru and Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Price: MSRP $15
The foot of the Winston Churchill
As you would expect of a cigar bearing Sir Winston’s name, it’s a classy looking cigar. It comes doubly banded in gold and read and wrapped in a great looking natural leaf. I noticed the wrapper had some prominent veins, they actually did not detract from the cigars appearance.
What did detract from the cigars appearance were the splotches of glue with finger prints in them on the under side of the cigar! I didn’t notice it immediately, but at the right angle, the cigar looks like it was dusted for prints. I also noticed a little bit of mottled darkness in the wrapper at the head of the cigar. I know I’m being picky, but hey, this cigar has a heck of a name to live up to.
I found the scent of the wrapper to be a buttery barnyard and more like hay at the foot. I groomed the cap with my Xikar scissors and found the draw to be pretty tight. I was able to get a little bit of flavor though: light brown sugar.
I was a little disappointed by the burn. As the cold taste hinted, this cigar’s draw was firmer than I prefer. The good news is that it did loosen up a bit as the second third progressed and was pretty good in the final third.
Only moments after lighting the cigar I heard a little pop, and large crack in the wrapper appeared at the foot. The cigar wrapper also split between the two bands, long before there was any need to remove the bands.
Snap, crackle, pop
The ash was very solid and held on for a long time, especially at the beginning of the cigar. It became a little more fragile as the cigar progressed, but overall no big problems there. The burn line was the same story. It was very straight for at least the first half of the cigar, only straying substantially in the final third.
One other thing that bears mention is how slow this cigar smoked. The first third went at a pretty normal clip, and then it slowed way down somewhere in the second third. And the funny thing is that I thought I was smoking it fast this time around. (I was a little short on time for this review.)
A creamy, lightly sweet flavor very quickly developed in the first third. The sweetness at points was kind of almondy, and grew in the finish. As the first third came to a close, I got an interesting combination of cedar with that same creamy sweet finish.
The second third opened up with a bit of brown sugar and a really tasty tobacco flavor. That tobacco flavor developed a bit of cinnamon in the finish and before long the cinnamon became more prominent. I also got intermittent coconut flavors.
In the final third I got a woody flavor with some spice. I also had an great sensation a one point of my tongue being absolutely coated in a great tobacco flavor.
I had expected this to be a pretty full bodied cigar, but this remained pretty mild right up until the end.
In spite of the flaws I noted earlier, I was pretty obvious to me that this was some quality tobacco. I start to shy away from cigars once they hit the $15 mark, but this one may be worth it. In any case, it’s likely to qualify as a special occasion smoke for most people.
In spite of the flaws, I enjoyed this cigar. The flavors were great, and it seems to be a cigar that rewards you for taking your time with it. And besides, all the flaws I noted were mainly cosmetic in nature. The overall smoking experience didn’t suffer much as a result of an uneven burn, finger prints or wrapper cracks.
The one thing that might keep me from lighting up these cigars all the time (aside from the price tag), is that it is such a mild cigar. I can guarantee you that the next one I smoke will probably be on a relaxed Sunday morning with a good cup of coffee. And that actually sounds pretty good right now. I may have to pick another one up for this weekend.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Occasionally
Recommend It: Yes, it’s worth a shot for mild cigar smokers.
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.