Facing: Seleccion 702 (Limited Edition 2009)
Vitola: Toro Especial
Ring Gauge: 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown 702
Filler: Piloto, Olor, San Vincente
Each passing year Davidoff of Geneva releases a limited production cigar which is made available word wide. Each edition is hand crafted and packaged in individually numbered boxes. For 2009, the format of choice was a Toro Especial (48 x 6.625).
This vitola was selected to accentuate the selected 702 Wrapper leaf which covers the cigar. The inner tobaccos are a blend of Piloto, Olor, and San Vincente. Cigars are packaged in boxes of ten and are presumably only available at Davidoff White Label locations. The suggested retail price for each box is $260.00 or $26.00 per single.
After removing my Davidoff Seleccion 702 from its cellophane sleeve, I gave it a good looking over. The first thing I looked for was a consistent color from head to foot. I was happy to find this aspect of the cigar very well in order. The color was rich brown with a reddish hue and attractive oily sheen.
The next thing I looked at was the seam which spirals down the length of the cigar. I always like to see a seam that was cut cleanly and doesn’t appear to have marks which show the torcedor starting and stopping the the cut in several places. In one place it looked as though the roller tore away the wrapper leaf without cutting (pictured top), and in a second spot, it appeared as though the leaf was scored and not cut completely through before being pulled away (pictured bottom).
These types of issues are the type that I generally frown at on a $4.00 cigar and was very surprised to see them on a stick that carries a price tag of $26.00. After pinching the cigar gently from head to foot, I found that it was evenly packed with tobacco and exhibited no soft or hard spots. With the two visual flaws aside, the cigar appeared to be well made and had a very pleasing appearance.
After a quick and easy toasting and lighting session, I had my Davidoff Seleccion 702 evenly lit and producing an ample amount of smoke. The very first puff taken on my cigar was immediately passed through my sinuses, where I found it to have an explosion of spice geared to grab my attention.
This hard hitting spice seemed to be more an attention grabber than a staple as it slowly diminished as the first inch was smoked away. The bold start to the cigar put a smile on my face and left with a crisp and clean sensation as the residual smoke was expelled.
In regards to body, this stick gives the upfront impression that it is going to be full. As the initial bold and spicy blast fades, the body seems to reduce quite quickly and settles into medium. The finish comes across as almost chewy while remaining clean and easy on the palate.
The core flavor, after the spice settles, is an interesting sweet, cedar, and black pepper combination. At this stage of the cigar, it already comes across as rich and complex. I can only wonder if it can manage to build on this impression or slowly begin to diminish.
After a little more than an hour, I was wrapping up the second third of my Davidoff Seleccion 702. During this portion of the cigar, the body climbed ever-so-slightly but remained firmly seated in the medium range. The finish still had a sort of chewy quality to it while remaining easy on the palate and easy to smoke.
The flavor components of the stick didn’t change up too much as I burned along. My attention was still held by a medley of sweet, cedar, and black pepper. As the medley of core flavors began to subside, I could taste hints of a citrus like flavor that I found very appealing.
The burn line was thin but wavy at times while the draw was just a touch light for my personal preference. As a result, the burn rate seemed a little faster than I would have expected from a cigar of this size and shape. The ash was tightly compacted and firm while being light in color.
As I rounded the two hour mark, I was just about through the final third of my Davidoff Seleccion 702. As this cigar grew shortly, it was slowly getting warm on the fingers and required me to put some effort into slowing down my smoking rate. As I slowed down, the cigar was more comfortable to smoke and the harshness that was developing ceased.
In the final third, the body seemed to ramp up suddenly and become more of what I would expect from a full bodied cigar. The finish remained easy on the palate and made for an easy smoking stick. The flavor profile seemed to shift along with the transition in body and produced a flavorful hot pepper sort of taste. This shift made for a complex smoke that made things even more interesting.
The burn line remained thin and slightly wavy while the draw became a little looser. Hand in hand with the warmth from smoking and looser draw, the cigar began to feel a little soft and mushy. The ash was light in color and maintained a tightly compacted shape which was strong enough to easily hold on for an inch before falling from the foot.
When the end of my Davidoff Seleccion 702 came, I was a bit torn. This cigar wasn’t nearly as attractive as the first sample that I smoked, but it looked very good none-the-less. I was disappointed to see two visual defects in the wrapper and felt that it was sub par in regards to what I have come to know of Davidoff products.
The flavors were very interesting and dynamic in both samples, as a result, I could see myself smoking a couple of these per year. With a price point of $26.00 I certainly wouldn’t be smoking these outside of a special occasion, but I would definitely like to have one or two on hand for such an occasion.