The Davidoff brand has always been known as the pinnacle of cigar perfection and the luxury brand cigar in the industry. Their attention to detail in cigar making is second to none. All of this also translates into an expensive cigar. If you’ve ever seen a video or were lucky enough to visit their factory in the Dominican Republic, you would understand why they are that expensive. From seed to smoke, every cigar is handled by over 80 plus people to ensure that every cigar looks amazing, smokes perfectly and showcases the Davidoff attention to detail. Being an expensive cigar, most of their lines are outside the price comfort zone of many cigar smokers. Also, most of their blends are mild compared to many of today’s cigar lines. I’ll be the first to admit that I rarely smoked Davidoff cigars because of the mildness of many of their cigars and, mainly, their price. This year though, I’ve had a kind of an awakening with Davidoff. I attended their Golden Band Awards dinner at IPCPR in Orlando this year which really gave me a better understanding of Davidoff and their cigars. That night, I smoked several Grand Cru No. 2s and was completely wowed by them. Since then I’ve been smoking more and more of their cigars. As you’ve seen with my Twitter and Instagram feeds, I do smoke and love their Colorado Claro and White Edition cigars before then. Now, though, I’m exploring more into the other blends like the Grand Cru, Millennium, Puro D’Oro, etc.
My shop owner recently was invited to the Davidoff Appointed merchant trip to their Dominican facilities. While there, he visited a cigar shop owned by none other than Mr. Henke Kelner. Mr. Kelner is the master cigar blender for Davidoff so naturally, his shop had many rare Davidoffs. My shop owner, Paul Bertucci of The Cigar Shop in Biloxi, MS, was able to get a few gems while there. One of them was the Royal Salomones. This rare cigar is only for sale in Davidoff cigar stores worldwide and only 90 boxes are made every year of this gem. Luckly for me, he shared one with me at the shop in our private lounge. Here are the details:
- Size: 8 1/4″ x 57
- Wrapper: Ecaudorian
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Seven different Dominican tobaccos aged a minimum of seven years
- Price: $2385.00 per box of 50/$45 per single
This cigar is beautiful. The wrapper is super smooth without a single blemish. Being a salomon, I didn’t test the draw because of just the small opening on the foot.
From the beginning, I get the musty earth flavor that seems to be a Davidoff trademark. That’s sounds bad, but its not. Its more of like a terrior thing like with wines from the old country where you get flavors of earthiness, mushrooms, slate, etc. Also, there was a dominant oak note that was the core of the cigar. This was accompanied by a raw sugar sweetness that was quite nice. There was a faint white pepper spice note that lingered on the palette. This cigar has a very long finish and is balanced perfectly.
The second third was just as flavorful as the first third. I still got that oakiness as the core, but the sweetness turned more into a sweet cream note that was quite tasty. I was also getting a buttery, toasty note that went quite well with the other flavors. The spice transformed to a more sweet spice of cinnamon note from the white pepper.
The final third is where the Royal Salomones took a big change on the flavor profile. The oaky core remained, but the sweet cream faded as the cigar neared the end. The spice changed once again, but this time, it changed from a cinnamon note to ginger note. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting that. I had a really hard time picking out what that note was until I read something that Gregory Mottola of Cigar Aficionado wrote about the cigar where he mentioned that. It has sharp, citrusy bite just like ginger. First time I’ve gotten that in a cigar. I also started picking up a nice cherry note at the end as well.
This is an outstanding cigar. One of the best cigars I’ve ever had as a matter of fact. Is it worth $45 a cigar? I’m my humble opinion……yes, it is. It took me about 2 hours to smoke this cigar and, to me, that enjoyment was worth $45 of my hard earned money. Construction was immaculate. Flavors were outstanding. The smoking experience was exquisite I want another one of these badly. It had the longest finish of any cigar I’ve ever smoked as well and the balance was on point. Everyone should try at least one. Put it on your bucket list.
My friend and Davidoff representative to our shop, Garrett Calhoun, was a big factor in helping me better understand their cigars. Are they mild? Yes, mostly, but they do have some that are more medium bodied, like this one, and even full like the Puro D’Oro. What I’ve come to learn is that Davidoff cigars are cigars you can just puff away at and not really think about. They are cigars designed and blended to be experienced. Sit down, take a drawn and let the smoke roll around your palette then slowly exhale the smoke. You will start picking up flavors you didn’t notice before. I sure did.