I just finished a Davidoff Special < < R > > (that’s the correct title, not a website translation glitch) and wanted to share how disappointed I was with this smoke. I was very excited to smoke this usually fine, high-quality brand cigar. I removed it from my humidor which is perfectly set at 69 percent humidity thanks to the Bovida packet.
I removed the stick from its protective plastic wrap and observed the wrapper leaf had noticeable veins. I didn’t think much of it, and am still not concerned that it played much part in my disappointment. I clip the head of the cigar and noticed that the tobacco seemed dry and it was quite noticeable that small pieces were falling out but I figured that it was the result of a less-than-sharp blade on my cutter. [Note to self, look into purchasing a new cutter, the one I own now is probably 7+ years old by now.]
I lit the stick and that’s where my *real* problems began! I could not get an even light all the way around the foot of the cigar! I got 96 percent of it lit, but that left a section of cigar un-lit and not burning. So, I twice worked the portion not yet lit. Success! Now I’m ready to enjoy my quality cigar, I thought. I chalked the poor lighting up to operator error.
But wait, what’s this? My cigar is so strong I get a noticeably light-head. No problem, I think, I’ll merely slow down my puff frequency to allow the nicotine to adjust within my lungs and blood stream. Oh, wait, the cigar went out. Grrrr…
I re-light and proceed to smoke it just enough to keep it lit and not vomit! If I were a smoker, this would be a lot easier. By this point, I allow myself to believe it’ll just be a stronger smoke than I usually like and was prepared to give this cigar a “B” rating, as I suspected that within a year or so, my tolerance would be built up that I would eventually enjoy and appreciate a bolder cigar.
As I get thru the first one-third of this cigar, I realize two things: One, taking a puff on this cigar was like puffing on the end of a paper towel roll! Obviously it does not have a ring size anywhere near that size, but it aptly describes what it was like to smoke it. It was like sucking straight, albeit smoky, air through a hollow tube, unfettered! The second thing I noticed was that it finally mellowed out and was the mild sort of smoke I’ve grown accustomed to with Davidoff! Maybe this smoke could bypass a “B+” and achieve an “A-” after all!
No such luck. The moment I flick the ash from the stick, the light goes out…AGAIN! So I re-light! And for the next 1/3 of the cigar, it was pure bliss! Still felt like I was sucking air thru a paper towel roll, but at least it was mild. So fine, I leave the ash on the cigar but flakes of ash continuously drop off it and all over me and my surroundings.
Now I’m down to the final one-third of the cigar and it gets HOT as it gets twice as strong as the first 1/3! Now here’s the deal: I expect the final 1/3-1/4 of a smoke to get hot. AND, I expect it to get stronger, perhaps even with a touch of acidity. I get it, there’s fire and there little tobacco left between said fire and my mouth. But this got hot to the touch that I had a rough time holding the cigar when I’d take puffs off it. Finally, I acknowledged the fact that I was done with this cigar.
My final grade for this smoke: C- and believe me, it hurts me as much to report this as it is for you to read it, no doubt. The only reason it didn’t get a “D” or worse is because (for a very brief amount of time) I did very much enjoy the middle one-third of the stick. But from the cutting to the cut-off, there were persistent problems with it that I just couldn’t overlook. Bad cut on my part? Perhaps. Poor light on my part, probably. Strong start? Fine, I’m open to trying something bolder. But then it going out, not holding a lite when removing ash, to starting my fingers on fire and smoking thru a paper towel roll…well, I’m hoping it was just a poorly constructed cigar and not anything indicative of what Davidoff is becoming. I look forward to smoking a $15+ cigar with nothing but calm and my thoughts from the week. This forced me to focus all my attention on it, instead of my ups & downs of the days previous. I’ve neither the time nor the patience for this level of maintenance for a temperamental cigar.