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After the Davidoff Nicaragua Toro was given #3 on Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 cigars of 2013 I had to try it. This is Davidoff’s first attempt at a Nicaraguan cigar, which is quite a risk for such an established cigar brand. I have smoked three or four toros and I have tried the same blend in other vitolas. Recently, I was gifted the Nicaragua Toro by a friend of mine and decided to write a formal review about it. I have pleasant memories of my previous Davidoff Nicaragua experiences, but will this cigar continue the trend?

Info and App:

  • Brand: Davidoff – Made in Dominican Republic factory
  • Where did I get it: I was given this as a gift from my friend Dave and he bought it from Cigar Hut in Australia. However, I have smoked about three or four of these from Cigar Hut.
  • How long is the smoke: This toro was roughly 90 minutes, which one would expect from a well constructed toro.
  • Cigar Info:
    • Vitolas:
      • Toro: 5 ½ x 54 (this review)
      • Robusto: 5 x 50
      • Diadema Fina: 6 ½ x 50
      • Short Corona: 3 ¾ x 46
      • Primeros: 4 1/8 x 34 (Different Blend)
    • Blend
      • Wrapper: Nica – Habano Nicaragua Rosado (Aged 10 years)
      • Binder: Nica – Habano Jalapa
      • Filler: Nica – Esteli Viso, Condegas Ligero, Ometepe Viso and Esteli Ligero
      • Nica Puro – First for Davidoff
    • This cigar was #3 in Cigar Aficionado’s top 25 for 2013. Was a 95/100 in CA.
    • The cigar looks amazing. Construction is top notch and the wrapper looks clean and golden with a nice oily feel. Davidoff’s classic band with the orange Nicaragua secondary band looks fantastic. It is a beautiful cigar.

Burn and Draw:

The draw starts a little loose; however, it improves quickly in the first third. In general, the Davidoff Nicaragua smokes really well in the toro vitola. Some toros have a bit of build up over time and the draw can fall away in the final third. However, this cigar’s draw remains consistent throughout the cigar and performs really well. The draw itself is smooth and easy, which makes for a pleasant smoking experience.

There are no issues with the burn whatsoever. The burn starts out sharp and clean and remains that way during the entire smoke. I never had to correct this cigar and it burns at a nice and even pace.

Score: 95

Construction:

The Davidoff Nicaragua smokes very well and is extremely well constructed. Combustion rate is top notch and it smokes at a fantastic pace, which allows the finish to develop without burning too hot. This is key to the cigar’s success and is also allows you to smoke the cigar all the way down to the nub. The cigar keeps its shape for the entire 90 minutes and the final third performs very well.

Score: 96

First Third:

Notes of cream and pepper greet you in the first third; however, these are smooth flavors and not as bold as some other Nicaraguan puros on the market. Shortly after the first few minutes a wonderful and subtle vanilla flavor comes in and mixes well with pepper and cream. This vanilla flavor is a core component throughout the smoke and is smooth and rich.

Nutty, toasted and tobacco flavors develop as the first third progresses, which replaces pepper and spice. These flavors are balanced well with the rich vanilla cream flavors and the cigar’s overall smooth texture. This is a tremendous first third and it sets the table for a well balanced and nuanced smoke.

Score: 95

Second Third:

The core vanilla cream flavor continues as tobacco and wood notes take centre stage in the finish. The cigar is a joy to smoke and the vanilla flavor shines in the retrohale. This is an amazing finish that is delicate and quite unique for a cigar this size.

The final stage of this third becomes heartier with the vanilla note moving more to the background and rich tobacco and coffee flavors taking more of a dominant role in the finish. The cigar’s strength is more on the medium side, which is a great fit for the complex and nuanced finish. Balancing strength and flavor is a complicated art and difficult to achieve. This cigar’s strength gives it enough body to give the cigar some structure, but does not overpower the flavor. This delicate balance of flavor and strength is the key to the cigar’s success in the final two thirds.

Score: 94

Final Third:

The final third is where the cigar moves from a wonderful cigar to a hall of fame candidate. I am always looking for a cigar to bring in new flavors and remain complex in the final third. Usually, the final third consists of a few flavors that overpower everything else and the cigar either runs out of gas or becomes too harsh to smoke. Truly great cigars remain complex and balanced all the way to the end. This is a prime example of how to create an excellent final third.

The vanilla flavor returns in this final third and is accompanied by a slight honey sweetness. These subtle sweet flavors are well balanced against tobacco and coffee notes. These flavors are subtle and very smooth, which works really well with the smooth draw and excellent combustion rate. Near the end of the cigar a wonderful grass and hay flavor comes out, which makes the final third complex all the way to the nub. The cigar itself never burns hot and you can smoke it all the way down.

Score: 94

Overall:

Davidoff is known for well balanced elegant cigars and the Nicaraguan toro is no exception. There is a complex and nuanced finish filled of vanilla, cream, tobacco, pepper, cream, coffee and honey notes. The introduction of grass and hay at the end of the final third puts an excellent cap on a wonderful cigar smoking experience. I have had this blend in the toro, diadema and short corona vitolas and it performs well across the board. You cannot go wrong in any vitola and I encourage you to try a few different vitolas to get a true experience of the blend. This is a unique Nicaraguan that shines in complexity and nuance, as opposed to focusing on big spice and pepper. This cigar is a must smoke for Nicaraguan cigar lovers and cigar smokers in general.

Overall Score: 95 – Hall of Fame

Recommendation:

This is an easy hall of fame cigar and smokes well in all sizes. I can easily recommend getting a box or getting 10 or 20 cigars in a number of different vitolas. This cigar is a perfect illustration of balance and it is a unique cigar experience.

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