Davidoff Grand Cru


9-10-12 been in humidor since 12-21-11

Davidoff Grand Cru No.2 (5.6 x 43)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian-Grown Connecticut-Seed

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican

Blender: Hendrik Kelner, Alejandro Robaina



The Grand Cru line was released by Davidoff to commemorate the original cigars that Zino Davidoff brought to market in 1946. Of course this is not the original blend given the vast history that Davidoff has covered.


When the original Davidoff cigars were being blended, Zino was the owner of the family Tobacco shop in Switzerland and had previously studied tobacco in Argentina, Brazil and Cuba. The original line was a Cuban tobacco cigar that was loosely based off of Hoyo de Montgomery cabinets. In 1969, when Davidoff became its own Cuban brand, this particular line of cigars became known as the Chateau line and was the fullest of the Cuban Davidoffs. By 1990 Davidoff was in almost constant dispute with Cuba about quality of tobacco and quota issues. In March of that year, Davidoff left Cuba and moved to the Dominican Republic.


When the move happened, the company made an active decision not to attempt to make the new cigars taste like the Cuban Chateau line but rather to attempt to showcase what high quality Dominican tobacco could be. A name change brings us to the modern Grand Cru. With all that history, how is this the same cigar as the original released in 1946 in a little Swiss smoke shop?

It is the original sizes that were chosen by Zino bearing the original name and they are still the fullest of the brand much like they were in the Cuban market. It is a commemoration line, not a copy line.


One of the hallmarks of Davidoff is quality in construction and this Grand Cru, for the most part, looks the part. The wrapper has a little color variation but nothing that detracts from the elegance of it. Save for the application of the cap, the cigar is seamless. Don’t get me wrong, the triple cap is applied correctly, it just has a bit more color variation than the rest of the cigar so it is not “seamless” in nature. The band is the iconic Davidoff band and has the words “Grand Cru No.2” written on the side. For Davidoff standards, this is about average. For the standards of the cigar world it is simple and elegant to let the smoke do the talking.


The smell of the Grand Cru has a clean earth smell and a touch of barnyard. It is a very classic smell in my mind; almost what a seasoned smoker should expect from a classically blended cigar. The lick on the cap has a touch of spice and a hint of a sour note. A cut with my Xikar Double Guillotine and I have a draw that is smooth enough that there is no work and tight enough that you know you have something, in other words: perfect. The taste of this cold draw is, again, earth and a bit of black pepper that is light on the heat.


I light with my EX soft flame lighter. The opening notes are woody and slightly peppery. A few earth elements are in there as well. The flavor right off the draw is mostly the earth flavors this fades into the woody flavors. As the smoke is pushed out this turns toastier and has the spice through the nose. The finish is more on the earth side again. The finish is light and short in this first third. I am almost shocked at the lack of the signature musk in this cigar. There is none. Every other Davidoff I have had in the past has had that element, at this point, this does not.


The middle third opens up quite a bit. All of the flavors have become more pronounced and refined save for the pepper/spice, that has diminished some. Just past the mid point an herbal quality is noted. It is in flavor and it is is very subtle. It brings a level of complexity to this cigar that was lacking to this point.

The other quality that I usually find in Davidoff cigars (other than the musk) is there. That quality is that it seems to actively make the mouth water. This makes the roasted and toasty notes seem brighter, the earth taste cleaner and gives the cigar an overall smoother feel to it. The burn is perfect so far but that does not surprise me given the reputation that Davidoff has for quality.


The final third brings on a tighter draw but not quite detrimental. I clipped maybe 1/16th more off the cap and all is right with the world again. The earthiness rounds out and has a sweeter feel to it as well. As it sweetens, it simultaneously brings a spice to the front of the flavor. It is a great balance.


The cigar ends with that profile.

Burn to the burn.

Burn time: 1 hour 30 minutes.



Burn: 10

Draw: 9

Taste: 9

Aftertaste: 9

Construction: 9.5

Balance: 9

Feel: 9

Overall: 9.2 of 10



~ by kuzi16 on September 10, 2012.

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