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Entries Tagged as Davidoff

Presenting the Perfect Cigars at a Wedding

May 29, 2015 · By · 1 Comment

Spring is upon us, and wedding season has officially begun! This is the age-old ritual when young men who cannot yet fully comprehend the freedom to come and go as they please sign on to a lifetime contract (that lasts about 3-5 years) with the woman of their dreams. See, there I go again! The bitter old man who equates marriage to the loss of two homes, and a ton of money and now lives in a tastefully decorated one bedroom Garden Apartment, next door to a thoughtless asshole who loves blasting disco music at 1:00 am!

Marriage is a great institution; just because I never got it right, it doesnt mean it won’t be pure bliss for you. In fact, I have met thousands of married couples in my lifetime, and I’ll bet that at least nine of them are happy!

Ok, I’m sorry; I’ll stop complaining, and talk about a very important topic that doesn’t come up too often: Presenting the perfect cigars at your wedding.

A wedding is one of those occasions where cigars are the ideal celebratory gift.  If the majority of your guests are not true cigar smokers, the type and brand of cigars does not even matter. You can buy machine made cigars for your wedding guests, such as J&R Famous, and Garcia y Vega. Or you can purchase some inexpensive handmade cigars that taste great right out of the package, like one of our milder JR Alternative Cigars. Many guests will take a free cigar as a souvenir of the occasion even if they never intend to smoke it, but within this group, there will always be a few serious lovers of the leaf. A few choice cigars for yourself (and maybe your best man, other groomsmen, and immediate family), will go a long way!  On such a special day, pick a few super-premium brands to hand out individually, such as MontecristoMacanudoAshton, and the Davidoff Classic Series Cigars. Trust me - these are some seriously delicious smokes, and everyone will love them!

If you choose to make life easy for yourself and have only one box or brand of cigars for everyone, then a cigar that is solid medium body in strength will be perfect. A medium strength cigar is not overpowering for a novice, and yet it will have enough kick to satisfy the full-bodied aficionados in attendance. Bottom line, everybody is happy. Lastly, you may want to pick out a size that’s not too big, and not too small. In many banquet halls, the options on where to smoke are very limited. Often times this may only include the bar area, or outside. The last thing you will want is to have a third of your guests away from the festivities, puffing stogies and getting shit faced in front of a flat screen TV, missing memorable moments. Therefore, a thirty-minute smoke would be ideal. This gives them the chance to bond, enjoy a great stick, and miss the dreaded Cha Cha Slide or Cupid Shuffle at the same time. A win-win situation!

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A Robusto size (5.00 x 50) would be the best choice. Our enormously popular Romeo y Julieta 1875 Bully will be a huge hit. Packaged in boxes of 25, this feisty Robusto features an oily brown TBN java wrapper, Dominican binder, and choice filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. This tasty, medium bodied, anytime of the day smoke offers the perfect balance of nuts, earth, and sweet spicy flavors.

Another option would be a potpourri of cigars containing every strength. This is where our affordable 5-pack selections come in handy. You can set up an elegant silver tray containing the following. The mild and creamy smooth Don Diego Corona 5-Pack, the medium bodied and nutty tasting H. Upmann Original Toro, and, for the hardcore herfers, the powerful, yet well-balanced Saint Luis Rey Gen 2 Toro will add a little magic to the celebration.

So there you have it folks! A basic guideline on how to include fine stogies on your wedding day, or helping someone plan their own. In addition to the cigars, do not forget to bring a bunch of inexpensive cigar cutters and some matches. And last but not least, do not forget to prepare your bride for becoming a cigar friendly wife, or end up like me coming home every night to two dogs and nobody to tell you what to do … Come to think about, that ain’t’ so bad. Why am I complaining?

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1 CommentTags: gifts · Ashton · cigar life · Davidoff · H. Upmann · JR Cigar · Macanudo · Montecristo

Blended Scotch and Cigar Pairings

May 27, 2015 · By · 2 Comments

So if you have been following my writings, you would have already read about the best ways to pair up single malt scotch and fine cigars.  While single malts have a reputation has being the more elegant and smoother libation, blended scotch is by far the most popular.  90% of whisky that is produced in Scotland is blended and makes for a much more complex beverage.  Lets match up some of the world's best blended Scotch with some great smokes.

These pairings will be slightly different then with single malts.  With single malts, Scotch produced in the same region will produce similar flavors, so its easier to match up a cigar with the region.  However, each blended Scotch will contain several different flavor profiles, so you will need to know which regions make up that particular bend.  Lets take the most sold blended Scotch in the world, Johnnie Walker.

Each line of Johnnie Walker is a different blend, so each one will match up with a different smoke.  Johnnie Walker Black and Double Black are known for their heavy, peaty flavor.  I would go with a cigar that has a great smokey taste to it, such as the Kentucky Fire Cured by Drew Estate or the Leccia White.  The Johnnie Walker Gold is known to be sweet and smooth, similar to single malts from Speyside.  I would go with either a smooth sweet maduro, such as Ashton, or even an Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva.   The new Platinum label seems to be a bit difficult.  It contains flavor characteristics of both a sweet Speyside and a peaty, smoky Islay Scotch.   Best to go with maybe a full body Nicaraguan maduro such as the Padron 1926.

Johnnie Walker Blue is a completely different beast.  Its viewed as the best blended Scotch in the world by some, and by others a complete waste of time.  Be that as it may, it holds a reputation as one of the best Scotch whisky’s you can find.  It is smooth yet incredibly complex.  It seems to be a combination of all three single malt flavor profiles; sweet, smooth, and peaty.  Not one flavor is too pungent but they come together to form a magnificently well-balanced blend.  The only cigar I think of to accompany this is a Davidoff Millennium.  Medium to full bodied yet smooth and balanced.

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Next on my list is one of my personal favorites: The Famous Grouse.  The Famous Grouse is a blended that is a mixture of single malt scotch from The Highland Park and The Maccallan.   It is perfectly balanced and combines the slightly peat flavor of the Highland Park with the fruity and sweet taste of the Maccallan.  I recently drank this while smoking the new Monte by Montecristo and found the pairing quite delicious.

Now, lets finish up with what I call the miscellaneous section.  Here there are two different products I’m going to pair up, but neither of them can be strictly defined as Scotch.  The first is the famous Japanese single malt whisky, Yamazaki.   Although not made in Scotland, it is by most considered Scotch style whisky in that it shares its characteristics more with scotch than Irish, Canadian, or American whisky.  Yamazaki recently won the worlds best whisky award.    The 12 year old is quite similar to Speyside Scotch, with sweet fruit flavors and a smooth wood finish.  I find a good Cameroon wrapper pairs up well with this smoke, so a Partagas or an Arturo Fuente Hemingway would be a great choice.

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My last entry will be a new an unusual whisky that my roommate introduced me too.  It is called Campfire By High West.  It’s actually a triple blend of straight rye, straight bourbon, and blended malt Scotch whisky.  It may be one of the first drinks of its kind. It’s amazingly complex that starts off sweet, peaks with a spice, and then ends smooth and smoky.   This is a perfect match for a complex Nicaraguan smoke.  My personal choices would be the Cain Daytona or the Oliva Serie V.

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Hope you guys find my pairings to your liking and keep reading for more interesting match ups.  Also if you have any ideas for future pairing articles, message us on Facebook!

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2 CommentsTags: Oliva · Arturo Fuente · Ashton · cigar life · cigar pairings · Davidoff · Drew Estate · Padron

Single Malt Scotch & Cigar Pairings

May 22, 2015 · By · 1 Comment

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Pairing fine Scotch and cigars is a worldwide institution.  They go together like salt & pepper, Mario & Luigi, and cheeseburgers with fried eggs.  Is that last one just me? Well, you should try it.  Anyway, the point is that both Scotch and cigars represent elegance, relaxation, and a taste for finer things.  They are both heavily reliant on age, proper timing, and the right combination of ingredients to make a great blend. A person’s preference for Scotch and cigars vary with their individual pallet.  While some like a more powerful blend, with a mix of intense spice and smoke, others prefer a more mild combination that emphasizes its smoothness and age.  By containing similar flavor notes and their natural correlation with the “lifestyle”, it only makes sense that cigars and Scotch would make quite the pair.  Yet the true question is not why they pair well, but how to pair them.

Single malt Scotch, is a Scottish whisky (the whiskey spelling is really only used in Ireland and the U.S.) that is made from only one distillery and utilizes only malted grain.  The main flavor characteristic of a single malt Scotch is its best and worst quality.  Being from only one distillery, a single malt scotch will contain only the flavors found in that particular area.  The benefit of this is that if you have a particular quality you really enjoy, say sweet or fruity, you can find a scotch that truly emphasizes this flavor on its own.  The downside, however, is you do not get as many complex flavors as you would with a blended.   

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In my poor attempt to keep this brief I will only be talking about the three main regions that are famous for their whisky.  The first is known as Highland whisky.  Just like cigars, Scotch flavors differ depending on different environmental factors such as humidity, climate, and water. Most Scotch from here is considered medium to light with a smooth, dry, and slightly floral taste.  Some famous brands of Highland single malt are Oban, Dalmore, and The Macallan.  Due to its mild to medium body and array of flavors, Highland single malt Scotch goes well with a number of cigars such as the Warped Flor de Valle, the Davidoff Aniversario, or the La Palina Classic.

Speyside is a region located at the top of the Highlands and it houses the largest amount of distilleries in the country.   Some of the world’s most famous single malts are made here, and they have made the region a haven for Scotch aficionados.  These brands include Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Glenlivet.  Speyside whiskys have been known to be sweet and smooth, with a nice mix of honey and vanilla notes.  When aged, they can produce a more dry fruit taste with a tad of spice. I would go with a nice, sweet maduro for this region.  My personal favorite pair up is an Ashton Maduro with Glenlivet 18.  A true maduro should be mild, rich, with a natural sweetness.  Other suggestions would be the Avo maduro, or the Perdomo Double Age 12 Year Vintage, which is actually aged in whisky barrels.

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The last main region for single malts is Islay, also known as “Whisky Island”.   It has a population of only 3,500 people, yet houses eight major whisky distilleries.  Scotch from Islay is known for its peat flavor.  Peat is a dark brown soil that is heated up and used to dry out the malt.   It creates a natural smoky taste.  Islay Scotch is usually ranked as the strongest, with intense flavor and a good amount of spice.  Some famous Islay brands are Lagavulin and Bowmore.   For these libations, I highly recommend a stronger, flavorful smoke.  An Opus X would go nice, as would a My Father, or a Liga Privada T52.  Choose a cigar that combines strength, intense flavor, but is also exceptionally smooth.

Well that’s all I have for single malts, but check me out next time to see what I match up with some of the best-blended scotch and even some Japanese Scotch.  I know, if it's from Japan it can't be Scotch blah blah blah, but just read the article and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Cheers!

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1 CommentTags: Ashton · Avo · cigar life · cigar pairings · Davidoff · My Father · Perdomo

Davidoff Moves

March 03, 2015 · By · No Comments

In talking with Davidoff CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard at Pro Cigar, he noted the success of the Davidoff Nicaragua, saying it has been the company’s biggest success since its Cuban days.  He said that the interesting thing about the Davidoff Nicaragua is that it is not cannibalizing other Davidoffs in that 70 percent of the smokers are new to the brand.

Perhaps because of this success, the company announced it is buying over 370 acres of farmland in Honduras and Nicaragua. The land is in Condega, Nicaragua and the Jamastran Valley of Honduras.  The company says it will allow them to continue to get top quality tobacco while allowing it the opportunity to experiment with new and existing seeds.

Davidoff also bought land by its box factory in Danli in order to build a new cigar factory there.  The plot is about 450,000 square feet for the new factory and the factory itself in the first phase will have 185,000 square feet, allowing for a 60 percent increase in production for Camacho, Room 101 and Baccarat.

And on the retail side, Davidoff continues to make moves opening flagship stores… the latest one comes in the company’s U.S. hometown of Tampa.  It will be a 5,000 square foot store that includes a nice lounge and the biggest Davidoff store in the world.  According to CEO Hans-Kristian every Davidoff store will have a lounge because he foresees a time when the only place you will be able to smoke a cigar is in a cigar store.

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No CommentsTags: cigar industry · Davidoff

Cigars Unlimited

February 13, 2015 · By · No Comments

Davidoff, whose motto is ‘Time Beautifully Filled’, has come up with a way to do that for cigar aficionados.  The company has developed a high-end luxury concierge service called Hourglass Lounge.  Davidoff CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard says time is one of life’s greatest luxuries and the Hourglass lounge fills that time richly. The service can book a sold-out show, set up a golf game with a legend, or maybe a private dinner prepared by a celebrity chef.  Really top end stuff.

According to the release:

The Hourglass Lounge enables its members to enjoy unparalleled levels of service: from responding to their everyday needs to fulfilling their extraordinary requests and wishes. This service is designed to fill the cigar aficionado’s time beautifully, exquisitely, and exclusively with unforgettable experiences.

That level of customer service is also evident in the innovative “Bespoke Lounge & Cigar Cellar Design by Davidoff/Atelier Oï”, where members can have their personal cigar cellar and lounge designed by a renowned Swiss design team and carefully crafted for them to enjoy cigars in the comfort of their own home. Or, as the world’s first concierge service utterly dedicated to the cigar aficionado, the Hourglass Lounge can ensure its members their chosen cigars will be ready for them, wherever and whenever they want them, VIP access to enjoy some of the world’s finest cigar lounges and events or new Davidoff blends; and unique, limited editions to be experienced before anyone else in the world.

The core offices are in London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai, Geneva and Munich.  There is no information on what this service costs, you can request a call back,  but my guess is if you have to ask you can’t afford it.

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No CommentsTags: cigar life · cigar news · Davidoff

Davidoff Changes

January 20, 2015 · By · No Comments

Davidoff CigarsNormally I don’t care much about changes in personnel at cigar companies.  So and so who was sales manager at SecondRateSmokes is now leaving to go to Anastystick Cigar Company.  I mean this is inside baseball so who really cares?  This time, though, I am making an exception because while it essentially is a personnel move, it does have ramifications.

Davidoff has named Hamlet Espinal as the new General Manager of Tabadom Holding in Santiago.  Tabadom is the Davidoff subsidiary in the Dominican Republic and the company that makes its cigars.  Since its beginning, Tabadom has been headed by Henke Kelner, who now will give up his general manager role to Espinal.  Kelner remains Vice Chairman of Tabadom.

According to the release, Espinal started his career at Tabadom about 15 years ago, which makes not only Davidoff but also AVO, Cusano, The Griffins, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum among others.  Just last year, he was promoted to Vice President of Tabadom.  According to the company announcement:

“Hamlet has been a key member of the Management Team for many years – as such he has learned from Henke Kelner every aspect of our operations in the Dominican Republic”, says Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO Oettinger Davidoff AG and Chairman of Tabadom Holding, Inc. “We are thankful to Henke Kelner for the perfect succession planning at Tabadom Holding, and we all look forward to working with Hamlet in his new role.

The reason this is noteworthy is that Henke, for all intents and purposes, IS Davidoff.  It was his factory that the company picked after leaving Cuba to make its cigars.  Henke has been fanatical about quality in his factories; he has made certain the Davidoffs made in Santiago are of the absolute best quality.   Henke also is president of Pro Cigar—the group of Dominican cigar makers, who hold lobby and hold an annual festival next month.

The way I see this news, is that it frees Henke up a bit from the day to day operations of the factory.  Indeed, according to the release, Davidoff wants to expand Henke’s role as Davidoff Global Ambassador (something Zino Davidoff did before) to have him do his tasting and educational seminars around the world.  That would be a good thing.

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No CommentsTags: cigar industry · Davidoff

AVO changes

January 08, 2015 · By · No Comments

According to Cigar Aficionado, Davidoff is changing its Avo line.  This comes after the company revamped its Winston Churchill line last year.  According to CA,  the Avo line is getting a facelift  and some of the lines are being discontinued.  The company also is changing the Avo slogan.  No longer will it be “Cigars in perfect harmony” instead it will be “Savor Every Note.”  The changes will be apparent shortly as the changes are being made this year.

According to the article:

"The brand needed to be freshened up in terms of offerings, packaging and communication," said Richard Krutick, director of marketing for Davidoff of Geneva. "The refresh is an evolution of the brand, not a revolution. It's about staying true to Avo's core, but also modernizing it for today's consumer."

The Avo Maduro is one of the lines being dropped so once they are gone….well you know.  The Avo Signature also is going.  The Avo Domaine, Avo Heritage, and Avo XO are all sticking around albeit with new packaging.  According to CA the new packages will replace the side lid boxes with hinged lids featuring the Avo monogram.  The Avo Classics are still going to be around but one thing the article stressed, and something I didn’t know, that the Avo Classics all contain some tobacco that is really old.

"The Avo brand has been an industry staple for 27 years," said Krutick. "We want to tell stories that have been around since the brand's inception, but never told. For example, there is a piece of 25-year-old tobacco in every Avo Classic. Henke [Kelner] has a bail in the Dominican Republic that he refreshed every year."

Davidoff says none of the blends will change.

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No CommentsTags: Avo · cigar industry · cigar news · Davidoff

Winston Re Done

December 16, 2014 · By · No Comments

Davidoff Winston Churchill

About 7 years ago a new cigar came on the scene called Winston Churchill.  It was named, aptly, for the man who not only loved cigars, shepherded Britain through World War II, but also lent his name to that famous size vitola.  The cigar did ok, but not great.  At this past summer’s trade show, Davidoff CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard said he had plans to revamp the line and that he has done.  Last week in New York, the company unveiled the new Davidoff Winston Churchill.  According to the company’s news release, the new line of luxury Davidoff Winston Churchills represent the multi-faceted personality of their namesake; the Aristocrat, the Artist, the Commander, the Raconteur, the Statesman and the Traveler.

According to the legend’s great grandson Randolph Churchill:

 "A great cigar was Churchill's favourite travelling companion and, whether he was being Statesman, Commander, or dinner party guest, he was rarely without one. As a descendent of American pioneers, through his mother Jennie Jerome of New York, and of aristocratic British military figures - the Dukes of Marlborough - through his father, he knew the significance of history and the value of time. And he always had time for a cigar."

The new line uses an Ecuador Rojiza wrapper over San Andres binder and five tobaccos for the filler from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.    The sizes will initially be 4, a petit corona measuring 41 x 4.5”, a robusto at 52 x 5.25”, a toro at 54 x 6” , naturally the churchill at 47 x 6.875”.  The cigars will start showing up on shelves next year.

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No CommentsTags: Davidoff · luxury cigars · new cigars

Tis the Season

December 11, 2014 · By · No Comments

It is the time to try to find the perfect gift for your cigar smoker.  You could  always get him or her a box of cigars, just make sure you know which brand and size.  Or you could cheat and try a sampler like the one Davidoff makes. (there is also a 12 cigar sampler too).

A place to put the cigars is always welcome as we hit the low humidity of winter.  Maybe a nice humidor is just the thing.

But if that doesn’t appeal to you, there are always cutters. Xikar makes a bunch of nice ones in different colors and finishes like Zebrawood , Beechwood and Rosewood.  Room 101’s Matt Booth also has his cutters made by Xikar.  Boofy has several designs from which to choose. 

And if you decide on one of Matt’s cutters, there are plenty of his cigars available ranging from the Master Collections, Daruma Gold to The Big Payback.  And remember Matt, outside of our little area, is primarily known for his jewelry designs.  And of course, that could make a great gift as well.

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No CommentsTags: gifts · cigar life · Davidoff · Room 101

Embraceable Ewe

November 25, 2014 · By · No Comments

Davidoff CigarsIt is Thanksgiving and a time for us to be grateful for all the bounties we have.  Of course while the stores are looking ahead to Christmas (actually they started a few weeks ago) some people are talking about the new year… and not the one beginning Jan 1, but the Chinese New Year which happens on February 19th.  Next year is the Year of the Sheep… not one of your better choices, but it is what it is.  Davidoff is pressing ahead with its special limited edition for the year.  The Year of the Sheep.  According to the release:

Belonging to the element of wood, the Sheep is a craftsman, an artist, a devotee of beauty, fashioning a world of harmony and aesthetic pleasure. The Sheep will also look on approvingly as people welcome in the New Year. For in the Sheep’s eyes, happiness is other people’s happiness. The Sheep loves to see their own love of life reflected in the faces of those around them as well as the objects and things which surround them.

What is interesting is that the special cigar, like the ones mentioned two weeks ago (Ashton Symmetry and Altadis’s Anthology), uses an Ecuadoran grown Habano wrapper. But unlike the others it sports  a Yamasa binder and a combination of fillers including a Hybrid Corojo/ Olor, San Vicente, Piloto Cubano and San Vicente Majorado visus.  (Not sure what visus is—maybe the plural of viso but the Davidoff people say visus is a tobacco term even though some other manufacturers go huh?)

The cigar is a Piramide measuring 6.5” x 54 with 8 to a box.  The cigars are shipping now and should be available very shortly.

Clarity Now

If you don’t want to wait for the sheep… Davidoff does have its Colorado Claro Series available now.    These cigars are produced in small batches and use a very special rare wrapper…sun-grown Connecticut from Ecuador.  If you know anything about Ecuador, then you know how hard it is to grow anything in the sun because of the clouds which blanket the growing areas.  Sun grown Ecuador anything is rare and in the case of this Connecticut wrapper is a bit darker in the reddish brown arena and produces a stronger taste.  The Colorado Claro Series comes in popular Davidoff sizes—Special ‘T’ at 6” x 52, Special ‘R’ at 4.875” x 50, Double ‘R’ at 7.5” x 50, Short Perfecto at 4/875” x 52 and Anniversario No. 3 at 6” x 50.

Whoa

We al know Davidoff’s can be a bit pricey.  They are a luxury product, but the newest Davidoff will really add to that concept.  According to Cigar Aficionado, Davidoff is coming out with an ultra premium…maybe even beyond ultra.  The Davidoff Oro Blanco is a vintage smoke that will retail for….wait for it….$500.  And that ain’t for a box, but for one.  According to CA,

"This is going to be our most expensive cigar ever, and the most expensive in the market," said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, chief executive officer of Oettinger Davidoff AG, the company that owns the Davidoff cigar brand.

The article says that all of the tobacco was harvested back in 2002 and has been set aside for this special cigar.   It will be a 6” x 54 grand toro and will come in individual wooden coffins and the box will hold 10 cigars and retail for $5,000. Of course if that is too much, there always is the Davidoff Puro d’Oro which is not as rare or as expensive but nonetheless a great smoke. 

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No CommentsTags: Davidoff · new cigars