In 2013, Davidoff shocked the cigar world, releasing their first-ever Nicaraguan puro. The cigar marked a new direction for the company, complete with a new, black rendition of the famous Davidoff band to accompany the bold Nicaraguan tobaccos.
But it appears Davidoff has bigger plans for this “Black Label” series, as the brand has recently unveiled their latest project—Davidoff Escurio—another worldly blend, this time focused on the vibrant, rhythmic atmosphere of Rio, Brazil. This is where the cigar takes on its identity, from its Brazilian blend (though not a puro), to its black & emerald packaging (inspired from Rio’s “emerald coast” after dark), to its Brazilian-hybrid name—escuro+Rio (escuro is Portuguese for “dark”). The Davidoff Black Label looks to be the perfect setting to allow the brand to experiment with new and foreign tobaccos, but how will this Brazilian infusion hold up against the tremendous success established with the Nicaragua?
Davidoff Escurio Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana Seed
- Binder: Brazilian Cubra Seed
- Filler: Meta Fina & Cubra tobaccos (Brazil), San Vicente, Piloto & hybrid Olor/Piloto Seco leaves (Dominican Republic)
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Release
- Vitola Reviewed: 4.5″ × 54 Robusto Tubos
- Price: $15.90
Escurio arrives, like many Davidoff cigars, with the appearance and stats of a top shelf cigar. The chic black band of the Nicaragua is back, with a new, Rio-inspired sub-band, showing a touch of bright greens to highlight the blacks, grays, and silver design. The cigars are offered in three sizes—Petit Robusto (3.25 × 50), Robusto (4.5 × 54), and Gran Toro (5.5 × 58)—they will come packaged in boxes of 12-14 cigars, as well as smaller 4-packs, with prices ranging from $8.50 – 17.90 per cigar.
On paper, this is an impressive blend, with a diverse filler from Brazil and the DR, using the Meta Fina often found in Brazilian cigars for sweetness, as well as the spicy Cubra, which is a Brazilian-grown Cuban Criollo tobacco. Of course there is Davidoff’s signature DR tobaccos for sophistication, and a beautiful Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, which seems to bring out the best in any blend.
Holding the Escurio, it is about as nice a cigar as you can imagine. The seams are faint, the wrapper is smooth, with a glisten of oil, and the roll feels solid throughout. The wrapper has an orange hue to it, which contrasts nicely against the lime-green Escurio half moon logo. It has a spicy aroma, with floral notes in the backdrop. The pre-draw doesn’t show much—papier-mâché, a slight spice, and a hint of chocolate.
Right away you’ll notice a perfect draw, it’s easy, but not too easy, giving just enough resistance to let you feel that you’re making progress. There is a nice amount of smoke on each puff as well, no need for double or triple puffing—one smooth draw will give you all the smoke required. The flavors are delicate to start, there’s no blast to knock you back in your seat, it’s smooth and refined. But there is soon a chili chocolate spice that forms in the retrohale—the texture is silky and feels effortless out the nose, despite the developing spice. Soon there are notes of mineral, leather, a light tanginess, and a very noticeable citrus.
The second-third is where the flavors really start to liven-up. The citrus from earlier takes to the forefront, evolving into more of a lime and pineapple quality! The finish is long and creamy, with notes of vanilla and nougat pudding—in combination with the zesty citrus, I’m struck with a distinct key lime pie topped with whipped cream! Moving further into this third produces nice, balanced notes of coffee, dare I say, Brazilian… Interesting, Brazilian coffee is known for its bright flavors of sweet, fruity acidity and a clean palate, which is very similar to the smoking experience you’ll find here.
As far as construction, there is no doubt this is top notch—though it did require 2 touchups—I’ll admit I didn’t give the cigar enough acclimation time in the humidor. The ash is medium gray and flakey, holding on in 1″ increments and the burn line is wavy throughout. The strength is medium, with a medium/full flavor, and an overall medium body.
Rounding out the cigar, you’ll find warm flavors of caramel and cream, similar to a Caramel Macchiato; as well as some darker flavors, such as burnt nuts and espresso coffee grounds. Chili spice makes a comeback in this third, with toasty notes to replace the brighter citrus from before—toffee, nuts, leather, and caramel carry the cigar to its end.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
This is a tough one—at this price point I’d have a hard time not choosing an OpusX cigar. But… I like to keep it fresh, who wants to smoke the same cigars over and over? I love experiencing new flavors and that’s exactly what this offers. Short answer? Yes, whenever my wallet allows.
- Excellent construction (perfect draw, great smoke output, solid build)
- Interesting transformation in flavors
- Bright & lively exotic flavors
- High price point
- Inconsistencies between sizes (darker & harsher on smaller vitola)