Davidoff Diademas Finas was originally released in 2006 to commemorate company founder Zino Davidoff and what would’ve been his 100th birthday. Zino passed away in 1994 at the age of 87, just a few short years after moving production of Davidoff cigars from Cuba to the Dominican Republic, where the cigars continue to be produced to this day.
While Zino began offering custom, Cuban cigar blends to customers of his retail shop in Geneva, Switzerland in the 1940s, it wasn’t until 1968 that the Davidoff brand was officially launched. The cigars were rolled at the famed El Laguito factory in Havana—sharing production with Cohiba and Trinidad cigars. When the original Diademas Finas cigar debuted in 2006, the blend was undisclosed, with hints that the Dominican fillers were aged up to four years. With Davidoff Diademas Finas (2018), the cigars commemorate Davidoff’s 50th anniversary, incorporating Dominican tobaccos from 2005, aged 13 years at the time of the cigar’s release (though in Davidoff’s press releases, the tobaccos are described as 10-years aged, implying the cigars could have been rolled in 2015).
Consistent with Davidoff’s most elaborate/luxurious releases, Davidoff Diademas Finas arrives in custom-designed packaging, paired with a suite of accessories to match. French artist Mariane Léger is said to have explored four corners of the world for inspiration—invoking Zino’s spirit of exploration—offering unique designs from each region (The Americas, The Middle East, Europe and Asia) in the final products. Along with the four jar designs containing the cigars themselves, Davidoff is releasing matching lighters, an ashtray, briar wood pipes, and pipe tobacco (the latter two sold exclusively outside of the U.S.).
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Davidoff Diademas Finas (2018) Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Dominican Olor (seco priming)
- Filler: Dominican
- Seco: Piloto Cubano
- Viso: San Vicente
- Ligero: San Vicente | Piloto Cubano | Hybrid Corojo/Olor
- Factory: Cigars Davidoff (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited Edition (8,000 jars of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 6¾″ × 50 (Diademas Finas)
- Price: $36.00 (MSRP)
Davidoff first announced its 50th anniversary celebration at the start of the year, with many of the company’s “White Label” cigars receiving new primary bands that show an updated “50” logo design. With Davidoff Diademas Finas, the cigars appear to be the “grand finale,” at least as far as cigar releases are concerned. The company is set to kick off a series of celebratory events throughout the rest of the year, beginning on July 15th at this year’s annual IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas. The events are said to feature cigar-centered activities, being hosted in Hong Kong and other Davidoff Flagship Stores, culminating after 50 days with a special event in Switzerland, home of Oettinger Davidoff AG.
Davidoff Diademas Finas (2018) has been rolled in the same diademas finas size (a sub-classification of figurado, similar to a Salamone) as the original, with 8,000 jars of 10 cigars being dispersed between the four regions/designs. Each design is not limited to its intended region, however, with customers being encouraged to collect the full set.
There’s no getting around it, this thing, from box to cigar, is an impressive specimen. The presentation begins with a white, lacquered cardboard box that mimics the jar’s artwork (i.e. the Les Ameriques design, in my case, is printed on the jar and outer box). The jar, a staple in upscale cigar presentation since the early 1900s, is crafted from porcelain and is fitted with a wooden lid. Containing only 10 cigars (as opposed to the usual 19 to 25), the Diademas Finas jar is one of the most slim and compact I have come across. It’s a nice change of pace from the ornate and shapely jars consumers are accustomed to, having a clean and modern feel, tapering just before the jar’s underside. The wooden lid provides a nice contrast against the clean white and has a certain mid-century modern feel to it. The lid is also fitted with its own humidification device on the underside (as any premium jar should), allowing you to convert the jar into a functioning humidor. Davidoff has employed an interesting use of cedar on the interior, with slotted pieces running down the center of the jar, jutting out between the cigars to keep them firmly in place.
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The cigars are about as perfectly constructed as you’d expect from their hefty price tag. There is a good amount of shape on the cigar’s head and foot, while still offering a traditional straightness in the mid-section. This should allow for evolution in the first inch, with enough time for the profile to settle in throughout the rest of the smoking experience. The wrapper has a bronze hue and fuzziness between the fingers. It’s darker than your average Davidoff, using Habano instead of the usual Connecticut Shade leaf. There are slightly visible seams and almost no signs of veins. The construction is very sturdy, with a firm, papier-mâché-like exterior.
The aroma is light but very pleasant, showing notes similar to aged Cuban cigars, joined by citrus and musk. The pre-light draw shows a clean profile of mojito cocktail, San Pellegrino fizziness, and lemon. As expected, there is a firm pre-light resistance, due to the cigar’s shape.
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The smoke is subtle and soft in texture upon lighting. There are notes of barnyard hay and crackers, with a noticeably clean palate. And the freshly cut tobaccos are salty when pressed against the tongue—one of the most interesting aspects in the cigar’s beginning portion. As the burn line expands over the shapely figurado head, much more flavor begins to emerge. Notes of butter, vanilla sweetness, and floral attributes are present. The floral note can occasionally drift into a funkiness that you might expect from a Belgian ale, adding a nice bit of complexity into the mix.
Construction wise, the Diademas burns at a steady rate, with only a minor waviness across an otherwise perfect burn. The ash is medium gray, somewhat flakey, and holds for around one and a half inches. Through an ever-so-slightly firm draw, the cigar produces a medium-light smoke output—not ideal, but enough to take in the subtle flavor profile. On the tongue, the smoke registers primarily on the bitter (center) and salty (sides) areas, offering an overall profile of mild/medium flavor, strength, and body.
Entering the second third, the cigar’s flavor output dramatically increases. Where you may find yourself consciously searching for the subtle nuances at the cigar’s start, this section does the heavy lifting for you; showing a nice sage-like spice, an oily/buttery texture that coats the tongue, and a long, sweet custard finish. Later in the cigar’s mid-section (I felt like this cigar smoked in fourths, rather the usual thirds), a strong cappuccino flavor develops, sometimes bordering on intense cold brew—this was an unmistakable flavor, in my opinion.
The cigar peaks at full in flavor, but could be described overall as medium/full. In the later portions, the strength and body reach medium as well. Flavors become spicier in the cigar’s last section, with notes of white pepper and sage being somewhat dominant. Anise, nougat, vanilla, and toasted bread help to round out the profile until its eventual end.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I can’t recommend this cigar highly enough. Yes, it’s quite expensive, and will surely not be for everyone. But if a celebratory smoking occasion is in order, or if you simply want to experience what can be done with ultra-grade, highly aged tobaccos and experienced blending prowess, Davidoff Diademas Finas will surely do the trick. Yes I
would WILL smoke this again… while my dwindling supply remains.
- French artist Mariane Léger is responsible for each of the four jar designs (as well as the accompanying accessories). The regions (and design names) are: L’Asie “Variety,” Les Ameriques “Discovery,” L’Europe “Taste,” and L’Moyen-Orient “Innovation.”
- The designs are inspired from cultural influences of the Middle East, the Americas, Europe and Asia.
- The Americas design (used for this review) is described as, “Inspired by The Condor flying to new horizons, its keen eyes constantly searching for new opportunities.”
- Davidoff Diademas Finas (2018) shipped worldwide in July, with 8,000 jars available (80,000 cigars).
- Each jar is numbered
- Davidoff Diademas Finas (2018) is $14 more expensive than the 2006 original.
- The 50th anniversary bands used throughout Davidoff’s lineup for 2018 has been white with gold highlights. Davidoff Diademas Finas swaps the two.
- Flavor: Medium/Full
- Strength: Mild/Medium
- Body: Medium-Minus
- Toasted bread
- Smoke Time: 2 hours
- Pairing Recommendation: Westvleteren 12, San Pellegrino, Mojito coktail, Light-roast coffee, Champagne, Italian soda
- Purchase Recommendation: Full jar (or as many as you can afford)
- Steadily progressing profile
- Bright and salty tobacco against tongue
- Refined complexity
- Slightly firm draw
- Takes some time for deep flavors to kick in