Twenty thirteen was my first experience attending the cigar industry’s largest trade show, then known as IPCPR. I remember being taken aback by the size of it—you could easily lose yourself, wandering through seemingly endless rows of cigars, pipes, and hookah. When all was said and done, I came away with the impression that Davidoff had stolen the show, as their Davidoff Nicaragua release found its way into virtually every conversation throughout the event. Not having much experience in the hobby at the time, I wondered if the buzz was contrived—perhaps Davidoff won over the conversation every year, regardless of the color the band happened to be.

Looking back nearly a decade, it’s now clear that Davidoff’s attention was well earned. The Davidoff Nicaragua set off a new era for the company, expanding well beyond the posh persona of previous white-labeled projects and taking a step closer to the everyday hobbyist with a taste for exploration. Being well established in the Dominican Republic, Davidoff took a unique approach with their first Nicaraguan cigar. Instead of building their own Nicaraguan factory (which they certainly could have) or even commissioning a blend from one of the more elite Nicaraguan facilities, they sourced all-Nicaraguan tobaccos and rolled the cigars themselves alongside their Dominican counterparts at the Cigars Davidoff factory.

But the theme of discovery did not end with Nicaragua, as Davidoff ventured further still from their Dominican roots with the Rio, Brazil-themed Davidoff Escurio in 2015. Finally, with the cigar world eagerly anticipating the company’s exotic target for the trilogy, Davidoff pivoted yet again, coming full-circle with 2017’s Davidoff Yamasá. This cigar pioneered in agronomy rather than discovery, making use of Hendrik “Henke” Kelner’s passion project of the Yamasá region, where what was once considered harsh swampland was dramatically transformed (science!), offering a uniquely flavored leaf that was previously thought not possible.

Outside of a culebra version of the brand in 2017 and a limited FSG-based spinoff in 2018, the Black Band Collection (as it is now known) has remained relatively silent since Yamasá’s debut. This changed earlier this year, as the company announced the Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 this April, marking the first high-profile release in the series in five years. Adding to the intrigue, Davidoff took on the challenge of highlighting signature flavor components from each of the cigars in the series within one blend.

  • Atlantic Cigar Sale

Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuador
  • Binder: Brazil (seco)
  • Filler:
    • Dominican Republic: Hybrid 20-20 (seco) | San Vicente Mejorado (viso)
    • Nicaragua: Estelí (viso) | Jalapa (viso)
    • Brazil: Mata Fina (seco)
  • Factory: Cigars Davidoff (Dominican Republic)
  • Production: Limited Edition (13,500 boxes of 12 cigars)
  • Vitola: 5½” x 58 (Gran Toro)
  • Price: $32.00 (MSRP)

The Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 cigar contains a whopping seven unique tobaccos, with fillers from the DR, Nicaragua, and Brazil logically representing the Yamasá, Nicaragua, and Escurio, respectively. It doesn’t seem as though the wrapper and binder are intended to represent anything specific—with Davidoff only listing country of origin—however, they do somewhat loosely match the Escurio blend.

Helping to accommodate the large amount of tobaccos within the blend, Davidoff rolled the cigars in a hefty 5½” x 58 format, with 13,500 boxes of 12 cigars shipping worldwide.

Appearance

With the Davidoff Limited Edition 2022, Davidoff returned to the “water, fire, and earth” theme first seen at IPCPR 2019, where these basic elements are used to characterize the Escurio (water), Nicaragua (fire), and Yamasá (earth). These elements bring vibrant colors to a trinity-like logo that is used throughout the packaging and marketing.

The cigar comes across as short and stout, though pulling back from a full-on 60 gauge helps to not cross that psychological barrier of being an actual gordo. The wrapper is perhaps a bit more rustic than you may be accustomed to from Davidoff, with the leaf bunching along the head and displaying loose seams on some samples. The leaf has medium and medium-fine veins that are quite noticeable, contrasting against the lighter Colorado-like hue of the wrapper. Despite a rough paper bag-like feel to the leaf, the cigar seems nicely bunched, being quite sturdy from head to toe.

The wrapper kicks off with a musky twang aroma that I typically enjoy; there are background notes of cinnamon and maple to be found as well. The foot is a bit more diverse, with generic barnyard, mineral (like the smell of rain), and fresh basil. With a straight cut, the pre-light draw is on the firm-but-enjoyable end, having characteristics of cola, earth, and clean, fresh-cut wood.

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Smoking Experience

The gran toro lights up with a warm sensation across the palate, not jumping out in any particular direction. Campfire and maple provide a comforting profile, but these notes aren’t quite put together yet, vanishing quickly through the finish. There is a dull Cinnamon Bears candy sweetness, joined by a pinchy spice (perhaps cumin) through the retrohale and a touch of pistachio saltiness. Interestingly, there is a noticeable lack of nicotine buzz, having an overall low intensity that comes across as mild to medium in strength, medium-light in flavor, and medium-light in body.

Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 cigar ash

With any decent inclusion of Brazilian leaf, I’ll often note flavors of vegetation-rich soil or ripe fruits; this leans toward the latter, touching on Runts candy (the banana pieces) or even banana cream pie. Again, these are only fleeting flavors, but are a nice signal that the profile is shaping up. It’s not a very concentrated smoke, as you’d expect from a large ring gauge. The flavors are airy and short lived. However, there are these moments when everything clicks, offering a unique and surprisingly complex profile. Naturally, with a wispy finish and a dangling carrot of ripe flavor just out of reach, the cigar can be over-puffed quite easily. Thankfully, it handles the heat well, not bringing out harsh flavors or burn issues. Though, this does make for a burnt popcorn flavor, which is actually somewhat enjoyable.

There’s a turning point around the halfway mark, where the prior banana candy note evolves into a quite distinct Juicy Fruit gum flavor. This is essentially the end of the fruit basket profile, entering into less sweet territory of popcorn, cumin, and a return of warm campfire. The cigar maintains its mellow intensity, with a medium-light strength, medium-light flavor, and medium-light to medium body. There are moments of metallic notes, wet concrete, and/or soil leading into the band. The cigar ends toasty and fairly enjoyable, not entering charred or harsh territory, but instead having a roasted chestnut component through the last few draws.

Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 review

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

Not at full price. It’s an interesting smoke, showing fun flavor shifts and exotic components—especially in the first inch or two—but it feels as though it’s only delivering surface-level complexity most of the time. A persistently short finish and lack of “stick to your ribs” flavor leads to the feeling of searching throughout the cigar’s 95-minute journey; only discovering glimpses of something more at unexpected intervals, and even then not being able to pin them down for long.

Additional Info
  • The Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 smokes most similarly to the Escurio, with the Yamasá in the distance and the Nicaragua suppressed further still.
  • This seems to hold with the recipe as well (at least on paper), and the look of the cigar is also most similar to the Escurio.
  • This series was first colloquially dubbed “Black Label” before being referred to by Davidoff as the Discovery Series and now Black Band Collection.
  • Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 was announced in April and shipped on May 5th, 2022.
  • Like many of Davidoff’s high-profile releases, the Limited Edition 2022 came with unique accessories to match. For this project, it is a “contemporary sliding ashtray” that is rectangular in shape, having a V-shaped cutout along the top. When opened, cigars can be rested on the top of the ashtray or a detachable piece that mimics the shape (image below).

Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 ashtray


Profile
  • Flavor: Medium-Light
  • Strength: Medium-Light
  • Body: Medium-Light / Medium
Core Flavors
  • Campfire
  • Maple
  • Banana candy
  • Popcorn
  • Wet concrete
Tips
  • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
  • Pairing Recommendation: Fruited tea | Cola | Mineral water | Cognac
  • Purchase Recommendation: Try one

Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 cigar nub finished

Images without Cigar Dojo watermark provided by Oettinger Davidoff AG
Davidoff Limited Edition 2022
It's a great concept: take three cigars we know and love and blend their signature elements into one new experience that's (perhaps?) greater than the sum of its parts. To accomplish this, the Davidoff Limited Edition 2022 had to be fat. Davidoff carefully toed the line here, as the 58 gauge is large enough to include the necessary tobaccos without officially hitting the gordo mark. The cigar is warm in profile and surprisingly mild in intensity. With a shifting profile in the beginnings, unique flavors such as Banana Runts candy and Juicy Fruit gum can be found. However, an extremely short finish tends not to allow such flavors to thrive. This can lead to over puffing the cigar, constantly in search of longer-lasting flavors that you feel the smoke is capable of. But does the cigar pull off the concept? Not to my satisfaction. The profile is easily comparable to the Davidoff Escurio, but the Davidoff Yamasá and Davidoff Nicaragua are not so clearly identifiable. Altogether, it feels as though you're constantly on the verge of breaking past the surface to find the rich goodness you expect—a goal that never fully comes to fruition.
Appearance86%
Burn/Construction92%
Draw89%
Flavor86%
Complexity89%
Price/Value82%
Pros
  • Fun flavor shifts in first third
  • Unique Banana Runts candy and Juicy Fruit gum notes
  • Solid construction
Cons
  • Fleeting, wispy flavors
  • Hard not to over-puff
  • Doesn't seem to deliver on concept
87%Surface Tension
  • Cigar Wars
  • Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust
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