The Davidoff Yamasa has been a cigar on my radar all year and its finally time to take it out for a spin.
The Good Stuff:
The Davidoff Yamasa is the newest offering from Davidoff which made it’s debut at this year’s IPCPR show in Las Vegas. What sets Yamasa apart is that much of the tobacco used in this cigar is grown in a region of the Dominican Republic that is not know for yielding tobacco crops due to the condition of the soil. Henke Kelner, Master Blender for Davidoff made it his personal mission to change that:
The new Davidoff Yamasá has been 20 years in the making. It all started out with Master Blender Henke Kelner’s impossible dream to turn the unforgiving swampland of the Yamasá region into a successful tobacco-growing field. When everyone said it couldn’t be done Henke persisted. He held an unwavering belief in the natural bounties and potential for the land.
And he was right. On an endless pursuit to bring cigar aficionados new tastes, experiences and pleasures, Henke Kelner and his team of experts relentlessly nurtured and cultivated the Yamasá soil – a soil that was relunctant to change. Discovering that the soil contained too much sand and loam, they added nitrate and calcium by hand to each and every single tobacco plant. In Henke’s own words, they “continued, continued and continued” until they got it right. Thanks to his determination, a journey into the new Davidoff Yamasá series is truly one to an undiscovered planet.
Great story there that touches on just how much patience, passion, knowledge, work, and craft goes into the production of not only Davidoff cigars, but cigars produced around the world. In the case of the Davidoff Yamasa, the cigar starts out with a Yamasa wrapper over a San Vicente seed Yamasa binder, packed with Dominican Piloto and Mejorado fillers along with Nicaraguan Esteli & Condega fillers. The Davidoff Yamasa comes in 4 sizes, the Petit Churchill (4 x 48), the Pyramids (6 1/2 x 52), the Robusto (5 x 50), and the toro (6 x 52) which all come packed in 12 count boxes with the exception of the Petite Churchill which comes packed in a 14 count box while the cigars range from $12.90 to $23.00 a stick. I picked a few of these up from our friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop.
Size: 5 x 50
Binder: San Vicente see Yamasa
Filler: Dominican Piloto/Mehorado, Nicaraguan Esteli/Condega
Pairing: Brouwerij Verhaeghe Duchesse de Bourgogne (Flanders Red Ale 6% ABV)
As with all Davidoff cigars, the Yamasa is absolutely stunning. The cigar starts with a beautiful medium/darker brown thats incredible consistent in color. The darker shade on this wrapper sets it apart from most of the cigars we find in Davidoff’s portfolio. The cigar’s texture carries a good amount of tooth, and an insane amount of oils which actually transfer to the skin on my fingers as I inspect the cigar. The construction is flawless. The wrapper is laid perfectly, and seamlessly over itself for a perfect cigar from the cigar’s foot, to it’s round double cap. The cigar is very heavy, and very tightly packed while the Yamasa wrapper feels very dense and extremely hard. The cigar is polished off with the black and silver version of the Davidoff band that we have seen a few times in recent releases as well as a gorgeously elegant maroon double band with the word “YAMASA” embossed across the front.
The wrapper on the Davidoff Yamasa gives off a very musky/earthy aroma while the foot of the cigar carries much more spice and pepper with a good amount of musk as well. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw carries a good amount of spice, pepper, and lots of musk much like the aromas the cigar gives off.
The Davidoff Yamasa starts out with a huge pepper bang that I don’t normally expect from Davidoff cigars. The cayenne pepper lasted quite some time, tingling my tongue and lips. As the pepper began to fade I was left with tons of musk, oak, spice and earthiness. There is also a good amount of a mossy type flavor I reference whenever I am smoking a Davidoff cigar which I find in just about every one of their blends. The cigar starts out well in the medium/full range which is something I also don’t normally expect from a Davidoff blend. The burn line is a bit wavy, but not out of control leaving behind a flaky trail of medium and dark gray ash which held on for about 3/4 of an inch before falling into my ashtray.
The pepper has completely disappeared at this point of the Davidoff Yamasa and the mossiness has really ramped up and I am loving it! The spice, musk and oak are still rocking hard and a really awesome sweetness has crept into the mix as well. The retrohale its so smooth, coating my nasal passage with a great musk and spice. The burn line is still a bit wavy, but I haven’t had to reach for my torch just yet. I close out the second third with only a tiny bit of nicotine.
The flavors have really began to mashup as well as ramp up in the final third of the Davidoff Yamasa. The musk and moss still lead the charge backed by strong spice and oak and soft sweetness and earthiness. The flavors have really balanced out working together as one strong, high-medium/full force. The burn line has been a bit wavy throughout the entire experience but I never once had to reach for my torch so I’m totally ok with that. It took me an hour and a half to take the Yamasa down to the nub and I loved every second of it. The cigar never hit me with any harshness, or extra heat even into the final inch. I smoked this baby down to the nub.
In my opinion, Davidoff has released some of the best cigars in their portfolio lately. The Eclipse, the Nicaraguan, and now, the Yamasa. Davidoff has always made great cigars, but often I find myself wishing that there was something just a bit bolder about them. Well, that’s been answered. The Yamasa is a great, medium/full cigar with enough body and complexity to keep me entertained, without losing what makes Davidoff cigars so special. These cigars are box-worthy for sure if you are willing to drop the coin on them, as they are a bit high in price. You have come to expect act with Davidoff though, and in most cases, they deliver.
Brouwerij Verhaeghe’s Duchesse de Bourgogne is a 6% ABV Flanders red ale brewed in Belgium and could quite possibly be my favorite beer of all time. The Duchesse starts out with a ton of up front sweetness, backed by pear, caramel, apple, malt, and a bit of sourness with a very light mouthfeel before finishing clean with more sweetness, spice, pear and apple as well as some good sourness. While the flavors didn’t necessarily match with the resident flavors in the Davidoff Yamasa outside of the spice, what the beer did was it helped to enhance and add to the sweetness the Yamasa had to offer creating an even better experience than what was already present.