Davidoff Year of the Snake – Cigar Review

The Davidoff Year of the Snake is a limited edition cigar from Davidoff which was released to celebrate the Chinese New Year in 2013. The Snake is the Chinese zodiac sign which represents wisdom and intelligence. The release is limited to 4,500 8-count boxes, which are octagonal and red with the same golden snake as is on the second bad of the Year of the Snake. This makes this cigar extremely limited, with only a total of 36,000 produced!

Size: 7 x 48
Wrapper: Ecuador 702
Binder: San Vicente Seco
Filler: Piloto Seco, San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Viso, Hybrid 192 Seco/Yamasá
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Flavor: Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

Construction and Appearance: The Davidoff Year of the Snake features two bands, the top one is with with a gold trimming and gold writing. It is very similar to the Davidoff white label band, except on one side it says “LIMITED EDITION” in gold, and “GENEVE” in gold on the other. The second band is placed right below the first, and is red with gold writing and gold trimming. On the bottom on the band it says “YEAR OF THE SNAKE” With an image of a golden snake above it. The image of the snake is in the shape of an infinity sign, which could also pass for a sideways 8.

The wrapper of the Davidoff Year of the Snake is a medium brown with a very rich reddish hue, giving it a coloration close to clay. The wrapper has a moderate amount of veins, along with a bit of oil, and it is very silky smooth to the touch. The construction is quite seamless, and there are no soft spots that I can detect.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Davidoff Year of the Snake has notes of cocoa, coffee, wood, and a little earth. The foot has the scent of earth, wood, grass, and a light cocoa. To prepare smoking the Davidoff Year of the Snake, I choose a straight cut across the cap, on the cold draw there are flavors of coffee, cocoa, cream, cedar, and a bit of earth.

Smoking Characteristics: The Davidoff Year of the Snake fires up very uniquely. The first draws have a rich blend of sweet cream, coffee, cocoa, and cedar that seem to overlap each other. Yet, on the palate, a rich deep pepper lingers, along with a bit of wood spice. After the first few draws, the flavor seems to sort itself out, the dominate notes are coffee, cedar, grass, with a rich underlying sweet cream and a hint of earth, each flavor becoming more distinct. The strength in the first third is around the medium to full range, with a nice rich buzz setting in early on. Towards the end of this first third, the sweetness also starts to linger on the palate, it is very rich, and a little earthy and creamy.

Into the second third of the Davidoff Year of the Snake, it is still just as smooth, rich, creamy, and complex. The draw is excellent, easily providing a very full body of smooth, cool, slightly sweet, supremely creamy, and oddly crisp smoke. That is the hardest part of this blend to put into words, the smoke has this unique, almost fruity crispness to it as it finishes on the palate. In this third, the flavor is made up of notes of sweet cream, coffee, cocoa, cedar, earth, and a little grass. The pepper is no longer lingering on the palate, but there is still a bit of wood spice, and now a little cocoa which finishes on the palate. The ash holds firm, well past the inch point, and the burn has not required any attention at all. The flavor remains in the medium to full range, with an excellent buzz setting in.

During the final third of the Davidoff Year of the Snake, a bit of spice and pepper starts to return into the flavor profile. There is still that nice almost fruity crispness that adds a delicious sweetness to the blend. It blends nicely with the spice and pepper. The notes of cedar, cocoa, coffee, cream, grass, and earth have all carried over from the last third. The strength in this third peaks fairly close to full, but still remains in the medium to full range. The draw is still excellent, easily providing a full body of rich, cool, sweet, creamy, smoke. The Davidoff Year of the Snake smokes cool to the nub remaining very delicious and only becoming slightly soft.

Conclusion: I tend to always factor in price when a cigar’s price falls into one of the extremes, either very affordable or quite expensive. The Davidoff Year of the Snake comes in at a $29.90 MSRP, so clearly it falls into the later category. It smokes much like I would expect for the price. The flavors are rich, full, complex, and very bold. It has some very unique flavors and characteristics that I would be hard pressed to find in another cigar. That being said, for the price, I can’t see smoking this again unless it is a special occasion. This is the type of cigar that will really be appreciated by a seasoned aficionado.

Rating: 94

MSRP: $29.90 (It was over $40 in NYC where I purchased it!)