Davidoff Yamasa Toro

Drew Estate

Just before IPCPR, Davidoff has released a cigar that was 20 years in the making:  Davidoff Yamasa.  What makes this cigar so special is that it uses tobacco from a region in the Dominican Republic that is not known for growing tobacco and is actually has soil that isn’t great for growing it either.  That all changed 20 years ago when Henke Kelner of Davidoff decided to try to cultivate the soil to make it more hospitable for tobacco.  The area is a swampy area just north of the capital of Santo Domingo where the soil is high in loam and sand with a low pH, but high in micronutrients.  Henke worked the soil in that area to get it just right for growing tobacco just the way he wanted.  Here is Davidoff’s description of Henke’s hard work and dedication:

The new Davidoff Yamasá has been 20 years in the making. 20 years of Henke Kelner’s and his
team’s expertise, of nurturing and cultivating soil that was reluctant to change. The development of
Yamasá is the story of men who challenged the impossible in the pursuit of their dream.
For the Yamasá region to unveil its true potential, Henke Kelner and his team had to first nurture
nature. To raise the pH levels to those that best suit the growing of tobacco (5.5 to 6.5). They
conditioned the soil by adding calcium carbonate, agricultural lime and slaked lime/dolomitic lime. This
they did at intervals of every two months, by hand and to each and every single tobacco plant, then
once a month, before transplanting. Henke Kelner didn’t rely on science. He relied on his own expert
intuition.

Seed selection saw the elimination of 30 down to just 3, until only the best in terms of colour, shine
and lamina stood out. The site in Yamasá covers 100 hectares, but only 21 are used. Henke Kelner
and his team know to rest the land between each harvest so as to let nature take its course, and to
help ensure that the unmatchable quality of the Yamasá leaf is maintained for years to come. They
grew the tobacco in the shade, shielding it from the harmful effects of the sun.

The curing process was equally as important. The ‘yellow’ stage, where the more yellow the leaf, the
better the wrapper it makes, implored Henke Kelner and his team to ensure the Yamasá wrapper
fulfilled its true potential. For this, entirely new climate controlled curing facilities were constructed.
Moreover, the deep expertise built over the years by the Davidoff team in taming the wilder tendencies
of Nicaraguan Estelí and Condega tobaccos has helped deliver an exhilarating Yamasá blend with all
the intensity, refinement and sophistication aficionados would expect from Davidoff.
Henke Kelner followed his dream. In his own words, they ‘continued, continued, and continued’ until
they got it right. And now, aficionados can explore the exceptional taste of Davidoff Yamasá.

Let’s look at the specs:

  • Wrapper:  Yamasá
  • Binder:      San Vicente from Yamasá
  • Filler:         Nicaraguan tobaccos from Condega and Estelí Dominican Piloto and Mejorado
  • Size:            6 x 52

This cigar will be released in boxes of 12/14 count and in matte folding packs of 4.  There will be four sizes available:  toro (which I’m reviewing), Piramides, Short Churchill and Robusto.  You can read more about this amazing process from Davidoff here:  Yamasa Brochure.

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Pre-light

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The construction of this cigar is perfection as you would expect from Davidoff.  The cigar has beautifully smooth wrapper with a rich, deep brown color.  The cap is perfectly applied and, after cutting, has a perfect draw as well.  The pre-light flavors I’m getting on the cold draw is cedar and rich earth.

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First Half

This cigar brings its A game straight at the beginning of the cigar.   Upon lighting up the cigar, I get the tell-tell Davidoff mustiness, but with that, I get cedar, leather, sweet cream and coffee note that remind me of a New Orleans staple, cafe au lait.  The flavors mesh so well together that I have to keep slowing my pace down as I’m puffing too fast on the cigar because the flavors are so tasty.  This cigar is off to a strong start.

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Last Half

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The flavors haven’t let up at all, but the cafe au lait flavor is really picking up.  I still get the cedar note along with the leather and less of the mustiness.  I’m starting to get an earthier flavor along with an allspice note that slowly ramps up near the end.  I’m really enjoying this cigar.  The cigar puts off a ton of smoke as well and the burn is perfect.  There is a razor thin burn line on the end of the cigar from beginning to end.

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Overall Impressions

Davidoff has hit another one out of the park.  The Davidoff Yamasa is an outstanding cigar and I will always have at least one in my humidor at all times.  I really loved the cedar, leather, sweet cafe au lait, allspice and earthy notes that make up the flavor profile of this cigar.  I like this line better than I do the Nicaragua line which was a huge hit for Davidoff and with me as well.  I love how they are packing these cigars as well, especially the 4 packs.  It makes a great grab and go cigar pack when you are heading out somewhere.  These cigar will be available at the beginning of July 2016 so keep an eye out for them.  You will definitely see these on my Top Cigars of the Year for 2016 list, but the question is….how high? 🙂

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MBombay Gaaja