Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

DavidoffOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 4.8 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler : Dominican Republic
Binder : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$15-16 each
More info about purchasing Davidoff Special R cigars...

Awhile back I wrote one of my most controversial reviews of the Davidoff Short Perfecto. It seems that many of the Davidoff lovers came out to bash my review, and I don’t blame them. I was so disappointed with the Short Perfecto that I only smoked one stick and did not want to revisit it. So I decided to give the Special Series a second chance this time and properly give it a fair shake. So I went out of my way to procure a few samples of my favorite vitola- the robusto. I had high hopes in Davidoff proving me wrong. So did they succeed in turning this Davidoff sceptic into a believer?

Appearance : Rating: ★★★★★
I am accustomed to Davidoff’s appearance being nothing less than perfect. Hell, at around $16 a piece they better be. Fortunately the Special R is beautiful robusto specimen to look at. The Special R is covered in a tightly seamed minimally veined, tan colored Connecticut shade Ecuadorian wrapper. The typical classy white band adorns the cigar with a simple “Special R” stamped on its side. The wrapper smells of sweet tobacco mixed with musk and wood. Vanilla, honey, and musk characterize the aromas of the foot of the cigar. One of the best smelling cigars on the market.

Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

Construction : Rating: ★★★½☆
Everyone lauds Davidoff’s construction. In my experience as a smoker, they have always been mediocre at best. I can name many other brands that have better construction. The Special R’s for the review were nicely packed with tons of filler and had no soft spots. I cut it with my guillotine cutter and the dry draws were quite airy on one of the samples (the others were perfectly resistant). The cigar produced a very light grey ash and good amounts of thick creamy smoke. Past midway, the openness of the cigar tended to tighten up nicely and the smoking experience improved. With three inches into the photographed sample the wrapper busted and split, but this did not pose a smoking problem. The burn was pretty even throughout all the smoking experiences seldom needing any touch ups.

Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)

Flavor : Rating: ★★★☆☆
Honey and allspice is tasted on the dry draw. After sparking the Special R, sweet honey and vanilla smoke is emitted. The smoke is thin from the start but very smooth, and transitions to a thicker creamier experience later on down the line. Light to medium bodied is where I would place this on the strength scale. Lemon and meringue flavors start to come out nearing the 2nd third.

The 2nd third provided unique flavors of milk chocolate, more musk, and marzipan. The marzipan flavor is very distinct, and unfortunately I don’t care for it (forced to eat it as a kid- yuck!).

In the last 3rd, honey, vanilla, and musk come back in a strong way for a very last showing before disappearing and leaving with nothing else than a nasty bomb of ashiness and charcoal. At the end, my mouth felt like it was trashed out and nasty, eh.

Value : Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Did you read what I just wrote above? All that for a whopping $16,… that is value my friends.

Overall Rating : Rating: ★★★☆☆
This cigar performed and tasted worlds apart (better) from the Short Perfecto. If the price tag wasn’t so excessive I would say this was a decent stick. But yet again, I have to say that these cigars are one of the worst values for your hard earned coin. I do get that they market to a different demographic from myself, and that the rich may buy into this marketing ploy. I am otherwise not swayed or swooned by this cigar brand yet and still consider Davidoff just a niche market cigar for those beginner smokers with a lot of money.

19 Comments on “Davidoff Special R (new wrapper)”

  1. “Niche” Well freakin said. I’m glad that I am not the only Davidoff skeptic. Recently, I turned an avid Davidoff smoker into a realistic smoker. Literally, he dumped the last 5 assorted Davidoff’s out of his humidor when I was able to show him an assorted array of better / less expensive smokes. Davidoffs are simply a status symbol, and they are certainly beautiful. However, unless you are Richy Rich, you may as well not even bother. And don’t give me that Corazon BS….lol Awesome review Aaron, and I really feel that you gave this one your all. Awesome photos too..

  2. Everyone is gonna hate me but here goes. Non-Cuban cigars suck. No flavor, pretty boxes, coffins, chests, whatever else to attract the sucker, and way overpriced to boot! Find a reliable on line source, whip out the visa, eight days from now you’ll be sucking on an awesome Partagas D4 or a Bolivar Royal for $7 a throw!

  3. @ Jmorena, sounds simple, but have you read the horror stories involved with purchasing Cubans online. I smoke to relax. I can’t relax if I am worried that the supposed Cuban that I am smoking may be a counterfeit. You are completely entitled to your opinion, but I have honestly never had a cigar, wine, scotch, etc.. that sucked. That tells me that you simply have the inability to recognize what is good. For example, I am a musician. I honestly do not like all types of music, but I can respect the musicians by finding something about their music that stands out to me that i really like. That is how you become a true aficionado. You have to be able to pick out something positive from every experience.

  4. I expected that. Aaron’s review says it all. M.Germany, find that reliable source, you’ll see what I mean. Thanks for the response.

  5. Well, why don’t you provide me with a viable source, and some reliable info on shipping them to the U.S. I’m willing to try anything. In fact, I have had a Partagas Serie D No. 4 that was gifted to me. It was quite delicious, and I certainly wouldn’t mind having another. However, I have had several non-Cubans that blew it away. It makes me truely wonder if it’s worth the hassel…

  6. Jmorena, that is a very bold statement. Not that I agree with you one bit, but I know a lot of people who are strictly Cuban cigar smokers. I agree Cuban cigars are lighter bodied and full on the flavor, but I believe there is a place and time for any cigar. For me, a Cuban cigar will never be able to hold it’s own after eating a huge steak, that is a job for a full bodied Nicaraguan. But if I want to sit back and relax with a Mojito or sip a lowland scotch then only a Cuban cigar seems to be a logical choice. I don’t know how many non Cuban cigars you have smoke Jmorena or where you live but I can assure you there are non cubans that compete wholeheartedly with their Cuban brothers. A Buena Vista EL 2008, Quesada Espana, or Rodrigo Habano Clasico provide awesome cubanesque flavors that are better than 80% of the Cubans on the market (plus they don’t have to be aged to taste good). Don’t get me wrong, I love cubans but the fact they aren’t prime to smoke for a year or more after purchase poses a problem for a lot of the smoking population. Expand your palette and you may find some real gems out there, but I won’t blame you either for just sticking to cubans either. I could smoke Bolivar Belicosos Finos for the rest of my life and be completely happy :)

  7. Thanks Aaron, I’ll try them if I can. Every time I expand my pallete I’m extremely disappointed. Nic. cigars may be strong, but strength without flavor = lame in my book. By the way, I just had a steak, watching Rays vs. Rangers, drinking a dram of Lagavulin, and smoking a Bolivar Belicoso Fino… you do have good taste.

  8. Thanks for complements. Lagavulin is a fine scotch. Personally I am a Cragganmore man myself. The cigars I recommended will be more medium+ in body with good flavor. The Buena Vista is pricey but the others are very affordable. By the way,…go Rangers!

  9. M. Germany says:

    Cragganmore is wonderful. Also, try Talisker, and Oban. Simply amazing.

  10. Lagavulin, Talisker, and Oban are fine scotches indeed, but the peat and smoke are a little much for me right now. I usually keep it Lowland or slightly highland personally. I will develop a taste for the highland and island scotches eventually. I appreciate the recommendations guys, thanks for your support in reading CigarInspector. Please stay tuned for my next review.

  11. Guess I’ll throw my 2 cents in. Davidoff is a status symbol and pretty much nothing more, I’ve smoked a few, and they always fail to produce even a trace of a wow factor, while leaving my wallet significantly more empty.

    As to cubans… Sounds like maybe you have just had a bad experience with non cubans, lack of flavor isn’t something that comes to mind when I think of most of the NC’s I’ve had. True a lot of NC’s are full bodied, though not all are, and there are most definitely medium bodied cigars that pack in a lot of flavor (the latest I’ve smoked would be the la casita criolla… medium to full, 5-6$, amazing cigar, but most importantly my palatte doesn’t feel like I took a jackhammer to it when I’m done, like a la flor dominicana or joya de nicaragua would)

    I haven’t been smoking cigars too long now, only a couple years, but my experience has been about 70% non cuban, and 30% cuban. Mostly due to not being able to obtain them as frequently as I’d like. However, if I could obtain them as easily as any other cigar, without the wave of paranoia that comes with ordering them they’d remain at about 30% of my smoking range. That’s because you need to view cigars like wine. One may enjoy white wine, they should give red wine an equal shot, let their palette adjust to it, and develop a taste for it. Otherwise you’re just limiting yourself. There is tobacco coming in from all over the place now, and it’s leading to the largest diversity in cigars we’ve ever seen, which is a great thing.

    Basically what I’m trying to say is that the argument over cuban vs non cuban is silly. Cigars are so diverse that to try just one size, wrapper, filler, origin, brand etc only serves to limit your appreciation for cigars. While I may have a penchant for maduros and medium bodied cigars I still try as many cigars as I possibly can, because part of the fun of lighting up a new cigar is the unknown.

  12. Carp, nice post. The beauty is the diversity of the smokes that we have these days. There is something for everybody. Everyone has their preferences for this and that and that is cool with me. You do you and I will do me. Passion for the cigar game is always warranted and welcome. I am a Burgundy and Chinon guy when it comes to wine but I cant get my wife to drink it. She prefers gigantic teeth staining wines from Cali (petite sirah & syrahs). Can’t escape these types of conversations wherever I go. But it does make for good conversation :)

  13. My experience with Davidoff cigars has been that they are an extremely over priced cigar. They are a fairly good cigar but I have found many better for around $69.00 a box of 25.
    Davidoff is a waste of money unless you are trying to impress someone at a tremendous cost.

  14. Gentleman, I am not as knowledgeable as any of you on cigars, but I must say I really like what Davidoff has to offer (except for the price).

    Some of you have mentioned that there are better cigars for less money. Please give me some examples.


  15. Thanks Inspector! Much appreciated.

  16. I have been smoking cigars for over 30 years. Have had many great sticks. The Cubans I smoked in the late 70’s and early 80’s were awesome. Pepper , spice, rich tobacco taste. The bonus was they gave you a nicotine buzz. Sadly those cubans don’t exist any more. When the cigar boom hit they all turned to crap. Todays cuban is a large disappointment to me.Haven’t found ANY that matches the taste they used to have. What’s your opinion?

  17. The cigars of Nicaragua are the closest in strength to those old cubans i was referring to .With the embargo appearing to go the way of the Dodo I hopefully expect new blends incorporating cuban tobacco

  18. I actually had my first Davidoff just a few weeks ago (this one) and was blown away. The only reason I waited so long was because of the price point and because of all the haters online. I think a lot of it is just the American desire for excess (kind of like how people pay hundreds of dollars for bourbon that is bottled at 71% ABV — I’ve tried them, they are okay…). Nearly every non-Cuban cigar that people recommend to me is just a big tobacco bomb with tons of tobacco flavor and nicotine — no subtlety. This cigar tantalized my senses in the same way that a good whisky does.

    It’s possible that I just have a more sensitive palate, but for me, the one Davidoff I had blew every other non-Cuban out of the water except maybe the few OpusXs that I have had. I’ve tried and felt ho-hum about nearly every popular non-Cuban (Padron 1928, Padron 1964, Ashton VSG, AF Hemingway, Rocky Patel Decade, etc). I don’t know. I just ordered a box of the 2014 Art Series, so we will see how that one goes.

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