Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Petit Corona
Size : 4 1/2″ x 41 ring gauge (114 mm x 16.27 mm)
Ring Gauge : 41
Origin : Dominican Republic
Price : ~ € 10.50 / $ 12.80each
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The Winston Churchill Petit Corona, is a clear winner of a cigar for Davidoff, with excellent if not so variegated flavour, a great draw, good strength, and an unusual-for-Davidoff slow burn giving good value, one of the most satisfying and well-balanced short coronas out there.
This cigar, subtitled ‘The Artist’ in Davidoff’s Winston Churchill line-up, commemorating how ‘ol’ Winnie’ did landscape painting to relax, is made with an Ecuadorian wrapper, a Mexican binder, and a combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler. The blend is a clear hit for Davidoff in taste and aroma.
Kudos to Davidoff for introducing this short corona vitola into several of their lines. A few millimetres longer than the Cuban Minutos cigars, it is a pleasing vitola to the eye and for the impulse to have a short-medium smoke. Short sticks satisfy more in corona thickness, I find, whereas panetelas do better when longer.
Recognising how shorter cigars tend to roll a bit thinner, and longer ones get chubby, Davidoff has a nice habit of labelling their short coronas as 41 ring gauge, and the longer ones as 43, instead of the generic corona 42.
The Winston Churchill Petit Corona wrapper is soft to the touch but has a somewhat rough-hewn look which seems to fit the cigar’s namesake personality, here with a prominent bulging vein near the cigar’s foot. A lovely aroma as the cold cigar is held to the nose, hay and maybe a bit of molasses, a glimpse of how good the taste is going to be.
Pre-draw after punching brings out a bit of leather, tho not there much in the lit cigar’s flavour. Initial draw after lighting is quite delicious, a sense of toasted-grain richness that I don’t really have the words to describe, and that good taste is there throughout nearly all the cigar.
It’s said that the historical Winston Churchill often liked Cuban Romeo y Julietas, and to me this stick gives a better, enhanced version of that somewhat farm-and-nature, vegetal RyJ flavour palette. Here too there is hay and woodiness, but much less grassiness, along with some mild tinge of sweetness. There is a bit of spice at the beginning, and some occasional pepper and spice throughout, but that is the primary variation.
Which points to the cigar’s ‘problem’, in that tho the flavour and aroma are excellent and satisfying, there is a surprising lack of progression, tho the flavour is so good I didn’t care all that much. The first and second thirds were not all that different. The final third began with the toasty flavour fading and a bit of nuttiness coming forward, but then the stick’s habitual flavour returned, along with more spice than earlier.
The flavour is rich and strong enough that a Churchillian dram of fine whisky goes just great with the cigar.
A bit of harshness intruded at points, but a little purging (exhaling thru the cigar) quickly brought the flavour back to full freshness. Ash in the first half was a little flaky, not so pointed or elegant, a minor matter.
The strength of the cigar hit the spot, with increasing headiness in the last half. Davidoff’s website says this cigar is strength level 4 out of 5, but that seems overstated to me …I would say more 3 or 3.5 overall out of 5, or 4 of 6, with a somewhat mild start. Very satisfying in total.
The most striking thing about this cigar as a Davidoff, was the high-quality slow, even burn, like a high quality Cuban, this short stick lasting over a half hour for my slow-puffing self. Davidoff strives mightily to have an easy draw, leading to sticks that often burn too fast … but here the draw and burn are very well balanced, with just enough resistance in the draw, and the cigar lasts as long as you would hope.
Enjoyed the flavour and quality of the cigar so much, I wound up nursing the nub a bit ridiculously, finally saying good-bye with reluctance.
This is such a nice stick I will buy more of these, and I have tried a lot of short coronas. It’s true it’s a number of pesos more than some fine heady Cuban short coronas, like the Minutos from Ramón Allones or Bolivar … but the Winston Churchill is just such a thoroughgoing and fuss-free pleasure I will pull out the extra coins out for it.
Given the place of Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in recent history, and that he is still controversial to some regarding some of his war-time decisions, domestic policies in Britain, and actions in British overseas dominions, some people have questioned naming a cigar line for someone whose career is still a matter of impassioned debate.
But one can look at this as similar to the way that, regardless of politics, people enjoy smoking Cuban stogies, and appreciate the iconic photos of Fidel and Ché smoking their sticks. Ultimately, with Fidel or Ché or Churchill, these were all intensely involved people who were changing the world, but also enjoying a few moments with their cigars, and that is something that transcends the politics of particular individuals who are famous smokers. Winston Churchill and Ché Guevara maybe never had a cigar and a drink together in this life, but perhaps in the next world they are doing just that.