Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Claro
Binder: San Vicente Seco
Filler: San Vicente Ligero, Piloto Visus, Pilotos Seco and Esteli Visus
Vitola: Gran Churchill (7 x 50)
Purchase Link: Davidoff Year of the Dog
Davidoff Year of the Dog Review - Wisconsin
Summary: I smoked this lengthy cigar outside in Wisconsin in February, and at no point did I think, "I'd rather go inside than keep smoking this cigar." The most disappointing part was when I finished up and had to leave the 10-degree weather. So I suppose you could say this cigar was good.
Flavor-wise, it gave me pepper, spice, cedar, cream, bread, an awesome cherry note, lemon, nuts, anise, brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla. What's not to love about that? The finish was mostly pepper, though it also tasted of butterscotch.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: If you like to forget it's winter for about 2 hours, this cigar has your back.
Pairing Suggestion: Water, so you can taste all these flavors. If you're going to pair it, go with rum for an alcoholic drink or cream soda for a non-alcoholic one.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Did you read the review? Go buy a box.
Davidoff Year of the Dog Review - California
Summary: The wrapper on this thing is impeccable. Warming up with honey, cedar, and vanilla. Alright this stick has to be at least $16 MSRP because the burn/ash/flavors are flawless so far. Picking up some agave syrup sweetness.
The smoke is getting a tad bit chewy in the second third and the flavors are tougher to differentiate. Still woody with a touch of sweetness. The retrohale has a bit of a kick to it which I'm a fan of. Salted pretzel but no cheese (thankfully).
Final third. Burn, A+. Ash, A+. Tasting notes, toast and licorice. And by toast I mean slightly burnt toast. About three inches left and I'm in a weird spot. Every fifth puff and I'm hit with complex flavors but when I try to trace them, the cigar resorts back to slightly bitter toast. Aaaaaand it went out on me. Not giving up yet. #FlavorHunter2018. Eh. Cardboard with a refreshingly cool retrohale.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: Seeing a female Instagram account like one of your cigar pics. Of course you click on it (for research purposes) only to find out it's either a bot or a private account. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
Pairing Suggestion: Rye, my go-to.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Fiver.
Davidoff Year of the Dog Review - Oregon
Summary: This Churchill sized cigar had a gorgeous, medium brown wrapper carrying a slightly oily sheen. I also saw just a small amount of tooth on the wrapper.
Now, do you remember that cute girl that sat next to you in geometry class? She acted as if she liked you...acting all sweet and then you later find out she just wanted to get the answers from you on the upcoming test? Me either. I wasn't that good at geometry I suppose. This cigar was that girl for me. The first half of this cigar shined for me. I experienced flavors including cereal grains, mild baking spices, dry cedar, and leather.
Moving through the first half, ginger bread cookies, cream soda and caramel also appeared. Both the palate and sinuses were hit with a barrage of red pepper flake as well.
Then I hit the halfway mark and this beauty changed colors on me. Not literally, but the profile became rather one dimensional. The flavors lost their distinct characteristics. Not until I had a mere two to three inches remaining did some flavors of caramel with some mild sweetness come clean. Additionally, the last third of the cigar became quite soft. Smoke output was great from start to finish so at least that was a reliable source of reassurance.
If You Like That, You Might Like This: If you like this then you probably like blind dates that start like a Duraflame log and end without you getting her number.
Pairing Suggestion: I’d pair this with a White Russian or a sweet sipping rum.
Purchase Recommendation to a Friend: Go fiver with this one. If the flattening profile on my cigar was a fluke, you’ll be happy you have five of them handy because initially, the flavor profile on this was purely spectacular.
Participants in this blind review were completely unaware of the cigar they were evaluating until all submissions were received and processed. Each participant was asked to answer a summary paragraph, an if/than statement, a pairing suggestion, and a purchase suggestion. Cigars were provided by Small Batch with only the expectations of candid responses. All pictures, information, and formatting were completed by a Coordinator outside of the reviewing process. In this review, the picture below was provided by Davidoff in a press release.