Last year, Davidoff gave the Winston Churchill line/brand a total makeover. Besides new packaging, they created a whole new blend. The packaging and blend was an improvement in my opinion, and from my understanding the line and brand has been doing very well, much better than it was before. To continue with that success, the company announced at the beginning of this year that the line/brand would have it's first limited edition. The cigar would be titled The Raconteur, and it pays homage to Winston Churchill and his ability to tell anecdotes in a skillful manner. There is a famous story in which Churchill was visiting a parachute factory. While visiting the parachute factory, Churchill absentmindedly took out a cigar. Immediately, the fire officer came running up: 'Sir, sir, you mustn't smoke!' he cried out. 'Oh, don't worry, dear boy,' came the reply. 'I don't inhale.'
Cigar: Davidoff Winston Churchill Limited Edition 2016 "The Raconteur"
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Davidoff Cigars
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Mexican San Andres Negro
Filler: Esteli Ligero, Condega Seco, Dominican Piloto Visus, Dominican Hybrid Olor/Piloto Visus, Dominican Piloto Seco, Dominican San Vincente Ligero
Ring Gauge: 56
Vitola: Gran Toro
Production: 60,000 cigars sold in boxes of ten.
The Gran Toro is simply massive in hand but more importantly beautiful. The wrapper has a nice light Colorado coloring and it is silky smooth in texture. There are a few veins present throughout, but it is also seamless from head to foot. The cap is applied well to the cigar and it is firm throughout. The cigar has an aroma of cedar and hay on the wrapper and the foot is showing some nutty qualities with soft spices, hay and leather.
The first third has a great beginning and it delivers a creamy experience that is matched with lovely black pepper notes. There is a nice sweetness present as well and it is showing some notes of hay and Brazilian nuts. The flavor profile comes off as light and smooth, but the cigar itself is filling. I would say the flavor profile is at a medium level, same for the body, but I would say the strength behind the flavors and body is a little bit more. It is a complex cigar and very enjoyable. With that, the construction is top notch and there is an even burn line with a nice charcoal ash that is holding on firmly to the end. The draw is cool and with each draw is a nice bit of smoke.
I am in the second third of the cigar and finding this large toro to move towards the creamier side of things. It still has that hay and nutty quality, but it is far more creamy than it was before. There is a faint amount of pepper notes present, nowhere near where it was in the first third, and the strength has come down some. I would say that the body, flavors and strength are smoking at that medium level and it is a great smoking experience. The construction remains top notch as well and it is delivering an even burn line, beautiful charcoal ash, solid draw and a nice bit of smoke with each draw.
When I get into the final third, I find that the creaminess becomes more prevalent and it has a great finish. There is a nice nutty, grassy and hay flavor with that, and there is a faint woody, leather and nutty finish that is fantastic. It is complex, flavorful and quite light. Faint notes of black pepper are present as well, but they come and go. Overall, it is a medium cigar across the board, making for a great experience. The construction is top notch in the final third as well and it is delivering an even burn line with a solid charcoal ash. The draw is cool, producing a nice amount of smoke and it smokes great to the nub.
I truly enjoyed this limited Winston Churchill and while I have not smoked the recently redone Winston Churchill blend in a couple months, I prefer this blend over the other based off of my past notes. It has a great creamy flavor profile and it is smooth throughout. The first third has a nice beginning that really catches your attention, and as you move along it becomes smoother and even more flavor focused. it is a blend that can be enjoyed by many, and surprisingly I really enjoyed the vitola offering. I typically don't go with a bigger cigar, but when it comes to limited editions I prefer a larger smoke. The idea of making a limited edition be a lancero, corona, etc. irritates me. I believe limited releases should be larger cigars and be smoked at special occasions when you have a lot of time. I also feel that this blend did as well as it did because it was in a larger offering and I'm not sure it would do as well in a smaller format. The construction was top notch throughout and it delivered a nice draw and burn line. It is a higher price tag offering, but it is a smoke I would come back to often. I give this cigar a solid 92 rating and look forward to smoking it outdoors with better weather.
Rating: 92 AKA "Box Split"