Cigar Details: Davidoff The Master Selection 2008
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Mexican Negro San Andrés
- Filler: A-Estelí Visus, Piloto Mejorado Ligero, SV Mejorado Ligero, Piloto Mejorado Visus and Piloto Visus
- Factory: Davidoff
- Blender: Eladio Diaz
- Price: $35.00
- Release Date: September 2017
- Source: Davidoff
The wrapper is two different shades of medium brown with the wrap towards the head the darker of the two. There are a couple of slightly raised veins, but the seams are smooth and only visible due to the color variation. I really only see two caps on the head, but it’s hard to tell. There are two bands, the first being the traditional white band with the company name and the second is a strip band just below the primary that carries the line name. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of wood and barnyard funkiness while the foot presents hay and some stone fruit sweetness. The pre-light draw is a mix of slightly sweet hay and dry wood along with a slight spicy tingle on my lips.
The Davidoff The Master Selection 2008 is well constructed and finished with a solid cap. There is a nice firmness throughout and the bands really pop off of the wrapper. I would classify the cigar as being around the Natural-Maduro range in terms of coloring and it is a solid dark brown wrapper. There are some veins present throughout, medium in size, but what’s cool is that they really help in making the seams of the wrapper leaf really pop. The wrapper itself has an aroma of aged wood, soft spices and leather while the foot is showing notes of earth, soft cocoa, cedar and subtle spices.
The Davidoff The Master Selection 2008 has a rustic red hue wrapper with minor tooth throughout the entire wrapper. Veins are tight, seams well pressed and a uniformed even give persists. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells cedar, hay and barnyard. Nosing the foot gives cedar, white pepper, barnyard and nuts.
Initial draws are a smooth mix of slightly spicy cedar and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, a slight creaminess joins the mix which enhances it even more. The retrohale has the spicy cedar at a slightly elevated level from the mouth flavor. At three quarters of an inch in, the spiciness has left the cedar and the baking spice is very mellow while the creaminess is keeping the profile very smooth. As the third comes to a close the cedar has a slight sweetness to it while the cream is a great supporting note. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
The cigar begins by showing some soft spice and cedar notes. There is this tobacco and sweetness profile present as well and it is very enjoyable. As it progresses though I begin to get this coffee, earth and nutty quality with touches of cocoa and it really adds a lot to the cigar. I would say the cigar is smoking at a medium level for strength and body and the flavors are there as well. The construction is dead on and the draw is perfect with a solid ash on the end.
The initial first inch starts with classic Davidoff flavors centered around hay, cedar and mixed nuts. Past the inch mark, mild black pepper, creamed bread and baking spices join the profile, allowing for greater reach in complexities. Retrohaling gives increased baking spices and introduction of stone fruits. The finish is made up of dry earth and minerals. Strength and body is medium.
As the second third begins, some mustiness joins the cedar and cream. At a half inch in, the creaminess has made its way to the retrohale to mix with the cedar. At an inch in, the creaminess increases quite a bit and is still mixing well with the cedar and mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the creaminess drops back to become even again with the mustiness while the cedar is up front. The strength in this third remains at the slightly above medium mark.
As the cigar progresses into the second third there is a shift in dominant flavors. The cedar, nutty and spice notes are much more dominant and it is followed by the cocoa, earthy and coffee profile. There is this herbal quality present now as well, very interesting and light on the finish. I would classify the cigar as still being medium in body and strength, and the flavors are right there as well. Like the first third, the construction is spectacular and I am getting a perfect draw with an even burn line and an ash that is holding on firmly at the end.
The second third builds on spice and minerality, creating sharper version of the first third’s baking spices and minerality. This comes through on the finish as well, lengthening the finish. Other notes such as cedar, hay and mixed nuts are still prevalent. Strength and body maintains medium.
As the final third begins, the cedar has gained a bit of char and the cream and mustiness are very faint in the background. At a half inch in, the cigar begins to heat up a bit, bringing a bit of a bite to the charred cedar note. The mustiness has completely left, but there is a faint creaminess in the background. The retrohale still carries the creamy cedar note. As the cigar came to a close, the flavor profile remained the same. The strength in this third continued at the slightly above medium level.
When I get into the final third I am seeing more transition in the flavor department and the dominant flavors are that of fruit bread, nuts and leather. There are touches of tobacco and spice as well with a finish of soft cocoa and earth. From beginning to end the cigar has been showing a change in dominant flavors and it really does a lot to the cigar. The herbal quality that was present in the second third is not as present now and it is very beneficial for the cigar overall. As before, the cigar has smoked at a medium level for strength and body, and the flavors are there also. The construction is spot on to the finish and it has a cool finish with a nice ash on the end.
The last third’s flavor profile smooths out such that all flavors (baking spices, minerals, hay, cedar, mixed nuts) are well melded with no single flavor spiking. Retrohaling, however, still gives a bigger dose of especially baking spices and creamed bread. Strength and body finishes medium.
The burn line was slightly wavy throughout. In the final third, the cigar struggled to stay lit and required a touch-up to keep it burning. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.
This cigar started with a nice burn line and it only got better as it progressed. By the halfway point, the burn line was razor sharp to the finish. It burnt evenly, requiring no touch-ups and the ash held on firmly with that. The ash had this lovely dark charcoal coloring to it and it was a solid ash, not one that is flaky.
The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
There wasn’t much in the way of transitions through the cigar, but the flavor profile was good through the first two thirds being primarily cedar, cream and mustiness. The cedar was the primary note in the final third where it wasn’t as flavorful. Other than a burn issue in the final third, construction was pretty spot on. The cigar was a slow burner, so the smoking time was pretty long which is good based on the price point of the cigar. This is another good offering in The Master Selection line and each one so far has provided an enjoyable experience. It would be worthwhile to try one to see if it’s something you’d want in your humidor as an occasional smoke.
Perfect draw. Not too tight or loose. Simply perfect.
This is a cigar that smokes well now and will smoke only better with age. It has a great flavor profile that changes throughout and while the flavors are core flavors in the sense that they are always present, it is their dominance which changes and that is always a fun experience. There was a point in the second third where I was wondering what was happening because of the herbal notes, but when that went away in the final third my concerns were addressed. Looking at The Master Selection releases I have smoked, this is one of the top two. I think everyone will have their own favorites, but this is one to check out. The use of the ligero and viso tobacco in the filler blend really brings out a lot of flavors, as does the Mexican binder. In many ways, I would love to see what this cigar would be like with a different wrapper.
Striking the best balance between air flow and resistance, the draw was perfect.
Now having reviewed 2008 and 2010 Master Selection, I can definitively say 2010 is better than 2008. The 2010 had a wider range of flavors and complexities as compared to the 2008. But the 2008 version is no slouch providing more classic notes of Davidoff. As such, this is an easy recommendation to pick up.
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