cigar review

Davidoff: Winston Churchill The Late Hour Churchill Cigar

The next cigar I will be trying as part of my cigar challenge will be from the cigar brand Davidoff. I will be smoking the Winston Churchill The Late Hour Churchill Cigar.

I thought this would be a great smoke based on Mitchell Orchant’s comments about the cigar during a recent CGars Davidoff Primeros Blending virtual herf. It was quite pricey at £36.99.

The stats:

Length: 7″
Ring Gauge: 48
Strength: Medium – Full
Format: Churchill
Provenance: Dominican Republic

Davidoff Winston Churchill The Late Hour Churchill

Tasting notes:

“The cask aged Nicaraguan Condega Visus tobacco, together with the two different Dominican Visus filler tobaccos and the dark Mexican binder unravels the complexity of this full-bodied blend. Beautiful, robust flavours of black pepper, dark coffee, sweetness, old leather, wood and spiciness tantalize the palate.” CGars Ltd

Background:

Davidoff is a premium cigar brand popular amongst cigar aficionados. The brand name originates from the surname of Zino Davidoff, who ran a specialist shop in Geneva, Switzerland from 1936 to 1994. He was known as the ‘King of Cigars’. Today (11th March) would have been his birthday.

Wonderful illustration of Zino Davidoff by Tim O’Brien as featured in Cigar Aficionado’s Hall of Fame

The cigars themselves are mainly produced in the Dominican Republic, although they were originally made in Cuba.

In 1967, Zino Davidoff published a Guide to Cigar Etiquette where he outlined cigar etiquette for smokers in his noted essay. It was a charter and code for cigar smokers everywhere. Gentleman’s Mansgazette goes into more details, but the overall Do’s and Don’ts look something like this…

Do

  • Warm the foot of the cigar slightly before starting to puff on it.
  • Remove the band carefully after lighting the cigar.
  • Take your time smoking your cigar, a puff a minute is about right.
  • Hold the cigar between your index finger and your thumb, not between your index finger and middle finger.
  • Allow the cigar to die a dignified death; after it’s smoked halfway, it will go out on its own.
  • Dispose of a dead cigar discreetly and quickly.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes between cigars as anything less indicates obsessive behaviour.

Don’t

  • Use a penknife to cut or pierce the end of the cigar.
  • Touch the flame directly to the foot of the cigar, simply rotate it around the edge instead, until it begins to burn, and then puff on it lightly.
  • Lighting a cigar should be a personal experience; never ask someone else for a light.
  • Light your cigar too slowly or too quickly.
  • Indulge in exhibitionism, whether you are lighting or smoking your cigar.
  • Relight your cigar if less than one quarter of it is leaf.
  • Put the cigar in your mouth to relight it.
  • Clench your cigar between your teeth.
  • Wet the end of your cigar.
  • Smoke too quickly.
  • Ever use a cigar holder.
  • Stick a toothpick or matchstick in the end of the cigar to help hold it in your mouth.
  • Dip your cigar in port or brandy.
  • Smoke whilst working.
  • Hold a cigar between your index and middle finger; always between thumb and index finger.
  • Smoke whilst walking in public.
  • Put the cigar out by crushing it in an ashtray.
  • Chain-smoke cigars.

There are definitely a few of those rules that I break… 🤦🏻😂

Ernst Schneider

In 1970, Zino asks Dr. Ernst Schneider to join him in business. The two encourage each other to create progressively exceptional cigars and accessories, and turn Davidoff into an established worldwide brand

Dr. Ernst Schneider and Zino Davidoff. Photo: Oettinger Davidoff Group

Edward Sahakian

In 1980, after meeting with Dr. Ernst Schneider, Edward Sahakian opened a cigar shop in Mayfair, Davidoff of London – as an expansion of the Davidoff franchise worldwide. This fine quality tobacconist is a must visit for all cigar lovers. Stocking a large selection of Davidoff, Cuban, rare and vintage cigars as well as related accessories, whiskys, walking sticks and umbrellas. The walk in humidor is one of the best in the world!

Edward Sahakian as featured in acollectedman.com article

You can see Edward talk about cigars with passion, ‘behind the scenes’ aka in the Davidoff of London cellar… in this video by James Suckling…

Nowadays, Eddie Sahakian has taken over the reins of the business from his father. Eddie has added 21st century communication and technology to the family business, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Whilst Edward continues as a bit of a legend in the cigar world!

Eddie talks more about the history Davidoff of London

My experience:

The Davidoff cigar brand plays an important part of my cigar journey. It was actually through the book “The Cigar Companion‘ which I am doing this cigar challenge with, where I first heard about the store back in approx 2006.

I remember building up the courage to go there when I was working in Central London, during a lunch break. I felt incredibly nervous about going inside, but it was here that I purchased my first ‘proper’ cigar. Before that I had only ever experienced Hamlets and King Edwards cigars *I know… don’t judge me! 🙂

Davidoff of London – Cigar store

I think the cigar I was recommended by staff was the Davidoff Aniversario No. 2 Cigar (but I could be wrong here, unfortunately I didn’t keep the cigar band).

I felt incredibly proud walking out with my purchase. I later went back home and smoked my Davidoff cigar – and what an enjoyable experience it was.

A few years later I got to meet the legend that is Edward Sahakian, on a return visit as part of a Cuban Cigar Walk run by the late great Nic Wing in October 2011. It was an absolute pleasure to sample cigars and drink champagne in his presence, a moment I will never forget.

Having a glass of champagne and a Davidoff cigar with Edward Sahakian & the late Nic Wing on the Cuban Cigar Walk – October 2011

Anyways, enough of the reminiscing… let’s get back on track with smoking the Davidoff Late Hour Churchill Cigar

Getting everything in place on my balcony (aka man cave)

This is a big cigar. Named after one of the most famous cigar smokers of all time, Winston Churchill. The cigar band is proudly showing off his instantly recognisable silhouette. There is a second band that states the name of the cigar.

This cigar is a real stunner with a dark and oily looking wrapper.

This is a lovely smoke. Great quality. Smooth mild to medium flavour. Silky texture to the smoke, with some aromas of toast, coffee and leather.

My rating: 9 out of 10

Check out the Davidoff of London website for more fascinating insights into the history of this store and if you have never been inside, do please make some time to do a stopover and buy a cigar from their walk in humidor – it’s very special.

Next up… the Diplomaticos

2 comments

  1. Aw, man Boisdale had this as part of their Churchill Dinner offering on 5th March and I ummed and errred too much, too late.
    I will definitely have to search it out now, thanks for the great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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