Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur’s Corner: A Davidoff Château Latour Reaches Perfection

Cuban Davidoffs are among the most prized of vintage cigars. Collectors wax poetic about the smokes, which were made in Cuba from the late 1960s up until 1991, when Davidoff shifted production to the Dominican Republic. They command dear prices at auction, even though some have begun to taste as if they have passed their prime. Not so of the Davidoff Château Latour. One of these coronas (5 5/8 inches long by 42 ring gauge) plucked from a cabinet box of 25, has only improved over time in a humidor. Brimming with a panoply of sweet spices, showing an ideal draw and burning with a fragrant aroma of owers, this cigar was among the best ever smoked by editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken—a man who has smoked quite a few cigars over the years.

100 points

Davidoff Château Latour (1989)

Perfection. One of the best cigars I have ever smoked. Nutmeg, flint and cinnamon combine on a smooth, beautiful draw and the cigar fills the air with a fragrant, lilac petal aroma. An extraordinary experience.

—Marvin R. Shanken

97 points

Punch Double Corona (1994)

This big, gorgeous cigar, presented in the round due to its cabinet storage, takes the flame eagerly and burns with little effort, its draw is superb. It’s considerably nutty, with a mix of notes ranging from cashew to peanut and almond, with a heavy woody character playing along as well as a hint of nougat. The finish is all cocoa powder. A delicious, lively double corona that has yet to peak.

—David Savona

96 points

Cohiba Esplendido (1991)

A very slow starter, somewhat unusual for this vitola. It has a dry, woody start with lots of walnut shell. When it hits cruising speed, the cigar comes alive with heartier notes of tangy wood, coffee bean, a touch of vanilla and a long, long finish with a bit of spice. Nuanced, nutty and with a big chocolate core.

—David Savona

95 points

Casa Magna Colorado Robusto (2008)

This 2008 Cigar of the Year is still a powerhouse. From a cold draw packed with chocolate, the Nicaraguan cigar starts off with a slight bite that offsets the sweetness of dark cocoa and earthy flavors, and then rounds out to a well-balanced smoke. On the long finish, there’s a hint of dried orange peel. It’s a full-bodied cigar that has many years of aging left.

—Gordon Mott
92 points

H. Upmann Sir Winston (1992)

A classic Churchill covered in a healthy-looking, medium-claro wrapper. Woody, hickory notes speak to the time it’s spent in a wooden box, but the years have also given the cigar sweet, sugary bursts of almond paste. Touches of perfume and flowers also come and go. The ash is gray and solid.

—Gregory Mottola

91 points

El Rey Del Mundo Grandes De España (1994)

There’s slight box pressing to this extra-slim cigar, which starts out with a thin straw-and-hay character. The draw is great, eventually imparting a fuller body and dense mineral qualities, along with coconut shavings, lemon zest and a floral finish. A slow starter.

—Gregory Mottola

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