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Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur's Corner: A 100-Pointer

(From the February 2011 issue of Cigar Aficionado) What does it take to achieve perfection? A fine draw, complex flavors and an irrepressible gravitational pull on the cigar smoker that simply won’t allow him to leave the cigar alone in the ashtray. We speak of the Davidoff Château Lafite Rothschild, a not terribly long (4 5/8 inches) and not terribly fat (40 ring gauge) cigar. Good even in youth, this cigar has turned into perfection after being carefully aged for 21 years. Sadly, the delicious smoke (like all Cuban Davidoffs) is no longer produced. The same holds true for the Dunhill Estupendo, which if not perfect was a classic at 96 points. The trick for a cigar smoker is to predict a bit of the future; one needs to identify superb cigars today that just might blossom into classic smokes—perhaps, even, the perfect smokes—in years.

 

Davidoff Château Lafite Rothschild (1989)

100

Davidoff Château Lafite Rothschild (1989)

What a treat! This small cigar has a compact but smooth draw with hints of chestnuts and cinnamon on the palate, and then a core of earthy, wood chip flavors. It was impossible to put down. — Marvin R. Shanken

Dunhill Estupendo (1985)

96

Dunhill Estupendo (1985)

This cigar offers up dry peppermint flavors on the wrapper, with a perfect construction and draw. It has notes of nutmeg and peanuts on the palate. — Marvin R. Shanken

Hoyo de Monterrey DOUBLE CORONA (1993)

96

Hoyo de Monterrey DOUBLE CORONA (1993)

This cigar is rounding out perfectly. Smooth and well-balanced, it has a core of light coffee bean flavors, and a bit of fading earthiness. Just a wonderful smoke that you do not want to end. — Gordon Mott

Flor de Cano Diademas (1992)

95

Flor de Cano Diademas (1992)

This cigar has a beautiful olive-brown wrapper. It is filled with delicate flavors including chestnuts and coconut. It is still rich, with a perfect draw. — Marvin R. Shanken

Punch Serie B (1976)

94

Punch Serie B (1976)

Custom-made for a merchant in London, this toro-size smoke has a slight indentation from the cabinet ribbon. Faint bitterness on the first puff quickly disappears to show a sweet-and-spicy panoply of graham cracker, cinnamon, molasses and ginger. — Gregory Mottola

Romeo Y Julieta DUNHILL SELECCIÓN SUPREMA  Cedros de luxe NO. 2 (1961)

93

Romeo Y Julieta DUNHILL SELECCIÓN SUPREMA Cedros de luxe NO. 2 (1961)

A wonderful 50-year old smoke. It has a light tea character, with the soft, sweet, woody notes of a cigar aged in a cedar wrap. It smokes perfectly, with a great draw and burn. Still some life left, but if you have them, smoke them now. — Gordon Mott

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