Connoisseur's Corner: A Near-Perfect Cuban Davidoff
(From the February 2012 issue of Cigar Aficionado) Father time is something many people fear, but he can work absolute wonders on cigars. Age can mellow the rough edges of a fine cigar, balance out inequity and let flavors marry and transform. While years will never turn a bad cigar into a good one, they can make good cigars great and make great cigars into phenomenal smokes. We smoke aged cigars for every issue of Cigar Aficionado in our Connoisseur’s Corner. Here we puffed on six cigars ranging in age from 18 years to 52 years, and all of them turned out to be classics, rating 95 points or higher on our 100-point scale. The finest was a Davidoff 4000, a smoke that is no longer made in Cuba. Prized by collectors, this 6 1/8 by 42 cigar was impossibly rich, with a truffle finish that refused to leave the palate. It was near-perfect at 98 points.
Davidoff 4000 (1990)
A truly amazing cigar. There are strong flavors of nuts and espresso coffee on the first puffs, and then as it warms up there is a truffle, earthy note on the finish, which goes on forever. There is also a floral sweetness on the mid-palate. This complex cigar is one of the richest tasting cigars I have ever had.
H. Upmann No. 2 (1994)
The dark, oily wrapper is perfect and delivers on what it promises. This is still a powerful cigar after 15 years, with coffee and floral notes on the palate. It has a perfect balance, and yet remains smooth. A great cigar.
Cohiba Siglo II (1993)
One of the early Siglo Series smokes, this has already mellowed into a pleasant cigar with a solid core of tobacco and earth flavors. Its flavor is dominated by years of resting in the cedar Cohiba box, and that gives it a more aged quality.
Bolivar Royal Corona (circa 1973)
A robusto that draws like a dream, loading the palate with copious notes of wood, which slowly give way to walnut and almond, with just a touch of earth on the finish. Age has made this cigar mellow, delicate and refined.
H. Upmann No. 4 (1959)
This is a very enjoyable 52-year-old cigar. It has a nice smooth balance of chestnuts and nutmeg spice. There are simply no flaws in this cigar.
—Marvin R. Shanken
La Gloria Cubana Sabroso (1994)
This very nice aged cigar has a core of nutmeg and cocoa powder flavors on the palate. It is wonderfully balanced, and yet clearly has many years of prime smoking time left.