Davidoff of Geneva has revealed the price of its Davidoff Oro Blanco, and it has shattered all records for a new-production cigar. The vintage smoke will sell for $500, making it the most expensive non-flavored cigar on the market, Cuban or otherwise.
"This is going to be our most expensive cigar ever, and the most expensive in the market," said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, chief executive officer of Oettinger Davidoff AG, the company that owns the Davidoff cigar brand.
The new smoke, which will be quite limited, will begin shipping at the end of this month.
The cigar is historic for reasons that go beyond its high price. This will be the first vintage smoke for Davidoff, and it will be made entirely from tobacco that was harvested in 2002. Back then, Davidoff's Eladio Diaz was impressed with the type of leaves he saw in that crop from a particular region of the Dominican Republic, where he makes his home and where Davidoff makes all of its cigars. Diaz set aside some leaves he felt were particularly lovely, and put them away for aging. Those leaves have been rolled into Davidoff Oro Blanco, Spanish for white gold.
The cigar is what Davidoff calls a grand toro size, measuring 6 inches long by 54 ring gauge. They will come in individual wooden boxes retailing for $500 each, or in boxes of 10 selling for $5,000 a box. Hoejsgaard described the boxes as "hand-crafted." The cigars will have bands featuring the signature of Diaz and will be sold in Davidoff flagship stores.
To put the price of the Davidoff into perspective, if you could purchase all of the Churchills and coronas that were rated in the December Cigar Aficionado—24 cigars in all—it would cost $398.57, more than $100 less than one of the new Davidoffs.
As pricey as the new Davidoff cigar is, others do compare. Gurkha makes a flavored cigar called His Majesty Reserve, and the company says each box of 20 is made using an entire bottle of Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac, which is considerably expensive. The box has a suggested retail price of $25,000, making each cigar have a suggested retail price of $1,250.
The only non-flavored new cigar release that can compare in price to this Davidoff is the original Cohiba Behike, a Cuban cigar released in 2006. The cigars were presented in ornate Elie Bleu humidors, each containing 40 cigars. The price, humidor and all, was 15,000 euro (nearly $19,000 in today's U.S. dollars) making each cigar worth euro 375 ($468). But that comparison is difficult to make, given that the price of those original Behike cigars included 1/40th of an ornate humidor.
The Behikes sold today (a trio of Cuban cigars that carry the moniker Behike BHK) retail for as much as $100 each in certain markets, far cheaper than the new Davidoffs.
Hoejsgaard said that some people had already ordered the cigar, price unknown, after seeing news of the smoke break on CigarAficionado.com in October. Diaz, he said, would be making "very, very small batches" of the cigar, and while he said production would be limited, he wouldn't say precisely how many cigars would ultimately be made.
Tomorrow, on the Davidoff website, interested parties can put their names on a waiting list for the cigar.