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Staff Reviews

Davidoff Winston Churchill Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

I’m smoking an illustrious 6.875-by-47 Churchill from a blend named in honor of the man for whom the actual size was named – Winston Churchill – and the blend hails from the elite Davidoff brand. Davidoff of Geneva, the parent company of Davidoff Cigars, first introduced the Winston Churchill line over fifteen years ago, and they’ve revamped and rebranded it a few times to emphasize its exclusivity. The current incarnation is simply dubbed Davidoff Winston Churchill. Naming a cigar after, arguably, the most famous cigar smoker in the world is bold, so it better be good, right? Let’s find out.   

Davidoff is a big brand with deep European roots. The company was originally founded by Zino Davidoff, whose name became synonymous with the finest Cuban cigars sold in Europe through his family’s famous tobacco shop in Switzerland – a store where Winston Churchill shopped. Fittingly, Davidoff developed the Winston Churchill brand with Churchill’s grandson, Winston S. Churchill, and master cigar-maker Hendrick Kelner. The first Winston Churchill cigars appeared in 2007, but the current version of the blend has been in production since 2014. The line now includes a slightly stronger blend, Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour, with a dark and oily wrapper under a formal black-and-gold cigar band.

The Davidoff Winston Churchill I’m smoking today more closely resembles Davidoff’s quintessential White Label cigars, with its elegant white box, a white cigar band depicting the statesman’s silhouette in gold, and a golden-blond wrapper. Davidoff Winston Churchill is blended from a velvety Connecticut-seed wrapper leaf, grown in Ecuador, and an intricate interior of long-filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and San Andrés. Winston Churchill cigars bear the standard hallmarks of Davidoff’s finest – as well as the price. The Churchill size I’m indulging in isn’t an impulse buy at just over twenty-four bucks per cigar or just under $500 for a box of 20.

The cigar’s smooth and seamless wrapper leaves an attractive complexion. When I clip the cap and take a few cold draws, a silky profile of coffee bean, leather, and nutmeg with a hint of raisin characterizes the taste at first. The longer I allow the initial flavor to resonate, as I spin the cigar around in my mouth, tangy notes of soy sauce, mesquite, and salt develop. I’m intrigued by Davidoff Winston Churchill before the cigar is lit.

The Churchill’s consistency, density, and draw meet my expectations, which are high, considering the cost of the cigar. I gently toast the foot over my soft-flame lighter and am a bit surprised. Instantly, the chewy and zesty taste I anticipated from the cold draw is supplanted by bitter notes of hay and fennel. The profile starts off on the turbulent side. Dry aromas of corn fodder and sawdust sting the nasal cavity for a few moments before dissipating.

Davidoff Winston Churchill unfolds with formidable flavors of leather and earth, but its harsh texture seems off. The elegant and rich taste behind many reputable Davidoff cigars is absent in this Churchill. I am halfway through it, after roughly thirty minutes, before creamy notes of molasses emerge with softer and more desirable nuances of nuts and pepper. Finally, the dryness fades and the cigar embodies a succulent taste. However, I’ve smoked a lot of the cigar to reach a point where its flavor is more agreeable. The final quarter is much more approachable than the first three quarters.

I have smoked many Davidoff cigars over the years, and, generally, my only criticism is that, at times, they are somewhat mild or lacking in intensity. Davidoff Winston Churchill, however, is abrasive. The construction, draw, and looks pass my litmus test for an expensive premium, but I will have to revisit this blend down the road before restoring the points I’m docking based purely on taste and aroma. There is simply too much competition when you’re spending over twenty dollars for one cigar.  


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