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Staff Reviews

Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour Staff Review

Zack D. D's picture

Zack D.

Today, I am reviewing Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour, befittingly in the Churchill size, which is 7 x 48. When it comes to luxury cigar brands, several established companies come to mind. Davidoff of Geneva, in particular, has been synonymous with luxury for decades.

Davidoff cigars were birthed in Cuba during the 1960s by Zino Davidoff, whose Geneva-based tobacco shop was frequented by some of the twentieth century’s biggest dignitaries, including Vladimir Lenin and Winston Churchill, himself.

After roughly twenty years of Cuban cigar production, Zino Davidoff became severely dissatisfied with the construction and quality of his Cuban cigars. As a result, he shifted all production to the Dominican Republic by the early 1990s. The Davidoff brand grew into a huge name in the premium market in the United States following the shift to Dominican production. However, Davidoff cigars are not the easiest to find. You have to visit an “appointed White Label Davidoff merchant.” Luckily, your pals at Holt’s happen to be one of those retailers.

When it comes to famous cigar smokers, every list includes Sir Winston Churchill. He was such an avid cigar smoker that the Churchill size is indeed named after him. In early 2015, Davidoff released an exclusive brand called Winston Churchill. Due to the success of the first release, Davidoff added a second line, Winston Churchill Late Hour, which is named for the wee hours Churchill habitually spent writing and strategizing as he navigated the treacherous uncertainty of World War II.

Davidoff Winston Churchill Late Hour features a unique concoction of tobaccos assembled by hand in the Dominican Republic. The immaculate, dark chocolate-hued Ecuador Habano Oscuro wrapper is very oily with thin vein structure. Underneath is a hearty Mexican San Andrés binder over a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan long-filler tobaccos. Some of the Nicaraguan filler tobaccos are aged an additional six months in spent scotch barrels.

Aromas from the cigar’s foot are quite floral with hints of chocolate, leather, and pepper. The cold draw adds a bit more depth with bold notes of wood, wet earth, and a light saltiness. Once lit, Late Hour really entices the senses. Up front are intense flavors of charred oak and cracked black pepper, while there is a bit of citrus and graham cracker on the retrohale. Notes of pepper slowly fade away allowing the profile to become creamier and more balanced as salted hints of leather and bread enter the picture.

The halfway mark of Late Hour is a nice turning point for the profile. An acidic sweetness comes through that I can best describe as blackberry brandy. During the final inches, I pick up tinges of bittersweet chocolate with an underlying saltiness, reminiscent of a milk-chocolate-and-sea-salt candy bar. Talk about a cigar that keeps you on your toes!

As great as the flavors were in Late Hour, construction left a lot to be desired. The cigar seemed firm to the touch, but once cut, the draw was wide open. It took zero effort to produce ample smoke. The wrapper stayed lit the whole time, but I had to correct it at a few points to keep the cigar burning straight. The ash is quite messy as well. I smoked the cigar indoors, yet my desk was covered in flakes of gray ash. Finally, the strength topped out on the upper end of medium to full-bodied. All said and done, this cigar will pair exceptionally well with a peaty scotch or a rye whiskey, especially by a camp fire.

87rated