The annual Zenith Cigar Awards is a great event, fine food, excellent wine, vintage cognac and a mix of glamorous celebrities – it all makes for a heady evening and one almost forgets the real stars of the show, the Cigars! Each year guest receive five cigars on arrival, an eclectic mix of prodigious cigars, all of them high scoring and exciting in their own right. Here are my thoughts; the only real question is which one will you smoke first?
Davidoff Winston Churchill, The Late Hour Robusto
5 ins x 52 Ring Gauge
Winston Churchill liked to stay up late at night to work. He believed that the dark was inspirational and calming. In tribute, Davidoff has created a modern masterpiece with a twist. In this cigar, Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers have been used, and partially aged in Scotch whisky casks for six months, held together with a Mexican binder, creating a full bodied and complex blend. Davidoff claims that the tobacco absorbs the aromas of the cask and its whisky, and I have to agree with them. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a ‘Highland whisky flavoured’ cigar; this is not your average ‘machine made’ short filler dipped into Scotch just for marketing. The whisky barrels offer the blend an even higher level of complexity and depth. Think of black pepper, coffee beans, old leather and sweet wood spices. This is a fine New World cigar with a lot of finesse, a great way for Davidoff to celebrate a great man. This special cigar is finished in a shiny, oily Habano Ecuador wrapper.
AVO Heritage, Short Robusto
4 ins x 56 Ring Gauge
Short versions of great cigars are currently gaining popularity, and the Robusto seems to rule the Vitolas. A short Rubusto has the gauge of the original cigar but in a quicker smoke. A great example of this is the Monte Christo Short NO 2. Avo’s Short Robusto is wonderfully smooth with a cool and creamy smoke. This is a milder side to the Dominican tobaccos with no harshness and a long draw. I would even dare to say that you would enjoy it if you happen to be a Hoyo Epicure No 2 fan. Well worth a try given the excellent value for money they offer.
Joya de Nicaragua Cabinetta Robusto
5 ins x 50 Ring Gauge
The Cabinetta range is a playful and relatively new range of Joya de Nicaragua. The entire range comes with a light Claro wrapper to the majority of the length, ending in a dark Maduro wrapper as the head. This ‘doble capa’ was recently extended to a longer version giving the smoker the chance to enjoy the fuller, tastier notes of a dark wrapper where the mouth comes into contact with the cigar, while the main body of the cigar is a mild, elegant blend of lighter tobaccos. I have tried the Robusto size and found it to be a gentle and entertaining smoke with peppery notes on the palate. This could be an excellent light cigar for an afternoon walk or to introduce a novice cigar smoker to a mellow smoke.
Romeo & Julieta, Short Churchill – Robusto
4 7/8 ins x 50 Ring Gauge
Romeo y Julieta needs no introduction as one of the best sold classic Cuban brands with many historical cigars in its range and a wonderfully romantic story behind the name of the brand. The Short Churchill is actually a Robusto. Not just any Robusto though, it won Boisdale’s annual blind tasting series in 2017 beating seven other classic contenders in the same vitola including Series D 4 and Epicure Number 2. A truly elegant medium bodied cigar with plenty of complexity from grassy hay and autumn leaves to toasted nuts and aromatic barbecue notes. The Short Churchill is a real classic and one of our most successful cigars on the Boisdale list.
Daniel Marshall, Red Label Torpedo
6 1/4 ins x 54 Ring Gauge
Torpedo shaped cigars are always a treat, giving a majestic big smoke for a sizable Vitola. The DM Red Label series are all handmade in Nicaragua using 5-year aged filler tobaccos grown in two of Nicaragua’s premier growing regions, and wrapped in premium Colorado wrappers. This cigar is full bodied with an expressive blend of tobaccos, giving a surprisingly elegant balance between rich chocolate, freshly brewed espresso and sweet spices such as cinnamon and fresh vanilla pod.