When you hear of Davidoff Cigars, the name “Davidoff”, itself automatically makes you think affluence and luxury. Zino Davidoff, the man behind the Davidoff Cigar brand, created a line of high- end men’s products such as ties, fragrances, glasses, cognac, briefcases, and humidors that complimented his affluent cigar smoking clientele. His success at building a multi-million dollar business in the 20th century on tobacco product is truly remarkable and therefore has made Davidoff cigars synonymous with quality in the industry.
Davidoff Cigars has a rather complicated history that starts with the birth of its founder, Zino, in 1911 Russia, or present day Ukraine. His parents were either cigar merchants or cigar manufacturers in Kiev who fled to Switzerland in 1911 to avoid Russian anti-Semitism, and opened a modest cigar shop in Geneva. After finishing school, Zino traveled to Latin America to learn the tobacco trade where he worked for two years on a plantation. This is where Davidoff first developed a love for Cuban cigars.
Upon his return from Switzerland in 1940, Davidoff took over his parents’ cigar shop which grew into a lucrative business after World War II. Neutral Switzerland became a haven for wealthy tobacco customers at that time which afforded Zino to successfully market Hoyo de Monterrey Chateaux Series of Cuban cigars among others. During this time he also was responsible for creating the first desktop humidor that preserved the same conditions with which cigars were rolled in Havana, Cuba.
In 1970, Davidoff sold his tobacco shop to the Max Oettinger Group, but not before he started the Davidoff Cigar line three years prior. Zino was approached by Cubatabaco which was Cuba’s state tobacco monopoly at the time, to create his own personal brand for his stores. Davidoff launched his line one year before he sold his tobacco shop to pursue what is now the Davidoff empire.
There are two types of Davidoff Cigars: Cuban Davidoffs, and Dominican Davidoffs.
The original line, Cuban Davidoffs, was produced in the El Laguito factory in Havana which was established to roll Fidel Castro’s personal cigars, Cohiba. Cuban Davidoffs were officially discontinued in 1991 after the relationship between Davidoff and Cubatabaco dissolved due to numerous disputes over quality and ownership of the brand. One would speculate that the event that led to their break-up was in 1989 when Davidoff publically burned over 100,000 of his cigars that he deemed unfit to sell due to poor quality.
Dominican Davidoffs were already in production a year before the cancellation of his Cuban line and are still available today. After moving his operation to the Dominican Republic, rather than trying to re-create the flavor profiles of his Cuban line, Davidoff set out to raise the bar for Dominican cigars. Dressed in claro Connecticut wrappers, these immaculately tailored cigars are blended by Hendrik Kelner who is unmatched in the Dominican Republic for his knowledge of tobacco and cigar making. Kelner’s company, Tabacos Dominicanos S.A., has produced some of the most sought-after handmade smokes to come out of the island.
Davidoff Cigar offerings available today include: Series Anniversario, Series Classic, Series Grand Cru, Series Mille, Series Special, Series Millennium Blend, Puro d’Oro, and Limited Editions.
Davidoff Cigars are medium to mild and are known for their rich and wonderfully complex flavor.