Country: Dominican Republic
Price: $9.90 - $16.50
Available in 3 Sizes:
Short Corona (3 3/4" X46)
Robusto (5" X 50) [pictured]
Toro (5 1/2" X 54)
Head of Marketing Davidoff of Geneva
After years of producing what is, to many, the very definition of a Dominican luxury cigar, what prompted Davidoff to release a Nicaraguan puro?
It stems from Davidoff’s new philosophy, which is to create a taste experience that satisfies every smoker and each of their unique palates. The [Davidoff] Nica-ragua is the first product to take that step and it was an obvious choice for tobacco considering Nicaragua’s current popularity.
So if the tobacco is being sourced entirely from Nicaragua, why not make the cigars there as well? Was that ever a consideration?
We did consider it for a moment, but to maintain that quality, consistency, and strict manufacturing process we’re known for, it was imperative that we produce it in the Dominican Republic. And everyone agreed that Henke Kelner (Davidoff’s master blender) should be the lead no matter what. He’s the legend.
What were some of the challenges, if any, in finding Nicaraguan tobacco that struck a balance between having the Nicaraguan intensity while being sophis-ticated enough to be a Davidoff?
You know, I wish I had a cool story about how we found this magic farm, but the reality is that a large amount of the tobacco used was already in Henke’s possession in the Dominican Republic. He’d purchased it years prior and had already been testing it in different blends for quite some time.
So were you able to get enough of it to make the Davidoff Nicaragua long term or will you eventually run out?
Thankfully, Henke and the team were able to secure enough tobacco from their resources to ensure its longevity into the foreseeable future. To give you an idea, the demand for the Davidoff Nicaragua has been such that we’ve doubled our sales projections for this year, which were already pretty aggressive, and have not had any supply issues.
The Davidoff Nicaragua was named 2013’s Cigar of the Year by this publication and was at or near the top of just about everyone else’s lists. What is the key to the brand’s rapid success?
You know, simply put, I think what we created was a Nicaraguan puro with a Davidoff twist. A lot of Nica-raguan cigars are known for their strength and sort of in-your-face flavor, but we think Henke was able to “tame the wild beast,” as he says. The key was taking that powerful flavor profile and giving it the smoothness, sophistication, and subtlety that Davidoff is famous for.
How much pushback did your team receive from Geneva when it suggested black and silver for the color palette for the Davidoff Nicaragua?
There was definitely a healthy debate when we first proposed the idea. We’re obviously known for being a white label cigar, and it’s seen as our heritage. That said, we started to consider this cigar as sort of the de-marcation for a new, more adventurous Davidoff — one that was putting itself out there to explore uncharted territory. So then we only saw it fitting to distinguish it not just in name, but also visually.
The Davidoff Nicaragua was the most exciting release of 2013 for Davidoff. What can smokers expect from the brand in 2014?
People should expect Davidoff to continue its dedica-tion to innovation and its desire to surprise and delight smokers of all styles. The Nicaragua was the first, but will certainly not be the last when it comes to going to different places and being able to provide these unique taste and flavor experiences. We’re currently exploring different regions for the future.