Most of what we talk about here on Thirty One Whiskey is the liquid that comes out of a whiskey barrel. Today, though, we’re going to talk about a cigar that comes out of a whiskey barrel: Davidoff’s Winston Churchill The Late Hour.
The inspiration for this cigar, or so the story goes, comes from Winston Churchill. Davidoff originally payed homage to the larger than life character a few years back, but this specific version is dedicated to the late hours of the night when, according to Churchill, the spark of inspiration was more likely to strike.
For this cigar, Davidoff starts with a Nicaraguan filler grown in the Condega region that tends to be a medium to full bodied experience. Those fillers are aged in previously used single malt scotch whisky barrels before being wrapped in an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
Initially, I didn’t really get any of the scotch whisky influence. It smells like any other dark cigar, heavy with tobacco. The only real difference I could find was a good bit of coffee aroma mixed in for good measure.
Also, the first thing I notice when I give the cap a lick is an immediate and significant tingle of nicotine. I’m usually a fan of light to medium bodied cigars and this definitely has a bit more nicotine than I’m used to.
Drawing on this pre-lit and freshly cut cigar, I can start to see where that scotch whisky comes into the picture. Below the usual leather and tobacco flavors, there’s something more subtle — almost like an earl grey tea. Distinctly British. Thinking about it a little more, this is probably some of the peat from the scotch whisky mixing with the other flavors of the tobacco for that tea flavoring.
When the cigar is finally lit I’m actually pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of the Liga Privada T52 because of how strong it is and I was expecting this to be the same intensity. Instead it’s closer to a medium bodied cigar, delicious and inviting instead of immediately punching you in the face.
The flavors are pretty much on par with the smell. It’s very heavy on tobacco (obviously) and some leather, but I think the peat from the scotch actually makes it through during the burn and adds that tea flavor as well. It’s subtle, but I think I can see it trying to make itself known in the background.
As the cigar burns the intensity increases. I’d say it goes from a medium to a medium-full cigar by the last third, slowly increasing in intensity as it goes. Even as it becomes stronger, though, the flavors remain constant and consistently delicious.
I really liked this cigar. The story behind it is, well, whatever. But I appreciate the scotch whisky barrel aging process, and I think it really does add something to the flavor profile. It’s the same reason I like the Comacho brand of barrel aged cigars. Then again, that could just be because I really like whiskey.
Overall Rating: Excellent!
Davidoff is a premium brand for a reason, and they don’t produce any junk. In this case, I think they knocked it out of the park and made something that all cigar lovers can get behind.