The year 2020 was one we may want to forget, but one of the bright spots in the cigar industry was the announcement of Davidoff’s latest Chinese New Year series of cigars – The Year of the Ox. This is the tenth introduction in the series since they started in 2011. With just 13,500 ten-count boxes made, this is one you want to get your hands before they are sold out.
The Year of the Ox starts out with a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Dominican Republic
- Binder – Ecuador – Sumatra
- Filler –
- Nicaragua – Esteli Visus / Condega Visus
- Dominican Republic – Mejorado Visus / Yamasa Visus
Expressed in a single (6 x 60) Toro Gordo, the Davidoff Year of the Ox comes packaged in a beautiful, Asian inspired, red and gold 10-count box and carries an MSRP of $40.00/cigar.
The Davidoff website notes:
“The Ox likes to reflect, ruminate and make decisions at his own pace. Once the Ox sets a course of action, he will see it through. Step by step. Always moving forward.
The Ox is diligent, patient, and determined. The Ox ploughs his own furrow and is never diverted from his course. Some see a stubborn creature. Others see strength of purpose. It is this strength which is a source of reassurance for those who know and love the Ox.
They welcome the comfort and security the Ox provides. They know that they can rely on his honesty, hard work and the sheer force of will to make things happen.
Not that you will ever know. The Ox does not bellow about his achievements. He will take quiet pride in his success, reaching into this elegant box and lighting a celebratory cigar. Happy to stay out of the spotlight. Happy to have everything in order. Happy to toil and then taste success.
Is it stubbornness or is it strength that makes the Ox special? Both. As we know well, it is all in the blend.”
So what do you get for $40.00? Read on and follow my pleasurable journey as I take the Ox for a ride.
The Davidoff Year of the Ox is a thick medium/dark reddish brown cigar that has a slight oily sheen and a few veins running through the barrel. It is smooth to the touch and solidly packed from head to foot. A simple cap is used to finish the presentation.
Two bands adorn the cigar. The primary band is the standard white and gold Davidoff Cigars logo. The secondary band, placed just below, uses a bright red and gold motif and declares this as the “YEAR OF THE OX” and include a silhouette of an ox in the center.
As I ran the Ox across the nose, my nasals picked up a mild baking spice note along the barrel while the foot offered a touch more natural tobacco sweetness and a hint of peppery spice.
The cap removed easily with a simple straight cut across the shoulder of the cigar. I gave it some cold draws that had a restriction right in my wheel house and offered earthy and black pepper notes. The peppery notes also warmed the lips the more I cold puffed it.
Using my double flame Bugatti torch, I slowly warmed the foot to an even glow and drew in the first peppery kick of the Ox. Follow along as I break this one down puff by puff and burn it to ash.
For this review, I sampled on Year of the OX, which I purchased from my local brick and mortar – Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in Melbourne. FL as part of the 2020 Stogie Press mission to KEEP THE LIGHTS ON.
Cigar Review Notes
- Pepper shot to start both on the palate and nose
- Nice white ash forms medium thick char line
- Floral and rich cedar notes quickly join the profile
- Creamy coffee aroma
- Luscious honey notes add to the pleasure deep in the first third
- Excellent oiling above the char line
- Aroma shifts to more of fruit and herbal note
- Slight jag in the burn moving into the second third
- Solid ash fell in a solid chunk revealing a centered and decently formed burn cone
- Gentle spice notes from in the back ground
- Solid Medium in Strength midway
- Nut nuance add to the profile deep in the second third
- Aroma shifts back to more of a floral note
- My dark chocolate sensors start to fire up in the final third
- The Ox show its strength as it moves up to solidly full
- A hint of mint adds to the pleasure deep in the final
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 40 minutes
Overall, the Davidoff Year of the Ox was an incredibly pleasant smoking journey that offered a complex and balanced profile of flavors and aromas. I am always nervous about large ring gauge cigars like the Ox, but Davidoff blended this perfectly for flavor, aroma, and burn. Be careful with the Ox as its strength will catch you by surprise deep in the burn. This may not be your every day cigar with a price point of $40.00 but it is one any true cigar enthusiast most definitely should check out, at least once, before they are sold out. In fact buy a few and keep them aged for a special occasion. I rate this a solid 97.
Point Deductions: (-1) Slight Jag in Burn
Bonus Points: (+1) Complex and Balanced; (+1) Excellent Oiling Above the Char Line; (+1) Solid Long Ash; (+1) Buy a few;