Length: 4 7/8
Provenance: Dominican Republic
The Special R is a solidly rolled robusto with a medium-dark Ecuadorian wrapper. There are a couple veins, but they are fairly small and overall the cigar feels very smooth. There is very little oil or tooth visible. It has a solid head with one small bump, and is finished off with classic white Davidoff band. Aside from the Nicaraguan and the Puro d'Oro line, Davidoff always uses the same, simple white and gold band design. Ive always thought it spoke to their quality because they never felt the name for flair -they let the cigar (and their name) stand on its own.
The cigar wrapper smells of dry grass, woodpile, and is strong with spices. The foot smells very similar, minus the level of spice. The cold draw is very mild and tastes mainly of hay and tobacco. I toast the cigar and then I finish the light with a couple wooden matches. I smoke with a large mug of eggnog black tea.
The initial couple puffs are very robust, with large amounts of cedar and a spice that seem like white pepper. This is short lived and the stick quickly settles into a medium profile. The first third proceeds to produce creamy smoke that tastes primarily of woodiness on the draw and moderately potent spice on the retrohale. The burn is fairly even, but not as razor-sharp as I normally get from a Davidoff.
The middle of the cigar is where it really shines in my opinion. Once it gets the initial burst of cedar and non-descript spice out of its system, the Special R gives off a wonderfully unique taste like warm spiced pecans. The buttery smoke has hints of cinnamon and cardamom. This section of the cigar is particularly good when paired with a glass of quality red table wine. The profile remains medium, but it is incredibly smooth. There is even a faint note of coffee as it moves into the nub.
At the beginning of the end, there is a final blast of woodiness that is like walking through a shop right after a bunch of sawdust has come flying off of a saw blade. The spice also subsides and the remainder of the smoke is primarily nutty, with hints of burnt nougat. I have heard a number of people comment about the mild nature of most Davidoffs, and I agree that the majority of their line is far from full bodied. However, the second common declaration regarding the brand is that the cigars are bland and uninteresting- this I will contest. The Special R is just another example of a cigar that will not blow you away with its strength, but manages to have multiple flavors flow and develop throughout the length of the cigar.
I have a special affinity for this blend because it is the cigar that I bought Its a Girl tubos of and smoked in celebration of my daughters birth. The average price is in the $15 range, and while the burn on this particular one was not perfect, they are generally meticulously constructed and the flavors are certainly in my wheelhouse.
Overall rating: 9.0/10