Cigar Review: Davidoff 702 Series Special R

An exceptional new Davidoff cigar full of zest and interestingly subtle transitions

The Davidoff brand has been synonymous with elegance due to continued success with each release. Considered a luxury by many and a great value by others, everyone will agree that the quality of construction, mastery of blending and depth of flavor is evident in all sticks the Genevan behemoth produces.

I recently had the luxury of smoking a wonderful robusto out of the newly introduced Davidoff 702 Series. Many longtime Davidoff smokers will remember the launch of the Davidoff Limited Edition 2009 Selección 702. This is not a re-release but is actually the introduction of a new mainstream line.

davidoff-702-series-special-r-cigar-review-close-up-wrapper-band

With this new 702 Series, Davidoff has chosen to replace the conventional Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper on many of its classic cigars to give them a bit of a twist.

The replacement of the Connecticut with this new 702 hybrid wrapper, which was born out of three distinct Habano seeds, adds some zest to the flavor profile and will come in very familiar vitolas including the 2000, Double R, Special R and a few others.

davidoff-702-series-special-r-review-from-above-photo-st-dupont-lighter-wooden-table

General Specifications

Davidoff 702 Series Special R
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 702
Binder: Dominican Republic- Piloto Seco
Filler: Dominican Republic- Piloto Seco / San Vicente Visus / Olor Seco
Vitola: Robusto (4 7/8 x 50)
Price: $21.40

Analysis

A few puffs in and into the first third, there are strong notes of musty woodiness and creaminess on the finish – the wood being closer to an oak than a cedar. Normally when transitions occur when smoking a cigar, certain stronger notes fade to the back while newer, more pronounced, flavors come to the fore.

This was not the case with the 702 Series Special R. Instead of the oakiness fading away, you’re introduced to an earthy nuttiness that is difficult to explain with words. The nuttiness does not overwhelm the notes of oak and the finish is still creamy.

davidoff-702-series-special-r-review-holding-cigar-lange-sohne-watch-rose-gold

In the second third of the cigar you’re introduced to a mellow sweetness that combines well with the previous flavors pervading the palate. In the last third, a mild pepper mixes with the lingering earthy flavors and continues to finish with some cream.

The one thing that amazed me the most about this cigar was the subtlety in its transitions, especially when transitioning to flavors that are paradoxical in nature, such as the transition to a combination of pepper and cream. The transitions allow you time to adapt to new flavors being introduced, making the overall experience quite enjoyable and leaving you wanting more.

Boldness: 4/5 | Strength: 4.5/5

This cigar takes roughly 45-55 minutes to smoke and is perfect as an after dinner cigar, especially after a heavier meal such as a steak dinner. The woody, creamy and earthy notes would complement a decent cognac or even armagnac perfectly. This cigar is a great choice for an intermediate to veteran smoker as the transitions are subtle in nature and give off some more complex flavors.

davidoff-702-series-special-r-review-cigar-on-st-dupont-lighter-cutter-man-of-the-world

Verdict

Overall, I give this cigar a 8.75/10. To me this is a weekend cigar – one that is occasional, won’t break the bank and totally worth the time.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Christopher Benedetto
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Chime In

  • Luis Martinez

    Hey Brian! I have never been fond of Davidoff’s cigars (I find them rather mild and bland), but after reading your review I am going to give it a try. Love that you are doing these reviews now! Thanks.

    • Jim Sears

      I agree. Davidoff always struck me as the Heineken of cigars.

      • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

        Oh definitely not! Some people complain about the price – admittedly, they are on the expensive side – but there is a subtlety and nuance that is really wonderful. A classic white label Davidoff is a great afternoon smoke with a coffee.

        • Jim Sears

          Maybe its the ubiquity of the brand. But I make it a rule to try a cigar line/brand at least a few times before I make any final judgment, considering the many factors that go into any singular smoking experience, so I owe Davidoff another go. And I don’t doubt your assessment so I’ll pay more attention this time around. Now I have an excuse to burn one soon!

          • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

            Happy to enable another go with Davidoff! If you like something more full-flavored, try the Nicaraguan or the AVO Synchro. Or the 702!

          • Christopher Benedetto

            Jim, completely agree with trying a line/brand more than once. But I would also urge you to try smoking the exact same cigar, in the same vitola more than once as well. Dependent on conditions surrounding the cigar, i.e. humidity, pairing choice and occasion, you may find you are actually a fan after all!

          • Jim Sears

            Christopher, yes, I definitely repeat same vitola and just stay mindful of other factors to weigh it all in. I should have been clearer. Thanks!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Luis, Davidoff’s classic portfolio is definitely on the milder side, especially if you tend towards more full flavor smokes. However, over time I think you really come to appreciate the subtlety in a classic Davidoff. Words that I always think of when enjoying one are exquisite, refined and sophisticated.

      Recently, Davidoff has added some bigger flavors to the line up. The Nicaraguan comes immediately to mind. One of my all-time favorites and a real classic. The Millenium series has a little spice and and 702 definitely has a lot more flavor. The Yamasa also is flavorful but I have to admit that it is not a favorite and I’ve given it a few tries.

      You might also try the Avo Synchro. Nicaraguan tobacco, great smoke production, amazing flavor and a hell of a bargain.

      • Luis Martinez

        Well, I’m a Camacho Diploma kind of guy, but I will get a couple of these Davidoff and the Avo Syncro. It never hurts to try something new. Thanks Brian.

        • Christopher Benedetto

          Luis, if you’re a fan of the Camacho Diploma and looking for a Davidoff to try outside of the Nicaragua, you also might want to try the Yamasa. It contains more notes of woodiness and pepper than other main line Davidoffs. Also, I second Brian here– the Avo Syncro is a great smoke.

          • Luis Martinez

            Thanks Christopher! Added to the list! I’m enjoying this conversation quite a bit actually! Good tips from fellow cigar smokers.

          • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

            Would be interested in your take on the Yamasa. I’ve tried it a few times and it hasn’t really been my cup of tea.

  • Jim Sears

    Always enjoy your cigar posts. Keep them coming. Great write-up on a brand I don’t pay attention to much. Thanks.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Thanks, Jim. Chris will be contributing regularly so expect to see a new review every other week.

    • Christopher Benedetto

      Appreciate the kind words, Jim. Looking forward to bringing the HSS family some great cigar reviews!

  • W. ADAM MANDELBAUM

    Ashton! If you like mild. With all respect to the late great Zino, price for quality is a tad high–although cigar is top shelf. But Uber alles, de gustibus non disputandum est, as they say in Micronesia.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      What’s your favorite Ashton?

      • W. ADAM MANDELBAUM

        Cabinet.

        • Christopher Benedetto

          The Cabinet series is great for a mild flavor profile, especially the belicoso! Personally, I find Davidoff’s blends to be a bit more in-depth and closer to what I find delightful in a smoke.

        • Christopher Benedetto

          The Cabinet series is great for a mild flavor profile, especially the belicoso! Personally, I find Davidoff’s blends to be a bit more in-depth and closer to what I find delightful in a smoke. Cheers!

        • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

          I’ve not had one. Will have to check it out!