val-bradshaw-black-white-valbradshaw-copy Davidoff Churchill Cigar. A review by Val.

Davidoff Cigars are produced in the Dominican Republic under the direction of mega-talented cigar blender Hendrik “Henke” Kelner.
He’s one of the Dominican Republic’s – indeed, the world’s – most knowledgeable men on all subjects of tobacco.
Some would say  Mr. Kelner is a genius when it comes to blending award-winning cigars.
In truth – he, and his family – have a dynamic, all-ecompassing work-ethic.


Henke’s vision, from what I’ve observed, is laser-focused.

In conversation with several members of the Kelner family, I’ve learned they take the study & advancement of every aspect of cigar making to its highest levels.

To be as good as the Kelner family is at making cigars, it’s taken a lifetime of continuous study regarding everything that impacts the end result of their craft.
Simply stated, there’s a lot that goes into the growing, blending & marketing of the coveted “Kelner” cigar.

When I’m smoking a Davidoff Cigar, it inspires me.
I’m always impressed with the quality of the leaf & the construction of the vitola and my curiosity takes over, leading me to wonder about the tangibles & intangibles of cigar making. I lose myself in the wonder of it all.
I’m curious about the geography of the land – the soils.
Are they loose or hard-packed soils?
What factors does the “right soil” have to possess?
What happens if there’s too much/too little rain during the growing season?
Does the soil have to hold water or is it better it has the capacity to drain quickly?

This leads me to think about climate. As everyone knows, climate can have considerable influence on the outcome of tobacco vintages. That’s right – vintages.
Tobacco is an agricultural product, meaning every growing season … every different year … has the potential to affect the outcome of the physiology – and ultimately, flavours – of the tobacco leaf.
This is where “cigar blending” is similar to fine wines like those from the regions of Champagne or Bordeaux … where it’s all about the blend.

Cigar production moves at a steady pace from the field to the factory, where the producer continues to monitor things like temperature and fermentation.
After arduous, back-breaking work … the different blends & vitolas, are shipped to market … for us to sit back & enjoy the multitude of marvellous tastes & aromas.

So, Davidoff of Geneva, Mr. Kelner, and everyone involved in the process of making the Churchill Brand … thank you for your commitment to Cigars!
Davidoff of Geneva.



“There is only one Winston Churchill.  There is only one cigar to bear his name.
Davidoff brings you an exceptional new Winston Churchill cigar a blend as complex as the man himself.
A range of the finest cigars inspired by the iconic aficionado, each celebrating a different aspect of his richly complex character.
Our Master Blenders have embraced and accomplished the challenge to craft and blend a range of exceptional cigars as uniquely diverse in character as the person who inspired them.

The Davidoff website is a wealth of information that’s easy to navigate.
You’ll find listings of each of the Churchill Cigar lines, along with scores, tasting notes, strength, provenance and enjoyment time.

I love how Davidoff brought a real human side to the Churchill Cigar line, honoring the man himself by naming each vitola after his cultural & leadership talents.

Limited Edition 2016 – Gran Toro

The flavours and aromas are familiar with the existing WSC cigars, such as pepper, roasted notes, oakwood and leather, but the 56 ring gauge and the Piloto Visus are delivering more intensity and are contributing to a great taste evolution until the last puff

 The Aristocrat – Churchill.
Notes of chili pepper, followed by pronounced leather and roasted flavors.

 The Statesman – Robusto
Leather and dark coffee flavours

The Artist – Petit Corona
Roasted, peppery, oakwood notes

The Commander – Toro.
Spicy, leathery, woody notes followed by creamy sweet influences.

 The Raconteur – Petit Panetela.
Earthy and spicy balanced off with floral notes.

 The Traveler – Belicoso.
Leather and roasted almonds followed by a creamy aftertaste.

You can find the complete line-up by following this link:
Davidoff Churchill

Each cigar carries a famous Churchillian quote. Inspirational, enlightening, witty. As you unwrap and savour the great cigar and the accompanying ‘bon mots’, the conversation will be stimulated in a way that Sir Winston would well appreciate.”


Cigar Trophy 2016.             Cigar Journal

Other nominees for “Best Brand – Dominican Republic 2016” were:
Quesada 40th Anniversary. La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero.
La Aurora 107. Gurkha 125th Anniversary.


val-bradshaw-black-white-valbradshaw-copy Partagás. by Val.
is among the oldest brands of cigars in the world.
It was established in Havana in 1845 and
 is still produced in Cuba for Habano’s SA, the Cuban state-owned tobacco company.

On September 16th, 2016, Cigar Journal announced that Partagás was voted “Best Brand – Cuba” … winning the Cigar Trophy award for 2016!
Partagás History

Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo was the son of Jaume Partagás, a tailor, and Teresa Ravelo.
In 1831 he immigrated to Cuba.
Upon arriving in Havana Don Jamie started working  for Lloret de Mar businessman, Joan Conill.

After a few years, he branched out on his own, and in 1845 established his factory:
La Flor de Tabacas de Partagás.

A strong businessman, Don Jaime owned many of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region of Cuba.
As a result, he was able to select the finest tobaccos to be found on the island.
This led to Don Jaime’s “Partagás” cigar having the flavour & aromas that kept people coming back & made the brand incredibly successful.
It is suggested that Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo was a curious man, experimenting with various methods of fermenting and aging tobacco.

Another of Don Jaime’s claims to fame is he’s credited with installing one of the first “lectors” to read to & entertain the cigar rollers as they worked, a practice which continues today.

Before and after the Cuban revolution, the authentic Cuban-produced Partagás was, and remains, one of the most sought-after and highest-selling cigars in the world.”

Partagás cigars are full flavoured.
Once you’ve tasted a Partagás,
the experience will be burned in your memory.
This is due to their earthy aroma & taste, which comes from the
filler & binder tobacco found in Vuelta Abajo.
Vuelta Abajo is a region unique in the world of tobacco & of Cuban tobacco
as it is the only zone that can successfully
grow all types of leaf: wrapper, binder & filler.

You can get  Partagás cigars in a variety of shapes & sizes, like the Lusitania.
Partagas Lusitania VB.jpeg
… but, according to “The World of the Habano” Partagás is probably the best known for the Serie D No 4, a robusto that dates back to the 1930’s.
Partagas serie d no4.jpg

Congratulations to Partagás on winning Cigar Journal’s
Cigar Trophy 2016
“Best Brand – Cuba”

Cigar Trophy Award 2016. Cigar Journal



Other nominees in the “Best Brand 2016 Cuba” category were:
Cohiba. Montecristo. Ramon Allones. Trinidad.
And the winner is: Partagas.

Cigar Journal. Cigar Trophy 2016

In 1998, Cigar Journal embarked on a series of awards to recognize exceptional Cigars, Cigar Brands and over-all service to, and for, the Cigar Lifestyle.

In 2013, to their credit, Cigar Journal turned the voting over to the consumers, ushering in a whole new era of “Cigar Trophy Awards”.

Starting in late spring of every year, Cigar Journal readers & followers submit their recommendations, followed by voting from all around the globe.

Cigar Journal editorial staff continues to decide on a few illustrious categories, honouring Cigar companies with distinction for extraordinary cigar art, charitable projects, cigar advocacy groups, cigar ambassadors and the ultimate: Lifetime Achievement Award.

On September 16.16, the Cigar Trophy Award winners were announced.
Here are the results:

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST BRAND 

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST BRAND from CUBA:

Nominees in the Cuba category were: Cohiba. Montecristo. Partagás.
Ramon Allones. Trinidad

Nominees in the Dom. Rep. category were: Davidoff Winston Churchill. Gurkha 125th Anniversary. La Aurora 107. La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero. Quesada 40th Anniversary

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST BRAND from HONDURAS:
Nominees in the Honduras category were: Alec Bradley Black Market. Camacho American Barrel Aged. Flor de Copan. Flor de Selva. Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST BRAND from NICARAGUA:
Nominees in the Nicaragua category were: CAO Flathead. Joya de Nicaragua Cuatro Cinco RE. Nub. Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage. San Cristobal (Paradiso)

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST BRAND from the USA:
Nominees in the U.S.A. category were: Casa Fernandez Miami.
El Primer Mundo Liga Miami.El Reloj El Ocho. La Palina Family Series Miami.
Tatuaje Reserva

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST CIGAR

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST CIGAR from CUBA: 
Nominees in the Cuba category were: Bolívar Belicosos Finos. Cohiba Behike BHK 56.
Cohiba Siglo VI. Partagás Serie D No. 5. Trinidad Vigía

Nominees in the Dom. Rep. category were: Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Belicoso. Ashton Symmetry Sublime. Davidoff Escurio Gran Toro. La Bohème Encantador La Scala. La Flor Dominicana La Nox

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST CIGAR from HONDURAS:
Nominees in the Honduras category were: Alec Bradley Sanctum Robusto. Camacho Connecticut Robusto. Flor de Selva Tempo Maduro. Leaf by Oscar Maduro Toro. Rocky Patel Twentieth Anniversary Rothschild

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST CIGAR from NICARAGUA:
Nominees in the Nicaragua category were:  A.J. Fernandez Enclave Salomon. El Centurion H-2K-CT Toro. Padrón 1964 Anniversary Series Exclusivo Maduro. Perdomo Double Aged 12 Year Vintage Epicure Sun Grown. Tabaquero by Hamlet Paredes Toro

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST VALUE

Nominees in the Dom. Rep. category were: A. Flores Gran Reserva. Kristoff Ligero Maduro. La Aurora 1495 Series. Macanudo Inspirado Black. VegaFina Nicaragua

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST VALUE from HONDURAS:
Nominees in the Honduras category were: Camacho Ecuador. CLE Connecticut. Dunhill Heritage. Villa Zamorano. Rocky Patel The Edge

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST VALUE from NICARAGUA:
Nominees in the Nicaragua category were: A.J. Fernandez New World. Brick House.
Cain Daytona. Joya Red. Perdomo Small Batch 2005

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST MEDIUM FILLER:
Nominees in the Medium Filler category were: Flor de Cano. Perla de Calvano. Quintero. Quorum. Toscano Originale

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST ACCESSORY:
Nominees in the Best Accessory Category were: Cigar Traveller Lighter To Jet Flame Converter. Daniel Marshall Treasure Chest Humidor. Davidoff Duocut Double Blade Punch Cutter. Palio Cutter

Cigar Trophy 2016 BEST CIGAR LOUNGE:
Nominees in the Best Cigar Lounge category were: Ashton Cigar Bar, Philadelphia.
Club Macanudo. New York City. Jack’s Cigar Bar & Lounge, Rotterdam.
P.G.C. Hajenius, Amsterdam

Cigar Trophy OUTSTANDING ART 2016:
This award was not part of the public vote.

Cigar Trophy 2016 CHARITY & COMMUNITY:
This award was not part of the public vote.

Cigar Trophy 2016 AMBASSADOR:
This award was not part of the public vote.

This award was not part of the public vote.

Cigar Trophy Awards 2016

Malt City’s Bartop Series Vol. 3 takes place Thursday, September 29th, 6:30pm!

Join Chef David Straub and The Macallan Brand Ambassador Dan Volway for an evening of fine good and stellar #Scotch #Whisky.

Where: the bar top at Malt City Whisky & Beer
100, 2201 – 11 Ave
Regina SK.
Malt City
$65.00 + GST per person
Pick up your tickets at Malt City
or call 306. 559.6258
*Limited Seating

The Macallan Scotch Whisky

Rocky Patel Decade 10th Anniversary – Box Pressed
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Nose: Aroma’s of Cigar. Very little aroma-lift from the wrapper.
Black Pepper. The foot is earthy.
Construction: Loose pack at mid-stick. Very soft.
Ignition: Lights Easily. Stays lit until the half-way point.
Draw: Medium-minus.
Ash: Dark Gray. Fell within the 1st 3rd; repeatedly fell quickly throughout the smoking experience.
Burn /Endurance: Expired at the 1/2 and again within minutes. Needs regular attention. Went out again 1/2″ before the label.
Room Aroma: Heavy Tobacco.
Taste: Black Pepper at the start. Nuttiness through most of the stick. The cigar didn’t reveal the tasting notes suggested on the website.
MouthFeel: Smoke clings to the palate. Sticks like glue to the hard-palate. Becomes bitter past the half.
Nicotine: Heavy. Got a buzz at the 1/2 and with a stronger buzz a couple of puffs after.
Conclusion: Visually, it’s a pretty cigar. Nice dual-label. Thin veins. Smooth hand-feel.
So for appearance, the Rocky Patel Decade is visually appealing
Rocky Patel Out
However, the smoking experience started falling apart before the 1/2 way point. The Rocky Patel Decade needed several re-lights. When it went out for the 3rd time – didn’t make it much past the 1/2 way point – so did my enthusiasm for the cigar.
And it’s not just because of the re-light issues. The cigar is one-dimensional, meaning a variety of taste/aromas didn’t develop through the cigar.
It started & stayed with pepper spice without ever revealing anything else.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

“Rocky Patel
Perfection takes time. For the Rocky Patel Decade, it’s the perfect blend 10 years in the making. The Decade showcases a rare, gorgeous Sumatra wrapper surrounding a secret blend, featuring only the finest tobaccos in the world. The result is a rich and toasty medium-to-full-bodied smoking experience with flavors consisting of espresso, dark chocolate, sweet spice, white pepper with a silky smooth finish. Complexity, balance and elegance earned the Rocky Patel Decade rating of 95 points. It’s an instant classic. Truly one of the best cigars ever made.”
Rocky Patel


   The Cigar: Invictis Centurio. TreJ Cigars.          Invictis Full Stick @ValBradshaw 24pt
Wrapper:  Ecuador Habano.
Wrapper Aroma from Head to Foot:
Quite sweet from the head through to the middle where dark chocolate & vanilla became prominent.  Gets a little mint-y towards the foot.
At-The-Foot: Earthy
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Criollo ’98 and Piloto Cubano
Blended by: Jose Blanco. Las Cumbres Tabaco.
Tabacalera La Palma factory / Dominican Republic. 
Designed by: Emma Victorsson

Vertigo down showing punch cleaner
Cigar Cut & Ignition.
Using the Vertigo Lighter / Punch combo. Great Punch; perfect entry; easy pop-out cleaning head.
TreJ Invictis Ignition: A couple of puffs and we’re smokin’!
Firm pack. Just a bit of a tight draw on the initial puffs, but then it loosens up nicely.
TreJ Invictis Tasting Notes:  Vanilla and Cotton Candy.
Got a bit of mint there. The smokiness is lingering in the back-palate.
Cocoa and coffee coming through on the 1st third.
Heading to the half-way point, Invictis is a medium body cigar with great draw and tastes/aromas of cream, almond & just a bit of graphite.
I’d suggest smoking this cigar more wet than dry. Biting down a bit allows a lot more smoke to filter through. Ash is a lovely white with slight grey striations.
The burn is holding even as it approaches the 1/2 point.
Past the 1/2 point, there was more toasted aroma/flavour on the TreJ Invicitis.
The ash hasn’t yet fallen – to me, a sign of great construction.
The TreJ Invictis is a lovely smoke.
Great for either the novice or the experienced cigar aficionado.
The ash fell just past the 1/2 way point and burns well, needing no additional attention.
Taste & aroma remain true. No sign of “heat” coming through after the ash fell; again, to me, a sign of impeccable construction.
Cigar maintains an even burn as it approaches the band.
As a matter of fact, it’s burning even better. Temperature remains consistent, making the smoking experience a treasure of length, balance and complexity.
There’s no flaws to the TreJ Invictis – often a rarity in cigars. It just keeps burning even & true. A pleasure at any time, this cigar suits any time of day.
You’ll need at least an hour for this cigar … an hour well spent.
Truly, a joy to smoke!

Lot 40 Sideway w: VB promo
TreJ Invictis paired with: Lot 40 Canadian Whisky: Wow. The whisky changed from something sweet to something savoury with the TreJ Invictis Cigar. Lot 40 overpowered the cigar a bit. Aromas and flavours a bit subdued; just a hint of cocoa.
Getting a bit of cereal on the nose at the 1/2 point of the TreJ Invictis cigar.
As the cigar approaches the band, the pairing with the whisky is rather neutral.
It’s a good pair, but the whisky isn’t offering anything that I would call complex.
The finale of the TreJ & Lot 40 Canadian Whisky is pleasant and acceptable.

Legendario Invictis
TreJ Invictis paired with: Legendario Rum:

I love how the cigar smoke has brought out concentrated sweet aromas from the Legendario Rum. On the palate, the creaminess & buttery impressions of the rum is staying true. I got some poppy-seed just now; very cool tasting experience.
Honey comes through on the Legendario Rum nose at the band stage of the TreJ Invictis.
Notes of milk chocolate and sweet cream.
Sweet spice compliments all the other flavours and aromas of the smoke.
Legendario Rum is the perfect pair for the TreJ Invictus Cigar.

Glenfarclas Invictis
TreJ Invictis Paired with: Glenfarclas 40yo Speyside Scotch:

The Invictis Cigar is adding a briny aroma-note to the Glenfarclas 40yo, which is a little unusual, but very interesting and not unpleasant.
Candy Corn on the nose of the whisky. Beautiful fresh rose aroma.
I love the aroma combinations lifting from the whisky, but have to admit that on the palate, the body of the Scotch doesn’t quite match the body of the cigar.
Just got a hint of coconut from the retro as a puff of the TreJ Invictis cigar came through.

Invictis Paired with: Coffee
Espresso expresses a bitterness associated with 70% cacao.
The Invictis Cigar is definitely a cigar best paired with spirits.
The espresso just sticks to the palate a bit too much.

In this #Cigar | #Spirits tasting … it’s Legendario Rum with TreJ Invictis – all the way!
Lot 40 Canadian Whisky is an excellent pair and Glenfarclas 40yo Speyside Scotch makes for a pleasant experience, as well.

The Spirits: Technical Tasting Notes on the Spirits prior to pairing with TreJ Invictis Cigar:
Lot 40 Canadian Whisky
Color: 24kt Gold
Nose: I got a little saltiness on 1st whiff, but that blew off, exposing the spicy sweetness classic to Canadian Rye: Caramel. Orange Peel & Brown Sugar.
Quite Earthy which I think might work well with the TreJ Invictis Cigar
Palate:  Smoke.  Orange Marmalade.  Charcoal on the retro.
Finish: Medium. Sweet

Legendario Rum
18kt Gold
Nose: Candied Lemon. Tropical Fruit. Brown Sugar . Banana
Palate: Butter. Nougat. Almond. Lemon. Tannin
Finish: Medium. Savoury
40% abv

Glenfarclas 40yo Speyside Scotch Whisky
Color: 18kt Gold
Nose: Floral. Marzipan. Hint of Orange
Palate: Orange. Walnut. Sultana. Lemon.
Finish: Long. Tannin. Citrus


In summary:  the TreJ Invictis Cigar works well with any of the brown spirits selected in this pairing exercise. It’s a cigar you’ll enjoy from beginning to end, but for my money, it’s Legendario Rum for the best over-all cigar and spirits tasting experience!
TreJ Cigars
Ron Legendario Rum
Lot 40 Canadian Whisky

Saturday August 6.16. #SmoothDraws #CigarHerf
I smoked the 6.5 x 46 Jericho Hill by Crowned Heads.
Jericho Hill Label

Easy ignition using a Vertigo Lighter.
Tons of smooth, satisfying smoke filled the room.
The Cigar started off rather mild, with initial impressions of Cappuccino … then creaminess.
The ash fell early, within the 1st 1/3.
I prefer when an ash has some staying power.
But after the ash fell, a whole new set of tastes showed up.
It started with the nuttiness of chestnut, followed by distinct red berry fruit. Cranberry.

The Jericho Hill taste profile got deeper as the 1/2 way point approached.
Bitter Cocoa. A hint of gingerbread.
The aroma was topped off with a whiff of roasted meat.

Just as things were getting interesting … the cigar went out.
It re-lit easily and revealed the sweet spice of cinnamon.
Towards the end, the smoke became just a tad cloying, meaning it stuck to the hard palate a bit, but it wasn’t unpleasant.
What I really liked about it, is the tastes from this box-pressed #Cigar lasted well after the end. I was still tasting the cocoa and nuttiness an hour later.

“Jericho Hill is a hedonistic blend of the best Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos, resulting in a rich and robust taste profile that is focused, potent, and complex. The smoke is a full-throttle experience that assaults your palate at break-neck speed, races around your mouth for a hundred miles, and leaves your taste buds in a cloud of power, intensity, and excitement. Manufactured at My Father Cigars S.A., Esteli, Nicaragua, and distributed by Crowned Heads, LLC.”
Jericho Hill Box Press 4 Cigars