The shape of smoke
In 1968, Russian-born Zino Davidoff—whose well-stocked tobacco store in Basel, Switzerland, had already made him an internationally known purveyor of Havana cigars—was given permission by the Cuban government to establish his own brand. Rather than emulate the colorful bands historically used for Cuban cigars, he opted for a minimalist white oval band with his name in gold script. Even though Davidoff cigars are now produced in the Dominican Republic, the original band remains nearly unchanged and has become a mark of quality among premium cigars.
This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what is now called the White Band, Davidoff has introduced a 6¾ × 50 Diademas Finas (davidoff .com). With its Ecuadoran Habano wrapper, Dominican Olor Seco binder, and 10-year-old Dominican fillers, the cigar’s creamy smoke intertwines around milk chocolate and honey sprinkled with black pepper and a touch of ginger.
The limited-edition cigar comes packed 10 per individually numbered porcelain canister ($360) decorated by French artist Mariane Léger. Also available will be a limited-edition “Caves du Monde” humidor designed by Léger, in gold-inlaid sycamore, birch, or walnut; and a 50th-anniversary lighter. —RICHARD CARLETON HACKER