The greatest luxury in anyone’s life today is time. It’s part of what makes smoking a cigar or pipe so great. We stop whatever it is that we were doing, cut, light and smoke— whether it’s for 15 minutes or a few hours.
Those precious moments, spent alone or with the camaraderie of good friends, bring a unique pleasure to our lives. It’s a luxury independent of price. As our friends at Davidoff say, it’s “time beautifully filled.”
As with most consumer goods, prices of premium cigars have increased over time. It wasn’t that long ago that the most expensive cigar we carried was $30.
There are now several premium cigars on the market upwards of $50, and some over $100 including the Davidoff Royal Release Salamone.
What is it that makes one cigar cost more than another? More importantly, is it worth it?
As with any luxury product, there are a number of factors that determine price, but we can boil them down to two simple things: the quality of materials used and the time it takes to create them.
In the world of handmade premium cigars, one of the prevalent factors in the cost of a cigar is the time that tobacco is allowed to age. Bales of tobacco, or rolled cigars set aside to age for years, have an inherent opportunity cost. That same tobacco could have been used much earlier to meet ever-growing demand, but the best manufacturers aren’t just churning out a product. They are artists. Master blenders know that if given time, those tobaccos will grow from ordinary to extraordinary. With the Royal Release, Davidoff maintains a standard so high it starts with the selection of the very tobacco seeds destined to become “royal.”
Davidoff starts with a very special Aromatica Dominicana wrapper, exclusively used for the Royal Release. Along with an Ecuadoran binder and Dominican fillers, the tobaccos are aged for 8 years before they are rolled. Davidoff already maintains a strict standard for those who roll their White Label cigars, requiring a minimum of 10 years of experience. For the Royal Release, 8 expert rollers have been chosen, each with a minimum of 15 years of experience.
It takes two to three hours to enjoy a Royal Salamone. As one customer who buys them regularly shared, “at that rate, it’s priced just like a normal cigar.”
We were recently able to procure a 100-count crate of the original Royal Release Robustos, which Davidoff has been aging for ten years. With 8 years of aging in bales, plus an additional ten years as perfectly rolled cigars, the only thing these cigars are missing are their signature blue bands. The “Unbanded” provide a unique opportunity to experience a very special cigar, and of course, for a limited time.
As with many things, price and worth are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The Royal Release is without question an exceptional, enjoyable blend. With a medium to full body, flawless construction and a taste unlike anything else we’ve smoked, all I can say is that we’re all looking forward to our next one.