Hendrik Kelner

The Discovery of Yamasá

Hendrik Kelner

Photo: Oettinger Davidoff | Hendrik Kelner has developed a new tobacco area for the Puro d’Oro

There has been much speculation about the new Puro d’Oro series, but now the facts are on the table. For the all-Dominican Puro, Hendrik Kelner has not only perfected a new wrapper but also started a tobacco farm in a previously undeveloped area of the Dominican Republic. “It was a long journey accompanied by many difficulties and surprises”, says Kelner.
For a long time it simply did not seem possible to realize the tobacco expert’s dream of developing a Dominican Davidoff wrapper that would meet his high standards.

One day, however, Kelner was analyzing climate statistics when he discovered an area that seemed to have the perfect relative humidity, precipitation and population density to fit his plans. “It was not a traditional tobacco-growing area, but I was convinced that the conditions were ideally suited to my purposes. Chemical soil analysis also promised hitherto undreamt-of tobacco aromas and tastes.” Kelner is talking here about the southern town of Yamasá in the Ozama River valley.

Davidoff Puro d'Oro

Photo: Oettinger Davidoff

“We harvested the first Criollo tobacco in 2004 and soon recognized its unbelievable potential”, says Kelner. “But it took all our knowledge and skill to get good results.” Following harvest, the wrappers undergo several years of drying, fermentation and aging. During fermentation they acquire their typical dark and somewhat rustic texture with an oily sheen. The Puro d’Oro series is being launched in four formats. With the pigtails on the cap, the series has adopted a trait of such earlier formats as the Davidoff No. 1 and No. 2 created in 1967. The golden footband on the cigar bears the name of the respective format. The new cigars are packed in a manner similar to that of Davidoff products in the 1940s: in bundles of 25, tied with a silk ribbon, and packed in a paper-covered box. 

This article was published in the Cigar Summer Edition. Read more

His journalistic career began in 1979 as a freelancer for German-language newspapers in the US, and later for Austrian media including Die Wochenpresse and Das Wirtschaftsblatt. For ten years he also produced programs for over 60 radio stations around the world. In 1994, Reinhold C. Widmayer devoted himself to all things cigar, publishing technical articles in cigar magazines. He began working for Cigar Journal in 2001 and became editor-in-chief in 2005; under his auspices the journal has established itself as the world’s leading cigar magazine.


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