This July Caldwell Cigar Co unveiled a new series of cigars known as “Crafted & Curated”. There are four inaugural releases, with three of them being tied to existing cigars in the Caldwell Cigar Co lineup. The concept behind the Crafted & Curated series is that Robert Caldwell, founder of Caldwell Cigar Co, often experiments with different tobaccos and blends while in the factory and this series allows him to share his experiments. The cigars in the line are limited with various numbers released of each blend.
Today I am going to be smoking the Anthènèe. This is a play on the Eastern Standard, but with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and, I believe, a different binder. This is also in a vitola that is not offered in the Eastern Standard. Beyond the blend, this cigar is also manufactured a bit differently. It is rolled wet before being packed and aged in the paper bundle found in the box. I can’t even say that I am interested to see how this will compare to the Eastern Standard, because this is much different.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: El Maestro
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Vitola: 5 ¼ x 52 Robusto
Price: $15.00 MSRP
Release Date: July 2022
Company Website: www.caldwellcigars.com
Knowing Caldwell and the general profile of the Eastern Standard, I do anticipate this cigar to be full of flavors, but not overpowering to the palate. I look for cream, nuts, wood, earth, and sweetness. However, Robert mentioned in a PCA video that the rolling and aging method yields an interesting, floral, perfumey like flavor. So I am looking for something like that in the profile. I don’t think there will be much of any strength, but I am sure there will be some pepper.
First off, as I mention every time I talk about Caldwell, I love the presentation of this cigar. The wrapper is very clean and soft, with an interesting, right vein structure. The cigar is firmly rolled and dense. It honestly offered very little on the nose - maybe just some deep earth and baking spice. The cold draw has some creamy leather, earth, and orange zest to it.
First light brings about full flavored, medium bodied smoke with a lot of toast, baking spices, a bit of burnt caramel, and some pepper leather and cream. About a half inch in the body has come up to full and the palate is a very creamy baking spice and earth combination with just a touch of wood and pepper lingering into the finish. The retrohale brings out a bright peppery, floral note followed by some creamy, tangy chocolate. Passing halfway in the first third there’s a salty wood that starts the draw before showing citrus and spices. The performance has been perfect through the first third.
To start, the second third is presenting a pretty savory profile of lightly salted nuts, wood, and spices with some creamy black pepper into the finish. Quickly I had to touch up a slight lag on one side of the wrapper. Hitting the secondary band the profile has gone towards charred wood, earth, and pepper. It wants to burn a bit wonky so I am going to do a small touch up. The second third closes out with the char calming down on the wood. The retrohale is woody, nutty, peppery, and earthy.
That one piece of wrapper is still fighting me and I have to do another touch up. Fortunately they’ve all been minor. Into the primary band the profile is back to a lightly salted nut and cream with some wood and black pepper. It’s quite full in both flavor and body. Coming to an end no further touch ups were needed. The profile also remained mostly the same except for more pepper coming in.
Overall I thought this was much different, as expected, than the Eastern Standard. This was fuller and more robust at times with wood, pepper, and earth. However, there were a lot of softer notes like cream, nuts, and baking spices. I also liked the times that citrus was present and that saltiness. The cigar did require a few minor touch ups throughout the hour and 23 minute burn time. I think this is worth checking out if you enjoy cigars that float between soft, nuanced profiles and robust, fuller profiles.
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