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’s review is a spinoff of maybe my favorite regular production cigar in Caldwell’s portfolio - Long Live the King. The Crafted & Curated version is known as Montrose. This cigar utilizes a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper in place of the Dominican Corojo that is used on Long Live the King and replaces a Corojo leaf with a Dominican Aromatico leaf. It appears that that Corojo leaf may be Peruvian, as the original blend has Peru listed in the filler. I am quite interested to see how this Montrose holds up Long Live the King.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: El Maestro
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Vitola: 6 x 50 Toro
Price: $17.00 MSRP
Release Date: July 2022
Company Website: www.caldwellcigars.com
Long Live the King was probably the most robust of the initial “core” offerings in the Caldwell line (before some others joined the fray). This, and the wrapper swap to Nicaraguan, make me think this will be a robust, bold, slightly strong cigar with plenty of pepper, spice, and earth, but I look for those flavors to be balanced with coffee, sweetness, and maybe some fruity components.
I’ll skip the part where I praise Caldwell’s artwork, as that is a given at this point. The wrapper is medium brown with some blotches, but is otherwise clean and soft. The pack is a little spongy in the middle but not bad. It smells mainly of general tobacco and wood. The cold draw is nearly exactly like a blue Air Head candy. I think it’s blue raspberry?
First light starts off with full bodied smoke with medium-full flavors of toasted nuts, bread, and some slightly tannic wood. The retrohale off the bat has some soft brown sugar like sweetness, earth, and baking spices. About a half inch in the profile is pretty robust with earth, toast, wood, and black pepper. Passing halfway in the first third there’s some nice citrus sweetness joining the draw. It does require some more frequent puffing, as it went out on me due to inactivity. Otherwise, performance has been great. The relight showed no impacts on the profile.
The second third opens up with more citrus and now some vegetable earth, and dry spices. Nearing the halfway point the retrohale has a lot of roasted nuttiness and coffee now. Crossing halfway the performance has been perfect. The draw is taking on some creamy fruit now. The second third concludes with the cigar going out again.
I relit the cigar and it picked up where it left off, maybe with the cream having more of a sugary sweetness than fruity sweetness. It’s fortunate the relights have not imparted poor flavors. Into the secondary band there’s plenty of nuttiness, earth, spices, and some black pepper flavor. The cream is in and out. Into the primary band I had to save it from going out again. Nearing the end the cigar has got a lot of baking spices and earthiness with some subtle pepper. Coming to an end there is not much to report regarding the flavor and the cigar performed well to end.
Overall I thought this cigar was about average. Throughout there was plenty of flavor with a profile that mostly maintained some earth, nuttiness, baking spices, and some black pepper. The highlights were when some brown sugar, fruity cream, or sweet cream made their way into the picture. They broke up the monotony of the experience. I do think the retrohale was enjoyable throughout and definitely added some needed depth to the profile. The performance was odd. It went out a few times fairly unexpectedly, however, the relights did not impact the flavors it seemed, and there were no touch ups required when it was burning. The final smoke time was about 2 hours and 5 minutes. I honestly can’t say that I would recommend grabbing this cigar, especially at the price point, and certainly not over the regular production Long Live the King.
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