For all of the background information on this cigar and nearly everything else you can find out about its inception, check out our interview with Robert Caldwell and Jeremy McDonald. Read Eastern Standard Euro Express (Pre-Release) Review to get Josh’s take on one of the three debut blends from Caldwell Cigar Co.
Rolled: Tabacalera Ventura
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Smoked for review: Two
Size: 5×40 (Corona)
Wrapper: 2008 Negrito Dominicano
Binder: 2006 Corojo Dominicano
Filler: 2006 Corojo Ligero Dominicano 30%, 2008 Negrito Viso Dominicano, 2010 HVA 20/20 50%
This corona was draped in a leathery brown-shaded wrapper. Across the majority of the cigar were minuscule dark spots, the pattern of their appearance wasn’t uniform. This was only apparent on one of the samples. The feel of this cigar in the hand was solid with no soft spots and a tight pack. Pre-light notes from the foot consisted of white pepper, faint must and cedar. The wrapper emitted leather, faint barnyard and mineral. The cold draw was firm but still open, containing hints of bread, leather and a resonant red pepper.
Upon lighting The King Is Dead imparted an abundant amount of salt to the tongue. Through the retro-hale a red/white pepper combination cut through to become the primary tone above everything else. Almost parallel in flavor intensity with the pepper was a woody note, mostly reminiscent of oak. Undertones of vegetal and mulling spice were detected predominantly through the retro-hale. Encompassing nearly every aspect of the profile was an aura of smokiness. Basically, everything had a slightly “smoky accent” to it. Salt, oak and mulling spice on a long finish. Medium-full body. Mild-medium strength.
The salt which came on pretty strong during the first third transitioned into more of a citrus note. Originally, the salt was only detected on the tongue but at this point, the citrus was encountered in the sinus as well. Oak from the first third morphed into cedar. The red/white pepper combo became a more pronounced red pepper and remained the dominant note on the retro-hale. A new note that made its entrance during this third was bread, most reminiscent of pumpernickel. Leather became more and more apparent towards the end of the second third. Mulling spice continued its presence as an undertone. Much like the first third, everything still seemed to be enveloped in an aura of smokiness. Citrus, dark bread (pumpernickel) and mulling spice on a long finish. Medium-full body. Medium strength.
Citrus transitioned into an undertone beneath oak and leather, which became the principal flavors in this third. Red pepper and pumpernickel alike maintained yet at a marginally lessened capacity. Two new undertones that made an appearance were caramel and coffee. The caramel was primarily on the palate, while the coffee was chiefly on the retro-hale. The subtle mulling spice notes never wavered throughout the entire cigar. The “smoky aura” of The King is Dead was a constant. Citrus, pumpernickel and caramel on a long finish. Medium body. Medium strength.
It comes as no surprise that this cigar would be classified a Regal…Woody with pepper and smoky intonations. One samples was much more peppery in the first third but on both the pepper calmed in the latter two thirds.
The faint smokiness that encapsulated all the flavors in this cigar added a unique touch. There are times in a smoking experience when a unique aspect can damage the quality, but in The King is Dead’s case, it did nothing but enhance it. The King is Dead balances those unique aspects with a classic taste that delivers the goods. Fantastic construction, smoke production, draw and burn on both samples. An excellent debut cigar.