Caldwell The King is Dead
Another 100 Degree day in El Paso. I spent the morning swimming and now I am back home, on my back porch firing up a Caldwell Cigars The King is Dead paired with a bottle of Stone’s Farking Wheaton w00tStout.
The Good Stuff:
As we all should know by now, Caldwell cigars is founded by Robert Caldwell who is best know for his work with Christina Eiroa at Wynwood cigars. The King is Dead is the third cigar in the Caldwell portfolio (with more on the way). We’ve taken on the Long Live the King and the Eastern Standard and will do what we can to review the new blends on the way. Caldwell Cigars separates themselves from other cigar manufacturers by utilizing rare and vintage tobaccos in their blends. The King is Dead features a Negrito Dominican wrapper from 2008 with a Corojo Dominican binder from 2006 around Dominical Corojo Ligero from 2006, Dominican Negrito Viso from 2008 and HVA 20/20 from 2010. The Negrito tobacco isn’t used very often in other blends out today, and Caldwell states that it’s difficult to get this tobacco to play nice with other tobaccos in the blend, but the team over at Tabacalera Ventura made it happen. (Thanks Cigar Coop for the info). The King is Dead is packaged in boxes of 24 with the exception of the Broken Sword which comes in a box of 37. The blend is offered in four sizes: Broken Sword Negrito (40 x 5), Premier Negrito (50 x 5), the Last Pay Day Negrito (52 x 6 Torpedo) and the Supreme Negrito (52 x 7) running between $7 and $12 a stick. I got mine over from our good friends at Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert, Arizona.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Negrito Dominicano 2008
Binder: Corojo Dominicano 2006
Filler: Corojo Ligero Dominicano 2006 (30%), Negrito Viso Dominicano 2008 (20%), and HVA 20/20 2010 (50%)
Pairing: Stone Farking Wheaton w00tStout (Imperial Stout 13% ABV)
Caldwell’s The King is Dead starts out with a very consistent medium-brown wrapper. The wrapper carries a few average sizes veins and a small amount of natural tobacco leaf webbing. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself with a very smooth texture, almost no tooth, and a decent amount of oils. The wrapper feels pretty thin a delicate while the cigar itself has a slight sponge feel to it as it leads up to a beautifully round, stubby, pigtail cap. The King is Dead is polished off with a manilla and gold band with gold metallic accents and “The King Is Dead” printed in black ink.
The wrapper on the King is Dead gives off a magnificent spice and syrup aroma while the foot of the cigar is just a bold with lots of pepper and spice over the same syrup and natural tobacco. The cap cut like butter under my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw is extremely bold featuring some pepper, spice, lots of musk, and some sweetness.
Caldwell’s The King is Dead starts off with a decent little black pepper blast which quickly fades away as the cigar lets loose a crazy amount of bold flavor leading with some musky molasses, strong spice, brown sugar, and oak. The draw is perfect. Each little puff kicks out a great amount of thick white smoke while the cigar releases only a mild amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is thin and solid leaving behind a trail of compacted medium gray and white ash which held on for an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of Caldwell’s The King is Dead and the flavors have started to mellow out a bit, but are still a bold bunch. The oak and dark chocolate lead the way with a good amount of espresso, spice, and sweetness over a great musk. The retrohale is very sharp with strong spice and oak. It’s a bit rough so I don’t find myself doing it too often. The cigar is burning like a champ, dead even, and I close out the second third with only a very slight nicotine kick.
The strength and pepper really ramped up into the final third of the King is Dead. The flavors are still real bold and the oak and dark chocolate still lead the way accompanied by musk, molasses, espresso and some slight sweetness. It took me a little over an hour and a half to take the King is Dead down to the nub and I experienced absolutely no harshness. In fact, I am impressed with how balanced the cigar finished off. It left me with a little nicotine kick too, but nothing too bad.
I’m only 3 blends deep into Caldwell’s portfolio but I’ve been impressed with each and every one so far. The King is Dead is a big, bold cigar that isn’t overpowering in any direction. The flavors are great, and complex but not overdone. It’s a great departure from the norm in terms of flavor while the burn experience was flawless. Caldwell mentioned that the Negrito tobacco didn’t play nice with others, but you wouldn’t be able to tell. The King is Dead burned like a dream. This cigar is a bit pricey, but as with most of Caldwell’s blends the tobacco is rare and hard to find so you kind of expect the higher price tag. The question is, “is it worth it?”. In the case of the King is Dead is most certainly is. This is a perfect cigar from seasoned smokers looking for something slightly different, but solid while this may be a bit more cigar than I would comfortably recommend to novice cigar smokers. Either way, they will easily find a way into my regular rotation.
Stone’s Farking Wheaton w00tStout has a strange name. But when you realize Drew Curtis (founder of fark.com), Wil Wheaton (yes, THAT Wil Wheaton), and Greg Koch (CEO & Co-Founder of Stone) is behind this beer, it starts to make a little more sense. Coming in at 13% ABV this massive Imperial Stout isn’t for the faint of heart. Stone’s Farking Wheaton w00tStout leads with a very bold palate of dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, and spice with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing just as bold with loads more dark chocolate, espresso, and a bit of booze with a cocoa aftertaste. This beer is bold, and strong, and I love it. It paired wonderfully with the bold presence of the King is Dead while the chocolate, spice, and espresso all married up flawlessly. In most cases, this beer can easily overpower cigars but since the King is Dead carries such a heavy body it was able to compliment it without overpowering.