Caldwell Cigars Long Live the King
The Caldwell Long Live the King has been on my radar for a while now. After a long weekend I found the time to jump out back and relax with a cigar and beer.
The Good Stuff:
Well, thanks to a great friend I finally got my hands on some Caldwell cigars. They are pretty hard to find in these parts. Robert Caldwell, owner of Caldwell cigars is best known for his partnership with Christian Eiroa running Wynwood cigars. Last year the partnership had dissolved and Robert has since teamed up with Henderson and William Ventura of Tabacalera Ventura in the Dominican Republic to create his newest blends. One note is that Caldwell cigars often uses rare tobaccos and vintages to create their blends. The Long Live the King features a Dominican Corojo wrapper from 2008, and Dominican Corojo Binder from 2009, and a flock of rare fillers: Dominican Corojo Ligero from 2006 (50%), Viso Pelo Oro Peruno from 2008 (10%), and a Nicaraguan Habano from 2007 (40%).
The Caldwell Long Live the Kings is offered in 4 sizes: The Heater: (5 3/4 x 46), The Petit Double Wide Short Churchill: (6 x 52), The Marquis: (6 x 60) and the My Style is Jalapeño: (7 1/4 x 40). Each size comes in boxes of 24 and run from $9 to $12 a stick. I got a handful of these from out great friends over at Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert, Arizona.
Size: 5 3/4 x 46
Wrapper: 2008 Dominican Corojo
Binder: 2009 Dominican Corojo
Filler: 2006 Dominican Corojo Ligero, 2008 Viso Pelo de Oro Peruno, 2007 Nicaraguan Habano
Pairing: Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis (Oatmeal Stout 7.2% ABV)
The Caldwell Long Live the King starts out with an absolutely gorgeous, consistent dark brown wrapper. There are a few noticeable darker areas surrounding the foot and the natural webbing in the cigar. The cigar carries a very rugged texture with some soft tooth, and a whole ass-ton of oils. The wrapper sports only a few smaller veins through its slender body as it leads up to a beautiful round, triple cap with a stubby little pig tail at the end of it. The cigar feels very firm, and very tightly packed with no soft spots at all while the wrapper feels pretty stable and thick.
The wrapper on the Caldwell Long Live the King gives off a bold pepper, spice, and cashew aroma while the foot of the cigar releases a very sharp pepper which made my nose tingle with some great cedar underneath. The cap cut very clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw wasn’t nearly as pepper-filled as I was expecting as it produced a more nutty/grassy flavor with some slight spice and pepper underneath.
The Caldwell Long Live the King starts out with some smooth cayenne pepper, which like the cold draw wasn’t nearly as potent as I was expecting. The pepper quickly made it’s exit and I was left with a lot of cashew, cocoa, vanilla, spice and cedar. The cigar starts out very bold right off the bat in both the flavor, and strength departments. The draw is perfect despite how tightly this thing it packed. Each little puff kicks out a thick cloud of white smoke. The burn line has a ton of small waves, but if you average them all out it’s burning pretty solid and I don’t see any immediate problem areas. The ash left behind is a bit flaky and medium gray in color. It only held on for about 3/4 of an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Caldwell Long Live the King and I’m impressed with how bold this cigar is. The flavors haven’t really switched up much, still leading with lots of cedar, cashew, vanilla and cocoa with some nice pepper, spice, and some great honey. I’m not picking up the sweetness from honey, only the flavor, in fact the flavor profile of the cigar is quite dry (like dry wine, not dry as in moisture). The burn line is still a bit wacky, and probably do to the amount of Ligero in the cigar it has gone out on me twice. I’m not bothered by that at all, but I need to remember to pick up the pace to keep this bad boy lit. The retrohale is really bold showcasing a lot of the pepper I picked up in the pre-light. I am already feeling a decent little nicotine kick as I close out the second third of the Caldwell Long Live the King.
The Caldwell Long Live the King is still rocking hard. The flavors are still very much the same. Lots of cocoa, cedar, vanilla, and cashew with some nice spice and honey but there has also been the introduction of a very bold musk into the final third which adds an unbelievable amount of character to the profile. It took me an hour and forty five minute to smoke this thing, it burns really, really slow and I experienced absolutely no harshness build up into the final inch. The Long Live the King left me with a hell of a nicotine kick, so be ready for it.
This is the first of many Caldwell cigars I hope to review in the near future, and it was a great one. I’m all about full flavor/full strength cigars that don’t overwhelm you in either direction and the Long Live the King did just that. The bold flavors with a slight complexity made for an interesting experience that kept me wanting more while the full strength kept me wide awake. It’s not a cigar for the faint of heart and would probably be a bit too powerful for the novice cigar smoker, but I really think that more seasoned cigar smokers would love to take this cigar for a spin. It’s a bit pricey, the it delivered enough for the price and I expect this cigar to have a place in my regular rotation.
Our partner Jeff and I have been trading beers left and right over the course of the last year or so, and this is one of the many he has sent my way. Big thanks Jeff, I’m all about trying beers I would never really get a chance to otherwise. The Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis is a 7.2% ABV Oatmeal Stout with vanilla bean added at different intervals throughout the brewing process. The beer starts out with heavy chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt with a very heavy mouthfeel finishing with a slight hop, mild vanilla, a ton of brown sugar and malty goodness. The pairing was easy as I knew the chocolate and vanilla would match up well with the cocoa and vanilla in the Long Live the King, while the beer was bold enough to keep up with the pace the cigar was setting. I think the Long Live the King would also pair great with a bold, black coffee, rich tawny port, or a bold porter.