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 beginning a dive into the Caldwell Cigar Co Crafted & Curated Series (and continuing my Caldwell kick) with one of the cigars based off an existing cigar. Louie the Last is a spinoff of The Last Tsar that utilizes the same tobaccos, however the binder and wrapper underwent a different fermentation process.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: El Maestro
Wrapper: Hybrid Connecticut Arapiraca Maduro
Vitola: 5 ¼ x 52 Corona
Price: $12.00 MSRP
Release Date: July 2022
Company Website: www.caldwellcigars.com
I am anticipating a pretty full flavor, body, and possibly strength experience, especially for Caldwell. Regarding flavors, I can’t really recall what I got from the only Last Tsar I smoked a few years ago. I think, based on scent, I am looking out for citrus and floral notes, along with earth, oak, and maybe leather.
I really like the Last Tsar band and I like the addition of the Caldwell Crafted & Curated band. The wrapper is dark with an almost reddish hue. It’s a bit rough looking, but not bad. This cigar is very fragrant. It’s creamy citrus, plum, and spices on the nose with some floral notes as well. The cold draw is slightly fruity, but has more bread and cedar than fruit.
First light brings about a ton of smoke. It’s full bodied with medium-full flavors of a musty charred wood, some toast, and a bit of baking spice. The retrohale is very nice. It’s a ton of sweet, creamy pepper, with just a bit of earth and savory wood. Quickly I am about halfway into the first third and the draw flavors are pretty medium now. There is a slight dark chocolate and citrus component, but mainly there’s coffee and wood. Nearing the end of the first third oily pepper and damp earth are beginning to take prominence on the draw. The first third comes to an end with a bit of drying spice and berries. The performance has been flawless so far.
The second quickly shows an uptick in the flavor back to medium-full. The berries have dropped out quickly leaving behind a lot of wood, earth, and drier baking spices. The retrohale still has plenty of creamy, sweet pepper and earth, but has some of the dry baking spices as well. The halfway mark sees the reemergence of the dark chocolate and citrus from earlier, along with the addition of some oily oak. The retrohale really brings out the chocolate and adds a bit of bitterness that balances nicely. The second third is closing out with the performance remaining flawless.
The final third starts off with an interesting metallic note and some musty earthiness. The berry sweetness seems to be faintly there on the finish. Hitting the primary band the berry sweetness is becoming more prominent on the draw and has a musty and creamy component. There’s some more oily wood accompanying it and a bit of pepper as well. The retrohale has become very bright with citrus, berries, and subtle baking spices. Into the band point there’s a bit of tangy chocolate joining the berries and wood, along with a touch of pepper. Coming to an end there is a bit more berry sweetness and pepper on the draw. The performance remained flawless to the end.
The first third had quite a bit of interesting flavor notes and changes. There was almost always some wood and baking spice components, but also different levels of earth, pepper, fruit, coffee, and dark chocolate. The second third reiterated a lot of these flavors in varying combinations. The final third began to really harken on the berry notes and oily wood before adding some chocolate and pepper. Throughout the cigar the retrohale offered some really nice citrus and baking spices, sometimes with creamy pepper, other times with berries. It should be noted that the cigar performed flawlessly throughout the 56 minute smoking time. Honestly, I think this was a really well done cigar that had a lot of interesting and attention getting flavors and transitions, however I don’t think that I will grab anymore before they’re gone. I do recommend that you try a single if you get the opportunity though. I liked the cigar, and enjoyed the experience, but sometimes I just smoke cigars that don’t resonate with me for whatever reason, and this was one of those times.
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