Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Filler / Binder: Dominican Republic, Corojo
Background: Caldwell Cigar Company has been doing some interesting things over the recent months. The first instance in which I had heard of them is with the Blind Man’s Bluff. While we haven’t reviewed the cigar here at The Cigar Broskies, we have both smoked it and enjoyed it. Then this offering came through and netted the number 19 cigar of the year (in the payday size). So we are giving a whirl to this, the Premier (Robusto) size.
Appearance (0-20): This simple but elegant looking cigar is one that it intriguing for a variety of reasons. The wrapper is solid, with only some small veins and a seemingly tight wrap. There’s a slight discoloration toward the end of the first third of the cigar, which is noticeable if you look closely. At the foot you’ll find a beautifully wrapped set of tobacco, whereas the cap is a tight pigtail. The most elegant part though, is the band. It’s one of the most truly artistic that I have seen – edged in matte gold, the band sports an off-white backdrop and has printed on the sides “THE KING” and “IS DEAD”, but it flanks a throne that is split directly down the center.
Construction (0-20): Nothing really adversely negative to note here. All areas on the cigar feel solid to the tough. It’s well packed from all early indications. Initial cut had only a small amount of debris, and the prelit draw was a bit tight. That same draw remained tight until about a third of the way in, when it opened up a little more fully and hit the perfect resistance. Roughly two inch ashes held firm before getting a little rickety, which shows the quality.
Strength (0-20): The strength here begins in the medium range and amps up quickly to close to the high end of the medium spectrum, then slowly descends. That is until the final third where it kicks like a mule, going hard into the full part of the spectrum. It falls well within the medium to full range that it is being marketed as, though it obviously slides through the range.
Flavor (0-20): The one thing that The King Is Dead has is spades (see what I did there?) if flavor. From the first light you are greeted with a heavy pepper that is counterbalanced with an inherent sweetness. There’s also a nice heavy woodsy flavor. I want to say cedar or oak, but I can’t quite put my finger on which.
Moving through the smoke, the woodsy flavors pick up and take over, along with a very bitter dark chocolate. The same spice exists that is found in the first third but it drops quite a bit here. I can taste a distinct coffee with a bit of cream and sweetness too, though again it’s nowhere near as prominent as the other flavors.
The final third keeps the same base characteristics (woodsy and dark chocolate flavors), but the pepper comes back with a vengeance. Some of the original sweetness from the first third is back to help balance.
Value (0-20): Much of the value here resides with the fact that it is a superb flavor for less than $9.00. Worth it.
Additional Notes: Paired with water. Cigar provided by Cigars City.com.
Overall (0-100): The king may be dead, but this cigar certainly reigns supreme here. The construction and appearance have a couple of small knocks against the stick, which need to be noted. On the other hand, the imagery on the band is whimsical and portrays the brand really well. The strength falls in line as a medium to full, and it pretty well ping pongs in that area.
Now the more interesting part, and where The King is Dead shines – the tobacco. The blend contains what is known as “HVA 20/20”, or the Hybrid Vuelta Abajo 20/20. Along with it is Dominican Corojo Ligero and Dominican Viso leaves. This unique combination leads to a unique flavor. Its complex – and at times I will say there are flavors I missed too (and plan to smoke another one or three to try and catch those). But at its core, you’ll find pepper, oak or cedar, a natural sweetness, dark chocolate, and coffee.
This cigar really hits the mark. Hop over to Cigars City.com and pick up a few!