Team Cigar Review: Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express Robusto

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Cigar Details: Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Arapiraca Connecticut Shade Hybrid
  • Binder: Dominican Habano
  • Filler: Dominican Corojo and Criollo and Nicaraguan Habano
  • Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
  • Blender: Robert Caldwell
  • Price: $11.20
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: Caldwell Cigar Co.

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is dark brown and has one medium sized vein present and a patchwork of very fine and smooth veins. The seams are nearly invisible. There appear to be two well applied caps with the top one being finished with a man bun. There are two bands. The main band is the standard Eastern Standard band although the colors are reversed so that it is primarily black instead of the white of the former. There is also a white foot band that reads Midnight Express. I get almost no aroma from the wrapper. The foot aroma is a very light, sweet hay. The pre-light draw brings some light, sweet hay and a little pepper. There is also a decent spiciness present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express Robusto has a gorgeous, oily sheen, medium brown shade wrapper. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. The slight pigtail cap has a well applied, thick triple cap. Nosing the wrapper gives cedar and slight black pepper. Nosing the foot gives pungent black pepper and cedar. Cold draw tells sawdust, black pepper and cedar.

First Third

Initial draws bring a nice dose of cinnamon with a woody finish. Cinnamon is also on the retrohale. An eighth of an inch in, the cinnamon mellows quite a bit and the woodiness moves up front. The retrohale is now a mix of cinnamon and wood. At a half inch, the cinnamon has left the profile and the wood has transitioned to a more defined cedar. There is also a slight floral note that has joined in. At an inch in, the cedar is very mellow along with the floral note in the background. The retrohale also now carries the floral note. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third is mild-medium.

First Third

On first draw, I am immediately greeted with full and distinct sweet creamy bread. Further, notes of construction paper, lightly toasted wood, faint black pepper and an oiliness coating the entire tongue paired with dry nuts. An inch in, intermittent faint ripe stone fruit enters the palate. On the retrohale, welcoming intensified black pepper, sharp cedar and dry nuts. The finish is rather short with construction paper, sharp cedar and medium levels of black pepper on the back palate. Strength and body within the entire first third is at medium.

Second Third

As this third begins, the cedar transitions to oak and tastes a little dirty while the floral note has gone away. The retrohale is just oak. A half inch in, the dirty oak remains and is becoming slightly drying. At an inch in, the dirty component subsides and the profile is now just a slightly dry oak. The retrohale is primarily oak with a slight bit of pepper. As the third comes to a close, there are hints of the cinnamon that was present in the previous third. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Second Third

Second third continues its sweet and creamy bread note in spades. In addition, construction paper, lightly toasted wood, faint black pepper and the oiliness discussed within the first third has now formed into a distinctive oily cinnamon zing. Through the nose, still a welcoming, intensified black pepper, sharp cedar, bread and dry nuts. The finish is still short with construction paper, sharp cedar, medium black pepper and a hint of metallic note. Body and strength continues to be at the medium mark.

Final Third

As this third begins, the oak gains quite a bit of char. At a quarter inch in, the added char brings a slight bitter finish, The retrohale is also charred oak. At an inch in, some of the char starts to fade away and the pure oak comes up front. An inch and a quarter in, a toasty note joins in with the oak while the char has completely gone away. As the third finishes, the toasty oak remains along with the retrohale also carrying the toasty oak. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Final Third

Last third, although still having a delicious profile, decreases in complexities and shows some youth. The profile is better melded as there is no longer the sweet, creamy bread in spades, but rather better bound especially with dry wood. Also, still the same faint black pepper and a generic oiliness on the tongue. A slight harshness and ashiness forms, making me believe time will help wrinkling this out. Through the nose, a tapered down black pepper, cedar and dry nuts. The finish is namely construction paper, slightly metallic and sharp cedar. Body and strength continues to be at the medium mark.

Burn

The burn line was razor sharp through the first half of the cigar and then got a bit wavy the rest of the way. Ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

Burn was perfect. Total smoking time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is about 30 – 45 minutes longer than expected. Burn line was razor sharp, with sturdy ashes averaging 1.5 inch increments.

Draw

The draw carried just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The first third carried a very nice profile with cinnamon, cedar and a floral note. The second and final thirds settled into more of an average profile of oak along with some char and toasty notes. If the flavor profile from the first third had continued on, this would have been a great cigar. The strength level is something that most smokers could enjoy and the flavor profile will probably fit in most peoples wheelhouse. This is another nice cigar from Caldwell and I can definitely see myself smoking this again.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Very Good
Very Good First
Third
Very Good
Average Second Third Very Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Very Good Burn Amazing
Amazing Draw Amazing
Good Overall Very Good

Draw

The draw was also perfect. Just the right amount of resistance to pull all the flavors.

Overall

The first two thirds of the cigar was bomb. I couldn’t get enough of that sweet creamy bread note. A cigar like this is my kind of pace. Granted, I would have enjoyed a bit more spice and a longer finish, but this was downright a tasty cigar I would smoke all day long. I would like to try this cigar in a few months to see how the last thirds youth shakes out. Even at its current state, I would smoke countless of them (i’ll just pitch it after the second third).

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.87

Cost/Point

$1.63

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

8.33

Cost/Point

$1.34

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Caldwell Eastern Standard Midnight Express Robusto

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