Team Cigar Review: Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto

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Cigar Details: Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Mexican Habano Hybrid
  • Binder: Ecuador
  • Filler: Mexico and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
  • Blender: Robert Caldwell
  • Price: $10.50
  • Release Date: September 2018
  • Source: Caldwell

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is medium brown with some darker freckles. There’s one medium sized raised vein running down the back and the seams are pretty well blended with the color variations. The head appears to be finished off with a deep single cap that ends in a twist with a small pigtail. The band is the standard design for the line in a mocha color and also denotes Sungrown. The aroma from the wrapper is primarily wood with a light sweetness and light spice. The foot brings more wood and a slight tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw brings more wood with a very mild spice to it.

Pre-light Experience

The Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto has a lovely oily and also silky wrapper in texture. There are some medium sized veins present throughout and you can feel them in texture. The wrapper is sporting a lovely Colorado color wrapper and it has a nice strong red hue with some light brown present as well. The wrapper is giving off an aroma of spices, hay, leather and wood, while the foot is showing some aromas of spices, fruit bread and manure.

Pre-light Experience

The Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto has a rustic red copper like hue to the fairly silky Mexican Habano Hybrid wrapper. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll quite firm and the mini man bun head has a well applied double cap. Aromas from the wrapper tell cedar, barnyard funk and some white pepper. Aromas from the foot give the same things but with more intensified notes. Cold draw gives a great amount of cedar and creamed nuttiness.

First Third

The cigar begins with a very full wood note along with a heavy black pepper, but the pepper doesn’t have a bite to it. At a quarter inch in, a creaminess joins, but it’s just as though it’s a delivery mechanism for the pepper. At an inch in, some mustiness joins in with the wood and creamy black pepper. The retrohale carries a fuller version of this same profile. As the third comes to a close, some earthiness joins the profile. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering a great bit of peppery spice and it is paired with this salty wood quality. There are citrus and hay notes present as well, and it is a nice core flavor profile. I would say that the cigar is smoking at medium-full level in terms of strength and body, and the flavors are right there as well. The construction is fairly solid with a little bit of a wavy burn line and with that a solid charcoal colored ash on the end.

First Third

The first third brings forth a familiar and as expected up level of spice. A spicy cedar and dry red pepper takes the palate as well as a fair amount of earthiness, especially on the finish. Retrohaling brings some pretty powerful notes of white pepper doing a good job of clearing my nostrils as well as increased earthiness. Strength is slightly above medium and body is at medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood, pepper and creamy mustiness are all at equal levels with some dry earthiness in the background. At three quarters of an inch in, the pepper fades way back, leaving the wood and some mustiness up front and the profile becomes slightly drying. The retrohale was also slightly drying with wood, dry earthiness and some mustiness. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third of the cigar now and finding it to be nearly identical to that of the first third. It is delivering those salty wood notes that are paired with some peppery spice, citrus and hay qualities. I find this third to be smoking around a medium level in terms of body, strength and flavors, and is a more fitting body and strength for the flavors. The construction has gone downhill a tad, but nothing major with some touch-ups here and there.

Second Third

The second third continues with the same trend of being spice and earth dominant (even more so now actually). The retrohaling is still spice and earth driven. But in the midst of the spice and earth, some unsweetened cream comes through which helps to taper those notes. Strength moves up to medium-full while body maintains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the wood increases in fullness while the earthiness is slightly behind and a slight bitterness joins in. At a half inch in, the dry earthiness takes the lead with the wood slightly behind. There is still a slightly creamy mustiness present. The retrohale has the creamy mustiness up front with a slightly green wood behind it. At an inch in, the wood moves back to the front with the dry earth and mustiness slightly behind. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

When I get into the final third, I find the cigar to be doing what it did in the first and second third. The flavor profile is that of peppery spice, citrus, hay and salty wood, and while it is not a bad profile, it is lacking some depth and complexity. The construction did improve though and I found that the burn line evened out and smoked cool to the end. It smoked at a medium level in terms of body, strength and flavors, and it was an uneventful finish.

Final Third

By the last third, the spice and strength become too strong for me. The strength is full making my head spin. The core notes are still, for the most part, there though with dry red pepper, cedar, earth and a faint unsweetened cream. Body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was a bit wavy throughout. In the final third, the cigar struggled to stay lit and went out once requiring a re-light. The ash held on through each third.

Burn

For the most part, the burn line was good on the cigar. It was a little off in the second third but it recovered in the final third for a nice finish. The cigar produced a solid charcoal ash and it held on well throughout each third.

Burn

Burn performance was good. Two rather major touch-ups were required as the wrapper refused to burn. Other than that, rock solid ashes, good ash retention, smoke production and a cool burn.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar had a unique flavor profile in the first third with wood, black pepper and cream and then settled into a musty wood and dry earth profile the rest of the way. Construction was pretty good and I didn’t have to pay much attention to it. Strength was medium plus the whole way. The flavor profile wasn’t one that I typically gravitate to as it was a bit drying and too wood and earth focused. For those that do like this type of profile, it does provide full flavors. I probably won’t revisit this cigar anytime soon, but I would smoke it again on occasion if I had access to it.

Draw

From start to finish the cigar had a solid draw. It was never snug or loose, but smoked just right and presented no problems. It had a cool draw from start to finish and you can’t ask for more from a cigar.

Overall

Overall, the Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto is an uneventful cigar. It lacks complexity, depth and transitioning and instead produces a core flavor profile that is present from start to finish. It is not a bad profile, but if you are really looking for something special you won’t find it here. It is a shame too because I have been a fan of the original Eastern Standard and have enjoyed the Midnight Express. This really brings down the Eastern Standard “brand.” Other than that, construction was fairly solid, sloppy second third, but a solid medium body and strength cigar.

Draw

Draw was perfect.

Overall

The Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto is quite a departure from the Caldwell style of cigars that I know. The Caldwell that I know is basically the opposite of what this cigar brought. Opposite of heavy spice, earth and strength. While I can be appreciative of this style of cigar, it’s not really my cup of tea. In conclusion, if you ever complained about Caldwell cigars being “too light” or “not enough spice,” bitch no more. Welcome the Eastern Standard Habano.

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

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$1.83

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$1.91

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.27

Cost/Point

$1.68

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Caldwell Eastern Standard Habano Robusto

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