In late January of this year, Caldwell Cigar Co. announced that they would be releasing their first limited edition as a company. While the actual name was not released at the time, if you translated the Cyrillic that came with the image they provided you would see that the title was The Last Tsar. Other clues included the date and the photo with the image released. The date is that of the birthday of Nicholas II, and the image was of him as well. Putting those three things together, and knowing some history of Russia, it was fairly safe to say that the title was The Last Tsar. The actual cigar was being released to selected retailers, and those retailers were the first 49 retailers to open up accounts with Caldwell Cigar Co. when they announced their entry into the industry. I have been a fan of the premium three lines from Caldwell thus far, so let's take a look at their limited edition, The Last Tsar.
The cigar opens up by showing few flavors- bits of cedar, red pepper, and earth, but as it progresses it grows in complexity. Further in I begin to pick up some unsweetened cocoa powders, and it is pairing with some strong tobacco notes and more earthy qualities. Towards the end of the first third I am picking up some subtle chai notes and there is a soft sweet vanilla and cream flavor that is accompanied by some coffee notes. Overall, the flavors almost background qualities, and it is a strong cigar. I would say that flavor wise it is coming off as being medium, and the body is around a medium level. The strength is there, though disguised, and I would classify that as being full overall. The construction however is terrific and it is showing an even burn line with a nice sharp burn line, and it has a charcoal ash on the end. The ash is holding on firmly, and there is a cool concentrated amount of smoke coming off the draw.
As I enter into the final third of the cigar I find that it is showing a major return of the pepper notes, and it is predominately delivering black and red pepper flavors. There are some cedar notes present as well, and it has a dry earth and tobacco flavor on the finish. It is downhill in my opinion to that of the second third, and it is beginning to show the full strength and body qualities while losing some of the positive flavors. I still have faith in the blend, thinking that it will improve with age, but overall this is a stronger cigar and probably the strongest release from Caldwell Cigars. In terms of construction, the cigar burned a little unevenly in the final third and it delivered an ash that that was now more flaky than it was solid and firm as in the first and second third. With that being said, it still smoked cool to the tapered nub, and it produced a a nice bit of smoke as it came to an end.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 88