Robert Caldwell's cigars have burst onto the cigar scene and are rapidly gaining popularity amongst seasoned cigar smokers who appreciate complex and unique cigars. The King is Dead, Long Live the King, and Eastern Standard are three such cigars. All use rare, aged tobaccos, and are blended and rolled to perfection, creating intriguing, and sometimes intense, smoking experiences. Eastern Standard is the mildest, though not a "mild" cigar, with a Connecticut Hybrid wrapper. Long Live the King is a step up in flavor, with a delicious and beautiful, oily Corojo wrapper. And, The King is Dead, a Negrito wrapped, nicotine filled powerhouse.
Knowing that his previous blends may be "too much" for some cigar enthusiasts, Robert Caldwell decided to blend a new series. These new cigars needed to be more approachable in both flavor profile and price. At the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) 2015 show in New Orleans, he introduced exactly that. We've waited over to months for them to ship, dribbling in anticipation of what was to come. Yesterday, they finally arrived! I immediately opened the box from UPS, tearing at the packaging like a kid at Christmas.
The full boxes of cigars looked like many others - nicely finished, with Blind Man's Bluff logo printed on the lid, and sealed with a sticker reading "Imported Tobacco - Seal of Guarantes from Havana seed Tabacos torcidos a mano - Honduras". Wait! Honduras??? Now, that's a huge deviation from Caldwell's previous Dominican sticks! Before opening, I flipped the box to reveal big block letters - Hecho A Mano Honduras - above the Caldwell Smoking-man-riding-a-bicycle-and-firing-a-pistol logo. And, to the left of that, another surprise! A Caldwell Word Search puzzle. Being fairly good at word games, I immediately started hunting for the hidden words. I quickly found the word "buy", followed by "toy", then "cow", and "bed", "van", "foe", "cot". But there had to be more to it than that. A 12x18 grid of letters had to contain some four, five, or even six letter words. I searched and searched. There must be Ligero or Piloto or Torcedore or even Leaf in there somewhere. I found the words "Cheap" and "Aim", and even "Ide of Daiwa", whatever the heck that might mean. Was this a joke? I quickly opened the box, expecting to find a card or note with either a list of words or at least a clue. But there was nothing.
Nothing, that is, except 20 beautiful cigars with rich, brown wrappers, individually cellophaned and looking like they needed to be smoked. I immediately pulled one out and began my review. The wrappers were perfect, no big gnarly veins, consistent coloring (a sign of proper fermentation), and a light oily sheen. I had just done a review (on YouTube) the day before on Nat Sherman Timeless Nicaraguan cigars, whose wrapper was very oily, so I didn't fully appreciate the how perfect Caldwell's wrappers were, until I sat down to write this article and looked at them again.
It was time to light one up! Immediately upon lighting, I found Blind Man's Bluff to be medium to full flavored, with that delicious richness of the Habano wrapper coming through, loud and clear. As I smoked it, I found the draw to be perfect, while the ash hung on for a good long time, both signs of a well-constructed cigar. The flavor was consistent throughout the cigar, a sign of perfect blending.
I don't do reviews and tell you things like "leathery notes with a hint of jasmine and peanut butter". I was drinking a cup of coffee while I smoked it. You might be drinking Scotch or wine, or maybe had too much White Castle for lunch. Everybody's taste buds are different, and will present flavors differently. I can tell you that this cigar is medium to full flavored, medium bodied, has a delicious Habano wrapper, and tasted great. Caldwell Blind Man's Bluff cigars achieve what they set out to do. They're a great medium smoke, well-balanced and complex, in a flavor profile that should be appealing to a large segment of cigar smokers. I would encourage everyone to give them a try.