Brand: Caldwell Cigar Co.
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. (Dominican Republic)
Vitola: Kartel (5 x 49)
CigarNoise Price Range: $11-$14
Source: IPCPR 2016
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Caldwell Anastasia – Initial Thoughts
One of the new releases from Caldwell this year is the Anastasia. Anastasia was the fourth, and youngest, daughter of Nicholas II, the “Last Tsar” of Russia. This history reflects the intention behind the naming as a follow-up to the popular Last Tsar cigar from Caldwell.
Anastasia represents a collaboration between Caldwell and Ernesto Perez -Carrillo. Princess Anastasia is depicted on the main band of the cigar as is the year 1918, the year of her death. A secondary band is emblazoned with her name.
A luxurious, reddish-brown wrapper surrounds my cigar. It feels firm with just a bit of give when I apply slight pressure to it. Outwardly, the construction appears very good. The seams are nearly undetectable and the cap is exceptionally neat.
I gather scents of hay and some earthiness on the wrapper. The foot really pleases, offering hay, raisin and sweet tobacco goodness. The cold draw is easy, and features an even larger bouquet of dried apricot, bread, hay and raisin flavors.
Caldwell Anastasia – First Third
Cedar, Dried Fruit, Honey, Baked Bread, Black Pepper
The first draws after toasting the foot produce copious amounts of smoke layered with flavor. Cedar and dried fruit begin the profile, finishing with a honey sweetness. I am also detecting a subdued baked bread essence in the finish, joined by a hint of black pepper. There isn’t any real heat from the pepper flavor and it is completely absent in the retro hale.
Nearing the end of the first third, our flavors remain consistent but the black pepper heat begins to pick up a touch. It is not at all obtuse and blends well with the other enjoyable flavors. Smoke production is quite good but is thin in substance. Additionally, the burn thus far has been very dependable. While the char line hasn’t been crisp, it has been completely maintenance free.
It is rumored Anastasia’s family was disappointed that she wasn’t a boy as they were hoping for an heir to the tsar. They may have been disappointed at the time, but this cigar is representing well as a follow-up to the Last Tsar, showcasing complex flavor transitions within the first third and great smoke production.
Caldwell Anastasia – Middle Third
Cedar, Baked Bread, Nutmeg, Tea, Mild Tobacco, Honey, Cashew, Black Pepper
Although many flavors from the first third carry over into the middle portion, there are new attendees to the party. Cedar and baked bread continue to entertain and are complimented by hints of nutmeg, tea and mild tobacco. Cashew and black pepper round out the guest list, mingling quietly in the corner.
The retro hale experience is smooth and full of rich, aromatic cedar with a remarkable honey finish. The strength of this cigar is becoming more noticeable as well, accompanying heavier billows of smoke for a thicker mouthfeel.
Caldwell Anastasia – Final Third
Cedar, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Raisins, Baked Bread, Mint, Citrus
Familiar cedar leads me into the final stage of this experience, with black pepper and tobacco flavors charging forward. The punishing power of this duo somehow still makes room for raisin, baked bread and an interesting addition of a citrus nudge.
As witness to Anastasia’s complexity, these underlying flavors continue to transition in and out of existence during the entire final third. It’s a truly rewarding characteristic of this cigar. The burn has remained consistent and the draw has been just perfect from the start.
Thick and smooth, the smoke quality has really changed as well. It is satisfying both on the palate and in retro hale. Just when I thought Anastasia had shown all her colors, the retro hale becomes heavy with a strong mint quality. Imagine dropping a couple drops of pure mint oil right on the tongue. With the heat becoming preventative, I finally have to call the experience a wrap.
Great Flavor Complexity
Near Perfect Draw
Maintenance Free Burn
Wavy Burn At Times