Wrapper: Araparica Connecticut Shade Hybrid Maduro
Vitola: Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52)
Brand: Caldwell Cigar Co
CigarNoise Price Range: $15 – $19
Availability: Limited Edition (500/10 count boxes)
Source: CigarNoise Member Emantest
The Last Tsar Belicoso – Opening Thoughts
I found myself fortunate enough to have a fellow CigarNoise member, Emantest, send me Caldwell’s limited release The Last Tsar Belicoso. He asked me to review it and after hiding it away in my review humidor for 200 days, I obliged. I’ve smoked many of the cigars offered in the Caldwell Cigar Company line, but this was my first time with this one. Many thanks to Eman for his generosity.
The marbled and medium-brown wrapper had some visible veins and seams, with minimal tooth and a noticeable sheen from the slightly oily surface. Mild barnyard scent and a nice cinnamon finish teased from the wrapper. The foot of The Last Tsar smelled of dry hay and cinnamon. I clipped the pointed cap of the cigar to find a cold draw with light citrus flavor backed up by a sweet cinnamon essence.
The Last Tsar Belicoso – First Third
Dry Wood, Leather, White Pepper, Sweet Citrus, Cedar, Caramel
After flame met the foot, the initial draws brought dry wood, leather and an intimidating amount of white pepper. The white pepper was exquisitely perfect, warm without burying the other flavors. Just as the pepper began to diminish, sweet citrusy notes slid into the mix, balancing out the heat. Midway through the first third, the generic wood flavor clearly transitioned to cedar coupled with a caramel finish. As the cedar clarified itself in the profile, more white pepper established itself as a major player in The Last Tsar.
The medium heat of the retrohale featured more of the white pepper spiciness, but remained enjoyable. Mechanically, The Last Tsar showcased a draw with the perfect amount of resistance. Smoke production was off the charts as well. While the burn line couldn’t be described as pretty, the waviness remained in check and required no correction. This medium body, full strength first third was a spicy treat.
The Last Tsar Belicoso – Middle Third
Cedar, Natural Tobacco, White Pepper, Sweet Cream, Caramel
Removing the secondary band became a necessity to begin the middle section of The Last Tsar. Cedar notes remained in the forefront, followed closely by natural tobacco. While drastically diminished, the white pepper was present as well. In the waning moments of the profile, a sweet cream mixed with caramel arrived, changing it up from the citrus in the first third.
Cool and creamy were the standard in this segment’s retrohale. In an almost shy fashion, white pepper showed up reluctantly. I also noticed the caramel making itself known as the last tendrils of retrohale smoke vanished.
The char line began to have a mind of it’s own, wavering off course. It was more than a minor issue and I applied a correction to set things straight again. It may have been named The Last Tsar, but I was still the boss. The smoke production was immense, filling the smoking area with aromatic goodness.
The Last Tsar Belicoso – Final Third
Cedar, Tobacco, Cinnamon, White Pepper, Sweet Cream, Red Pepper
A glance at my timepiece told me I was approaching an hour of smoking as the final third arrived. The cedar notes remained up front in diminished amounts. Stronger tobacco mingled with cinnamon, balancing the cedar perfectly. And with vengeance, white pepper cranked up a couple of notches, returning to the power level it displayed in the first third.
The heat of the retrohale also ramped up with the white pepper, transitioning to a torch-like red pepper flake. Sweet cream tempered the heat in the end, but only after The Last Tsar revealed it’s spiciest moments.
I corrected the burn once again as one point of the burn line raced towards the finish line. That issue not withstanding, smoke continued to pour from the cigar, heady and enjoyable right to the end.
Full Bodied Profile
Excellent Smoke Output
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