Cigar Reveal #106

S&T ID #106
Brand Caldwell Cigar Co.
Cigar The King Is Dead
Wrapper Dominican Republic
Binder Dominican Republic
Filler Dominican Republic
Retail Price $13.00
Tasting Notes Initial red pepper spice, cedar, maple, milk chocolate, cream, natural tobacco

When asked how he would characterize a Caldwell cigar to someone that's never had one, Robert Caldwell replied, "Flavor first. Equilibrium. Balanced. Simple yet sophisticated." Taste familiar? Caldwell began his cigar journey in the now-trendy Wynwood district of Miami. He partnered with Christian Eiroa (Camacho) to form Wynwood Cigars, but when that dissolved he teamed up with a small factory in the Dominican Republic called Tabacalera Ventura to produce cigars for his new company. In 2014, Caldwell released three debut brands: The King is Dead, Long Live the King, and Eastern Standard. Of his new cigars he said, "I wanted to produce cigars that were multi-dimensional and that tasted different than what was on the market. I don't like cigars that are too much of anything. Too rich, spice, creamy. Too much of anything is bad. I like balanced and well-rounded cigars that are also dynamic with a lot of character." It worked. Within a couple years Caldwell cigars were a fixture on most shop humidors in the country, and in 2015 The King Is Dead earned a spot on Cigar Aficionado's Top 25 Cigars of the Year list. Caldwell now has several regular production cigars, along with collaborations, limited editions and even other cigar brands. For The King Is Dead, he used a special wrapper called 'negrito' that is rarely used due to it's "difficulty to play well with other tobaccos." It took sorting through hundreds of blends to finally get it right. We're of the opinion that it was well worth the effort.

Review #1 Cigar Aficionado
Review #1 Content
(Ranked 2015 #19 Cigar of the Year) These cigars may be whimsically named and the packaging might look a bit avant garde, but The King is Dead is an interesting brand that uses uncommon tobaccos—and uncommon imagery. The band features a surreal imprint of a split throne. If you look passed the artsiness, you'll find that brand owner Robert Caldwell has sourced some rare tobaccos in the blend, specifically a type called HVA 20/20. It's a Cuban hybrid developed by Dominican grower Leo Reyes and is rarely used. The wrapper is grown from another Dominican varietal called Negrito. When blended and rolled into a torpedo, one gets The Last Payday. The name is unorthodox and perhaps doesn't evoke visions of the everyday smoking experience, but this cigar combines the nuance of maple sweetness and the tonality of earth in unexpected ways.
Review #2 Cigar Coop
Review #2 Content
the torpedo-sized Last Payday seems to be the blend that worked the best here. I felt it delivered the best flavors and had a nice amount of smoothness. The King is Dead is consistent with with the other cigars of the Caldwell Collection in that “it brings something different to the table” – and this is something I like in a cigar. The King is Dead is not only a cigar that I would give to a new or experienced cigar enthusiast, but it would be something I would make a box purchase of.