Caldwell Cigar Co., known for its imaginatively titled cigar releases such as Eastern Standard and Long Live the King, is launching three new cigar lines next week at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show in Las Vegas. The new brands are called Midnight Express, Eastern Standard Dos Firmas and Savages. The company has also teamed up with cigarmaker Ernesto Perez-Carrillo to create a fourth line called Anastasia, which started shipping to U.S. retailers last week.
"We did not want to add another product to our portfolio unless it made our portfolio more dynamic and well-rounded," brand owner Robert Caldwell told Cigar Aficionado. "Additionally, we wanted to challenge ourselves artistically."
Midnight Express is billed as a maduro version of the company's Eastern Standard line, a brand launched in 2014 that wears a hybrid Connecticut-seed wrapper grown in Ecuador. "Midnight Express is Eastern Standard maduro," Caldwell said. "It features the Eastern Standard wrapper but a maduro version with additional fermentation.
The cigar ships in 20-count boxes and will launch in four sizes: Corona, at 5 3/8 inches by 46 ring gauge ($10); Robusto, 5 by 50 ($11.20); Toro, 6 by 52 ($12.60); and Piramide, 6 by 50 ($13.80).
Another variation on the core Eastern Standard line, Eastern Standard Dos Firmas (which Caldwell also refers to as Caldwell Signature) was blended with the help of William Ventura, owner of Tabacalera William Ventura, a cigar factory in the Dominican Republic that handles production for many of Caldwell's lines.
"Signature is a more than 20-year-old creation by William Ventura. He had this blend for years and years. He ‘gave' it to me to use on this project. The signatures on the box are his and mine. It is our first ultra-premium classic Connecticut," Caldwell explained.
Dos Firmas will launch in four sizes, with two named after the dimensions of the cigar: 46x4 7/8 ($9.60); 52x4 3/4 ($10.40). The third is a Piramide, 5 1/8 by 50 ($11.00) and the fourth is a Culebra, with each cigar measuring 6 by 30 (see our video about smoking culebras). The eye-catching creation will retail for $15.00.
Another brand, Savages, is a single-vitola release billed as a limited-edition extension to Long Live the King, a line released in 2014. Savages measures 6 by 46 and will retail for $11.
"It's a softer blend than Long Live the King," said Caldwell. "It features a Habano wrapper, debuting in one size in a 10-count box. The artist [who designed the band artwork] is Pixel Pancho, a major artist out of Italy."
Finally, Caldwell has joined forces with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo of EPC Cigar Co. to create Anastasia, the follow-up project to The Last Tsar, a Caldwell cigar brand that depicts Nicolas II, the last Tsar of Russia on its band artwork. The new cigar shows an image of Princess Anastasia, the long lost daughter of Nicolas II, on its band. Anastasia has shipped to a small group of retailers in the United States and Europe and is available in four sizes: Caspia, at 5 3/4 by 43 ($12.50); Kartel, 5 by 49 ($13.30); Mercure 7 by 47 ($14.00); and Opera, 6 by 52 ($14.70). The cigar ships in 20-count boxes and is rolled at Perez-Carrillo's Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., located in the Dominican Republic.
Caldwell Cigar Co. has declined to release full blend details of its new cigars at this time. Midnight Express, Eastern Standard Dos Firmas and Savages are rolled in the Dominican Republic at Tabacalera William Ventura and will start shipping to retailers during the IPCPR trade show next week.