If you listened to Episode 138 of Stogie Geeks with Robert Caldwell, he mentioned that he had some plans to rework the Junior Varsity line. In a recent report by Cigar Aficionado, plans were announced that the line was being revamped into a new line called Iberian Express. The line will consist of three blends: Sevillana Reserva, Gibraltar Extra and Muricas Especial. The cigar will be made at the new Caldwell Cigar Factory located in Tamboril in the Dominican Republic.
Caldwell explained on Stogie Geeks that the Junior Varsity was originally a line being made by Tabacalera William Ventura and marketed in the Dominican Republic. Caldwell thought they were great cigars and reworked them to have some larger ring gauges (they were all originally small ring gauges). Caldwell mentioned that sometimes the name “JV” (Junior Varsity) was perceived as a “Caldwell Second”. Originally he had planned for Junior Varsity to be the “workhorse” line and Caldwell Collection was going to be his crown jewel. As a result of this, Caldwell Collection ended up taking both roles, thus he made plans to rework it.
The Sevillana Reserva. Gibraltar Extra, and Murcias Especial have similar names to three cigars in the Junior Varsity line – which were Sevillana, Gibraltar, and Murcias. All of the names pay homage to the country of Spain. As Caldwell explained on Stogie Geeks, Spain was the first country to commercialize cigar production in standardized practice. The first factory was in the city of Sevilla while the ports of Gibraltar and Murcia are where tobacco came true. With Iberian Express, Caldwell keeps to theme of Spain (located on the Iberian Peninsula).
The Iberian Express delivers three new blends. The Sevillana Reserva will feature an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, a Dominican binder, and a combination of Nicaragua and Dominican filler. The Gibraltar Extra has a wrapper from Ecuador, a Dominican binder, and a filler blend of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and U.S. tobaccos. Finally, the Murcias Especial features a Brazilian wrapper, a Dominican binder, and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. Sizes have not been disclosed.
Cigar Aficionado reported the pricing will be $6.00 to $8.00 – in the range of the old Junior Varsity line.
In the same report by Cigar Aficionado, it was announced that Caldwell’s production in the Dominican Republic is moving to the new Caldwell Cigar Factory – located right near the Tabacalera William Ventura Factory, who has made Caldwell’s previous cigars. The Ventura family will still play a role in the production process in his new factory.
Caldwell has also announced the upcoming Blind Man’s Bluff release will be made at Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli, Honduras – the Camacho factory. Blind Man’s Bluff along with line extensions to the Caldwell Collection will be showcased at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show.