Agile Cigar Reviews replace what we termed “Assessment Updates”. The concept is the same, but the name is different. Agile Cigar Reviews use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or providing a score for a first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Caldwell The Last Tsar Belicoso. This is a cigar we previously assessed back in August 2015.
Wrapper: Araparica Connecticut Shade Hybrid Maduro
Binder / Filler Not Disclosed, but includes Carbonell Tobacco.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera William Ventura)
Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 52
In May 2015, Caldwell Cigar Company launched what was planned to be its first limited edition line, The Last Tsar. The Last Tsar is a cigar that pays homage to Emperor (Tsar) Nicholas II, who was the final monarch of Russia. In 1917, he was forced to abdicate his throne during the Russian Revolution. One year later, Nicholas II and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks.
The first installment was a 5 1/2 x 52 Belicoso size that was offered up to select retailers. This followed up six months later with a Churchill size. At this year’s IPCPR Trade Show, Toro Extra and Corona Gorda sizes were introduced. With FDA regulations now in effect that will make it very difficult to introduce product, it’s unclear if this will remain a limited edition product, but it appears The Last Tsar line isn’t going any where soon.
As for the blend, company owner Robert Caldwell is keeping the details close to the vest. The wrapper on The Last Tsar is the same tobacco leaf that is found on the Caldwell Eastern Standard. The difference is that for The Last Tsar, the wrapper is fermented a little longer and processed differently. While the remainder of the blend is not disclosed, Caldwell informed to Stogie Geeks that the blend includes Carbonell tobacco. Carbonell is a tobacco that was featured on the Falto 20th Anniversary Los Procesos.
When it was released, The Last Tsar was positioned as the strongest offering in the portfolio. While the belicoso has smoothed out a bit since it was released, it still holds that title as it starts out medium to full in strength and body before progressing to medium to full in the second half.
When I first smoked The Last Tsar Belicoso, it had a tangerine-like citrus note. That flavor is still present, but I found it to be less “citrusy”. The tangerine note had a nice fusion with natural tobacco, wood, and nut flavors. Like the first time, I smoked The Last Tsar Belicoso there was a caramelized sweetness that surfaced toward the midway point. The second half was more dominated by wood and natural tobacco notes. There also was more pepper spice in the second third.
Overall, I liked the way this cigar “smoothed” out. It also offered more in the way of complexity. This is still very much a cigar for the experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again and it’s now elevated to a Box Split offering (up from a Fiver last year).
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Medium to Full (1st Half), Ful (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Ful (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
Original Assessment: Caldwell The Last Tsar Belicoso
News: Caldwell Cigar Company Prepares to Release The Last Tsar
Stogie Geeks Episode: Episode 139, Episode 151, Episode 152, Episode 200
Stogie Feed: Caldwell The Last Tsar (Episode 151), Caldwell The Last Tsar Belicoso (Episode 152) Caldwell The Last Tsar Belicoso (Episode 200)
Brand Reference: Caldwell Cigar Co