At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Caldwell Cigar Company introduced its third ongoing production under its Eastern Standard brand, the Eastern Standard Sungrown. As the name indicates the Eastern Standard Sungrown introduced a Sungrown wrapper offering into the line. In this case it’s a Habano wrapper. Caldwell Cigars has been known to do some innovative things in terms of releasing blends with unique wrappers. In this case, its a sungrown Habano wrapper originating from the San Andres Valley of Mexico. Today we take a closer look at the Eastern Standard Sungrown in the Toro Extra size.
When Caldwell Cigar Company began in 2014, the company launched three premium lines under the umbrella of the Caldwell Collection. These lines include Long Live the King, The King is Dead, and Eastern Standard. Since then, these lines have now started to morph into brands of their own as there have been several extensions introduced. As mentioned the Eastern Standard Sungrown has grown to three ongoing productions. There has also been a one-time limited edition with the Eastern Standard Dos Firmas.
- Eastern Standard (Connecticut Shade)
- Eastern Standard Midnight Express (Maduro)
- Eastern Standard Dos Firmas (Caldwell Signature – limited edition)
- Eastern Standard Sun Grown (Habano)
The Eastern Standard has certainly utilized some unique wrappers. The original Eastern Standard Sungrown utilizes a unique Connecticut Shade Hybrid wrapper. The Eastern Standard Midnight Express uses a hybrid Connecticut Arapiraca wrapper that was found on the Caldwell’s The Last Tsar line. The San Andres Habano wrapper, while not unique, is certainly one we do not see a lot of.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the San Andres Habano wrapper, Eastern Standard Sungrown also utilizes tobaccos from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Pennsylvania. Consistent with the other offerings under the Eastern Standard brand, the Eastern Standard Sungrown is produced at Tabacalera William Ventura in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: San Andres Habano
Filler: Dominican, U.S. Pennsylvania
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
The Eastern Standard Sungrown is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes
Robusto: 5 x 50
Double Robusto: 5 1/2 x 56
Toro Extra: 6 1/4 x 54
Magnum: 6 x 60
The San Andres Habano wrapper of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro had a near chocolate brown color with a slight rosado tint to it. There was a light coating of oil on the wrapper. While there were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, this was a wrapper that was on the smooth side.
The band of the Eastern Standard Sungrown has a similar design as the other offerings in the Eastern Standard line, but with a different color scheme. The band has the black pencil sketch of a bearded man on an antique yellow background. Above the sketch is the text “EASTERN STANDARD” and below it is the text “SUNGROWN” each in black font arranged in a curved fashion. To the left of the band is the text “CALDWELL” in gold font. To the right is the text “LIVE EAST DIE YOUNG” – both in black font. There is also some white trim surrounding the center of the band as well as along the sides.
After placing a straight cut into the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra to remove the cap, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw of this cigar delivered notes of unsweetened cocoa powder, classic wood, and a slight amount of cedar. This wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the pre-light draw is not scored in our assessment, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to light up the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra started out with a combination of chocolate, classic wood, plum sweetness, and red pepper. During the first third the chocolate and wood notes moved into the forefront. Meanwhile the plum and red pepper settled into the background, however, there were times the plum sweetness did make its way into the forefront. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of red pepper mixed in – as well as a slight amount of the plum sweetness.
During the second third of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra, the classic wood notes remained in the forefront. The chocolate and plum notes receded into the background. Meanwhile the plum sweetness morphed into a natural tobacco note with some sweetness. There was also a slight increase in the red pepper notes.
The last third of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra saw the natural tobacco notes displace the wood notes in the forefront. To a lesser extent some of the chocolate notes increased. In the background, there were still notes of wood and pepper present. This is the way the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
At times, the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra showed a jagged burn line. This was also a cigar that needed several touch-ups along the way. While the touch-ups kept the cigar burning in a straight path, I did find this cigar needed more touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra had a medium-gray color. This was an ash that wasn’t overly firm. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
As far as the draw of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra went, this was one that was very open – border lining on loose. In the end, I didn’t find the draw caused any combustion problems while puffing, but it was still one that was looser than I prefer.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body of the Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra, this was a cigar that was medium strength and medium body. For the most part, there was little in the way of variance of the intensity levels of either attribute. During the smoking experience, both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
This cigar was a bit of an enigma for me. The Eastern Standard Sungrown Toro Extra was a good cigar. The tasting notes weren’t cookie-cutter and they kept me interested from start to finish. There also was a nice amount of complexity to this cigar. On the other hand, I was still looking for a little more in the way of “wow” factor with this cigar. This is a cigar that I could recommend to either an experience or novice enthusiast. As for myself, this is certainly a cigar that I would buy one of and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Classic Wood, Chocolate, Plum, Natural Tobacco, Red Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Finish Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Caldwell Cigar Company Launches Eastern Standard Habano at 2018 IPCPR
Brand Reference: Caldwell Cigar Co
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop