Cigar: Eastern Standard Euro Express by Caldwell
Year of Production: 2014
In the summer of 1916 Hans Nielsen Lahkso was hired as a boat hand for the United Royal Finnish Herring Oil Company, Ltd. His boat sank off the coast of Iceland soon thereafter. Luckily for young Hans, he was brought to shore by a school of fish that raised him as one of their own. After gaining many friends and amassing an almost comical wealth, young Hans moved to Cuba where he invented dirt. He used to keep this dirt in a secret wooden box in his bed, next to his blankie. This is why we put Eastern Standard Cigars in a wooden boxâ€¦it is representative of the box Hans used to keep his dirt in.
After losing all of his money in a series of bad investments, Hans fled to Dominican Republic, carrying his special dirt with him in his little box. So as not to raise suspicion, he hid the box under his blankie. Hans passed his tradition of dealing dirt down through the generations.
The Eastern Standard Brand pays homage to this 100 year history. Each box has a very old Finnish saying â€œHerring, Dirt, Boatâ€, which is meant to celebrate what the old Herring-os thought made them happy. Herring, Dirt, and Boats.
There was only one thing missing from this formula:
â€œLive East, Die Young.â€
Donâ€™t believe the hype. Make your time count.
Vitola: Corona Extra (5.5×44)
Wrapper: Connecticut Hybrid Ecuadoriano â€“ 2006
Binder: Habano Dominicano â€“ 2005
Filler: Criollo ’98 Viso Dominicano 30% -2005
Corojo Ligero Dominicano 30% – 2006
Habano Seco Nicaraguense 40% – 2007
Appearance: The Eastern Standard is quite unique in its appearance. I always spend a minute or two taking a good look at the cigar itself before I light it up. During this time, I take note of the color of the wrapper, construction of the cap, band artwork and then I look at the foot to see how the tobacco was bunched â€“ itâ€™s just something I enjoy doing; a ritual, so to speak. As I was looking at the interesting Connecticut Ecuadorian Hybrid wrapper, I really tried to find a good comparison to the color, something like â€œcaramelâ€ or â€œpinewoodâ€ but all I could think of was cardboard. The tobacco itself is beautiful and the cardboard color doesnâ€™t at all deter me, in fact, I really like the color! As for the band, we see the profile of a mysterious elderly man. Although Caldwell does not specify who this man is, I have a little conspiracy myself. I like to think that the man on the Eastern Standard band is the father of the boy on the Long Live the King band, as the tobacco in the Eastern Standard is older than the tobacco in Long Live the King. Iâ€™m sure none of that is true, but itâ€™s always fun to imagine. The signature pigtail on the cap is a great touch that really adds to its intriguing appearance.
Pre Light: The aroma off the wrapper is reminiscent of being in the woods â€“ very woody and â€œgreen.â€ The cold draw also provides notes of wood, (oak, to be specific), along with allspice and hay.
First Third: Immediately after lighting the Eastern Standard, I get a healthy amount of almond with notes of green peppercorn and, to my pleasure, some honey and citrus on the finish. The draw is perfect with enough draw to get a good mouthful of smoke but tight enough to burn at a good pace. The Eastern Standard is a solid medium body during the first third.
Second Third: The second third presents a pleasant change of flavors. The green peppercorn becomes more of a classic black pepper and the honey on the finish has faded down to a very subtle undertone that comes and goes. The Eastern Standard presents a very interesting flavor during the second third: Hollandaise Sauce. There is a delicious, rich buttery flavor with some tangy undertones that are complimented incredibly well by the light black pepper notes. The draw and strength remain the same during the second third as they were in the first third.
Final Third: As I come to the end of the Eastern Standard, I anticipate a rise in strength, intensity and spice, but instead I find that the cigar actually remains very consistent during the final third as it was during the second third; neither the flavors nor the strength have changed a great deal. The prominence of the black pepper and Hollandaise sauce are reduced somewhat but the cigar remains flavorful and pleasant until the end.
Overview: Caldwellâ€™s Eastern Standard Euro Express was truly a pleasure to enjoy; both complex and flavorful with outstanding construction. The cigar started off with notes of almonds, green pepper, citrus and honey then moving into a rich, buttery, tangy profile with light black pepper and finishing rich and creamy. The draw was perfect the whole way through on both cigars I smoked for this review and the cigar remained medium bodied throughout with no significant changes in regards to strength. The smoke remained cool all the way down to the nub and never required any touchups or relights, which is always very impressive.
Closing Thoughts: Overall, this cigar is truly exceptional in every aspect. There is not much else I can say that I have not already but if you do get a chance to pick up an Eastern Standard from Caldwell, I would certainly encourage you to try one.