It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Caldwell Eastern Standard in the Euro Express size. This 5.5×44 stick features a Connecticut Hybrid Ecuadoriano wrapper – a darker Connecticut variety – with a Dominican binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. It has a tiny pigtail cap and a very cool label.
On the cold draw, I pick up a damp cedar flavor. The wrapper gives of minimal cedar aroma, while I smell much of the same out of the foot but with a fruity element to it. Once lit, I get creamy coffee alongside light cedar on the draw. Through the nose, the smoke is very smooth, and I get more cedar and a slight earthiness. The finish offers even more cedar complimented by white pepper and additional earth.
Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I pick up cedar with toast and creamy wheat. Through the nose, butterscotch blends with a hint of spicy citrus. The finish offers white pepper on top of grass and earth. Strength and body settle in at the medium mark.
Fifty minutes in, I say goodbye to the second third. More cedar and toast greet my palate on the draw with the addition of white pepper. The retro-hale changes to a blend of light caramel and pastry dough with a hint of spice. I pick up more white pepper on the finish alongside a mild coffee. There is no change to strength or body.
The final third closes out at one hour and fifteen minutes. On the draw, a spicy cedar mixes with white pepper and faint leather. Through the nose, I pick up the same flavors with an increase in spice. The finish hits me with even more white pepper on top of a smoky cedar. Strength and body finish out at the medium mark.
The Caldwell Eastern Standard is a pleasant offering with a good amount of complexity and enjoyable flavor. Its wrapper, although darker than most Connecticuts, is deceiving as this is by no means a mild stick. The smoke is balanced, and construction is spot on. It won’t blow your mind, but I definitely recommend trying it out.