Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. This is the first Casdagli cigar to be made in the Dominican Republic. It was released in 2012 under the name Bespoke. Bespoke started with custom rolled Cuban cigars. Then moved to Costa Rica and the company started to gain traction. The Grand Cafe name is a tribute to Bespoke’s first customer, the Grand Cafe in Minsk, Belarus. More on the Bespoke/Casdagli cigar history can be found here.
Two years ago, Bespoke was renamed to Casdagli Cigars. But the blend didn’t change. In a Zoom chat with Jeremy Casdagli and a group of cigar enthusiasts from New Zealand, Canteros.nz, Casdagli’s distributor, offered to sponsor some cigars for reviews. The package arrived soon after and included these Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. The cigars are made with Brazilian Cubra as a wrapper. A binder from the Dominican Republic. And filler from Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican. It measures 7½x39.
The cigar is a looker. Slender and long. Colorado to Colorado Maduro in color. Oily wrapper. Closed foot and a pigtail. With a classy, traditional-looking ring. Green and gold with a vintage picture in the center. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma. Classic barnyard, manure, earthy aromas.
The cold draw is surprisingly good. Even with a closed foot, the draw is great. It leaves a mildly spicy, peppery flavor on the lips. Straight from the start, there is a strong yet sweet coffee flavor. With strong, we don’t mean espresso, but full flavor. It then turns more towards wood flavors, with a little spice. Not pepper, but spice. Yet there is still some coffee on the background. The flavors slowly evolve into earthy, leathery wood, with cumin. But the flavors are rounded, well balanced, and smooth. The second third has a classic mixture of wood, earthiness, leather, coffee with some sweetness. There is a little vanilla. All flavors are brought together by some citrus. The mouthfeel is creamy. The final third leans more towards leather and wood, but with a creamy mouthfeel. Suddenly there is a slight chocolate flavor as well.
The draw is amazing, just like the copious amounts of smoke the cigar produces. The burn is beautiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but it’s not too firm. This cigar is balanced, smooth, well rounded. Elegant in both size and flavors. Traditional, not a powerhouse heavy in ligero. This is a cigar that would fit into every past decade without being outdated of old-fashioned. It’s medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will