KBF

Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe

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 This is a cigar that would fit into every past decade without being outdated of old-fashioned.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

Categories: 91, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , ,

Bespoke Traditional Cottontail

Even though we have so many mutual friends and we have been Facebook friends for a while, I never met Jeremy Casdagli in person until my friend Nasier introduced us at the Intertabac trade show in Dortmund last september. We chatted a little about tobacco and Jeremy was so kind to give me the Bespoke Traditional Cottontail for a review on my blog, well, as promised, here’s the review.


The cottontail is a vitola that was extinct for over half a century until Bespoke started making this vitola again, its a 5 inch long cigar that starts out with a ring 52, a robusto you might say but at the foot it’s 62 ring gauge and that makes it a figurado. Now I’m no fan of big ring gauges but because of this shape I’m intrigued on how it smokes and what it does for the development of flavors since the filler to wrapper ratio changes from start to finish.


The moment I take the cigar out of the cellophane I am hit by a strong aroma, hay and straw, very nice. The shape of the cigar and the closed foot are very unique and I love it. The wrapper has a nice coffee color, a little oil and no real visible veins, its a smooth looking cigar. The green and golden ring is very traditional, as the name suggests, not specifically my taste but of a good quality printing.


I used my Xikar double guillotine cutter to decap the cigar. The cold draw is crazy hard but that’s because of the closed foot. I taste spices and pepper. I used my vintage lighter to light the cigar. After lighting the draw opens and I taste a nice, smooth coffee with some nutmeg and a honey sweetness. After a third I taste creamy buttery toast and cedar with cinnamon and nutmeg. A bit lily French toast. Halfway I taste a creamy vanilla, like melted vanilla ice cream with some toast. The final third is more like a five spice mix with a little bit of pepper and some vanilla in the aftertaste.


The draw is fine. The light gray ash is firm and dense. The burn started a little off, it’s hard to get an even burn with a closed door but it corrected itself. The smoke is thin though, unfortunately. This is a medium bodied, medium full flavored cigar.  The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wouldn’t mind smoking it more often.

Score: 91
number91

Categories: 91, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , , , , ,

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