What do 2014, 2016, and 2018 have in common? Each of these years ended with a top-10 position for Caldwell Cigar Company in Cigar Dojo’s annual rankings. Moreover, each of these appearances showcased the likeness of Hans Nielsen Lahkso, Caldwell’s imagined Finnish fisherman, who has been featured front and center on each of the brand’s four Eastern Standard cigar releases.
Traditionally, Eastern Standard has leaned towards the mild end of the “cigar body” spectrum, with both the original release and the followup “Dos Firmas” showcasing Connecticut-inspired blends. Company owner Robert Caldwell has made it clear that he prefers nuanced flavors over heavy-handed strength; but with the latest addition to the ES brand, he’s given in to a strong consumer demand for increased intensity. In fact, when the Eastern Standard Sungrown first debuted at this summer’s IPCPR trade show, the cigar was described as the strongest blend in the entire portfolio of Caldwell cigars!
To fit the amped-up profile, Caldwell moved from a Connecticut wrapper to a unique, hybridized varietal—crossing a Cuban seed with Mexican origins (this falls in line with the original ES cigar, which also featured a hybridized wrapper). This atypical, sun-grown wrapper has been paired with an Ecuadorian binder and fillers of Mexico and the Dominican Republic (with the latter being the most common tobacco origin for Caldwell’s many blends). While not quite as intricate as some of the former ES releases, we found that the Sungrown still brought enough rich flavor to counter the added strength. This is an uncharacteristic style for Caldwell, showing that this eccentric brand has more versatility than previously imagined.
Eastern Standard Sungrown Breakdown
- Wrapper: Mexican-Habano Hybrid
- Binder: Ecuador
- Filler: Dominican Republic | Mexico
- Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitolas: 4
- Price: $10.50 – $12.40 (MSRP)