At the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Caldwell Cigar Co. not only released three totally reblended brands—Sevillana Reserva, Gibraltar Extra and Muricas Especial—but also debuted a totally new line. Dubbed Blind Man’s Bluff, the new blend incorporates an Ecuadorian habano wrapper covering a Honduran criollo binder along with filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Honduras.
Unlike the rest of Caldwell’s cigars, they are produced at Agroindustrias Laepe S.A. in Danli, Honduras, which happens to be the same factory that rolls all of the Camacho cigars as well as AKA Cigars.
There were three different vitolas available when the Blind Man’s Bluff debuted, all of which are sold in boxes of 20:
- Blind Man’s Bluff Robusto (5 x 50) — $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150)
- Blind Man’s Bluff Toro (6 x 52) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
- Blind Man’s Bluff Magnum (6 x 60) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Cigar Reviewed: Blind Man's Bluff Toro
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Agroindustrias LAEPE S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Honduras
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
- Release Date: August 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Blind Man’s Bluff is covered in a dark mocha brown wrapper that is smooth to the touch, if a bit dull looking upon visual inspection. There is almost no oil present at all, and the cigar is appropriately spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong dark chocolate, coconut sweetness, espresso beans, manure and leather while the cold draw brings flavors of aged cedar, cocoa, bitter coffee, barnyard, leather and strong sweet raisins.
From the first puff, Blind Man’s Bluff Toro starts off the first third with some very strong notes of both creamy leather and bitter coffee grounds, interspersed with flavors of cedar, hay, powdery cocoa, earth and generic nuts. There is a huge bite of black pepper on the retrohale for the first 10 puffs or so, and while it begins to recede after that, it remains strong enough to be a major part of the profile. I am picking up some slight vanilla sweetness on the retrohale as well that seems to be getting stronger as the first third progresses, along with some spice on my tounge. Smoke production is massive off of the foot, and both the burn and draw are excellent so far, with neither giving me any issues at all. Strength-wise, the Blind Man’s Puff starts off well on its way to the medium mark, and while it does not reach it by the the of the first third, there is no doubt it will get there fairly soon.
While the creamy leather and coffee remain dominant, the second third of the Blind Man’s Bluff adds an interesting vegetal note on the finish that gradually dies down, giving way to other flavors of earth, cedar, grass, dark chocolate, peanuts and a touch of licorice. Turns out I was wrong about both the black pepper and the vanilla sweetness, both of which are down significantly compared to the first third, although both notes are still strong enough to distinguish individually. Both the burn and the draw continue to impress, and the smoke production does not seem to be slowing down at all. As expected, the strength hits the medium mark early on in the second third, but seems to stall there, and shows no overt signs of wanting to go any further very quickly.
Coming into the final third, the Blind Man’s Bluff retains the core creamy leather and coffee notes that have been dominant for the entire cigar, along with other flavors of cinnamon, gritty earth, cocoa, barnyard and very slight citrus. The vegetal note from the second third is long gone, and both the vanilla sweetness and black pepper on the retrohale fail to gain any strength after their high point in the first third. Construction-wise, the draw remains excellent, and while the burn begins to waver a bit, it is still far from problematic. The overall strength fails to go much further than a solid medium, and remains there until I put the nub down with about an inch left to go.
- Caldwell announced in October that he will be releasing a new incarnation of his Eastern Standard line that replaces the normal Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper with the same hybrid Connecticut Arapiraca leaf that is used on the Last Tsar, but at a lower priming.
- While the boxes are a bit plain, I love the art used for this release, a man in a bowler’s hat with his eyes wiped out. Very distinctive, and very much keeping with Caldwell’s other releases.
- While the construction overall was quite good, one of the samples had a very open draw that never tightened up. While it was still smokable, it was noticeable.
- The ash for this cigar had trouble staying in place for more than about a quarter-inch before falling. Not exactly flaky, but not exactly what I would call well-formed either.
- This cigar should not be confused with the cigar blog Blind Man’s Puff.
- You can see our coverage of the Caldwell Cigar Co. booth at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show here.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, JR Cigar, Serious Cigar and STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) all have the Blind Man’s Bluff in stock.
I have to say, while I have been critical of some of Caldwell's releases in the past, the Blind Man's Puff is a very nice cigar: creamy and smooth, with just the right amount of pepper on the retrohale. I think a bit more sweetness would have really made a positive difference in the profile—especially in the last two thirds—but I am impressed with how well the cigar cigar is balanced. I am not usually a big fan of blends that incorporate a lot of Honduran tobacco, but the Blind Man's Bluff is a cigar that bucks that trend for me, and is an easy release to recommend.