At the 2019 IPCPR Convention Trade Show, Casdagli was showing off a few new items, but only one of them was a new cigar, a lancero for its Daughters of the Wind line.
It measures 7 1/2 x 39, just 1/64 thicker than the official lancero size, and uses the same binder and filler as the regular Daughters of the Wind line, but it wears a different wrapper. The company replaced the Ecuadorian habano wrapper that it normally uses with a Costa Rican claro wrapper. Underneath is a Costa Rican binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Peru.
Of note, the company said that it only had 60 boxes of 12 cigars available for the first shipment in December, though a second shipment was scheduled for March. The cigar is not a limited edition, however; rather it is a very limited production.
Pricing is set at $19 per cigar, which—for context—is more than double the price of the Daughters of the Wind Robusto.
- Cigar Reviewed: Daughters of the Wind Cremello
- Country of Origin: Costa Rica
- Factory: Tabacos de la Cordillera
- Wrapper: Costa Rica
- Binder: Costa Rica
- Filler: Dominican Republic (Caramelo) & Peru (Pinar)
- Length: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 39
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $19 (Box of 12, $228)
- Release Date: Dec. 3, 2019
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The wrapper looks good, a classic slightly red hue with a fairly typical amount of veins. The size is more or less the proper lancero size, not skimping on the extra half-inch in length that so many other lanceros do. Aromas from the wrapper remind me a bit of sand along with leather, paper and some acidity; just short of full in terms of intensity. The foot is medium-full with a very compact bouquet of flavors consisting of chocolate ice cream, acidity, graham cracker and meatiness. Cold draws have lots of espresso flavors with some chocolate milk and a bit of a rustic accent with acidity and some harsh earth.
While I didn’t make much of the resistance during the cold draw—particularly because lanceros oftentimes smoke very different once lit—the Daughters of the Wind Cremello clearly has some issues once the tobacco is burning. I can feel some blockage as I take my first draw, and after jotting down the following notes—a very Cuban profile with a distinct nuttiness, vanilla and butter—I try to find where the blockage is, finding it about a half inch below the very small band. As it turns out, there are issues with all three cigars, both ones I can feel with my hands and ones that I can feel when taking puffs. The first third is woody with coffee, rum, walnuts and nearly no pepper. The finish is grainy with some carrot cake-like flavors, the first time I can recall finding that flavor in a cigar ever, along with a bit of woodiness. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-full and strength. Unfortunately, most of my attention is on the Casdagli’s draw, which is not great. It forces me to smoke quicker or see the cigar go out, and I can’t imagine either scenario is helping the flavor of the cigar.
There are times in which I get the Daughters of the Wind Cremello to cool down enough to let flavors shine, and when that happens, the results can be very good. There are apples, dark chocolate and a very deep cedar that, once again, reminds me of a Cuban profile. Retrohales have a slightly less sweet cinnamon whiskey flavor—so not full-on Fireball—along with a woodiness that reminds me of a campfire the morning after it was burning. The finish has a distinct pistachio flavor along with some herbal and more generic nuttiness; once again, there’s no pepper of which to speak. Flavor is full, body is medium-full, strength is medium and the draw is still awful. As is typically the case when cigars have knots in them, all three are close to the band meaning that I haven’t burned through the impasse yet and it’s a battle between smoking a lancero way too quickly or watching the cigar go out, which is also now happening.
Once again, there are times in which the flavors of the Casdagli are quite good and very detailed. Oftentimes it’s a mixture of damp woods and earthiness, but if I’m able to wait and let the cigar cool down, I can pick up distinct honey and some pleasant minerals. Retrohales have cinnamon, leather, earthiness and a flavor that is a dead-on ringer for a Serrano pepper. After a retrohale, the finish will keep that pepper flavor along with the woodiness which I think is more or less just a result of the overall build-up, not necessarily the unique flavors the cigar is producing at this point. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-plus. The issues with the draws are pretty high up in each cigar, meaning by the time I burn through them it’s more or less past the point of enjoyment for a typical cigar. Relights continue and on at least two samples, becomes a battle I simply cannot win.
- We ask each reviewer to smoke three cigars and to only smoke three cigars. In the interest of full disclosure, I had to put down one of those samples midway through, due to construction-related issues at our office which prevented me from continuing the review. I scrapped that score and smoked another one. That particular cigar wasn’t really any different, up until that point compared to the three that were scored.
- Given my continued draw issues, I was curious to see if the whole box was affected. Nearly the entire box was, but after I scored the other three—and wrote the tasting notes above and the description you see next to the score—I smoked one of the two samples in the box that didn’t have an issue when I
fingerfuckedexamined the cigars. That one was far more enjoyable and a very good cigar.
- For those of you super interested in our processes, I’m the one that assigns cigars for people to review. I just open up the box, bundle or bag they came in and take out three cigars at random, usually the first three that my hands touch. Every once in a while there will be some obvious issues related to packaging and I’ll specifically pick the cigars that aren’t covered in glue, but that’s done because I don’t really want to be smoking cigars covered in glue for health reasons, not because we are trying to make the cigars score as high as possible.
- And for those wondering, I don’t use a draw poker for reviews because that just seems unfair to the cigars which are rolled properly. Furthermore, I don’t travel with a draw poker and don’t have one at home, so I’m not sure using one would mimic what most cigar smokers are likely to do when they smoke the cigars themselves.
- If I was going to write a book about things I’ve learned during my time in the cigar industry, I would dedicate a whole chapter to the intricacies of how poor construction ruins the whole cigar. Sure, it’s quite obvious that if a cigar won’t draw or won’t stay lit the cigar is virtually unsmokeable. But it goes beyond that. I basically just powered through one of the Daughters of the Wind Cremello smoking it in a manner just slow enough to prevent it from going out—my normal approach to smoking—and that meant a puff every 45-50 seconds. Flavors were harsh, details were muted and it was physically not my favorite way to smoke a cigar.
- On a different note, our scoresheet doesn’t really provide much direction when it comes to how to evaluate flavor performance when it comes to whether we should score the average flavor performance in each third, the best flavor performance in each third or the most common flavor performance in a third. There were puffs that were fantastic, but they were few and far between. There were more puffs that were quite bad, but the most common scenario was somewhere in the average range, which is how I approached scoring the flavor in each third.
- I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cigar do this, but the ash in the second third of one cigar got noticeably darker than it was in the early portions. It went from probably a 6/10 on the darkness scale to a solid 9/10, but just on one side of the cigar.
- While the embossing on the band is nice, the text of the band isn’t great. The white doesn’t pop at all and it’s quite blurry, like the early days of inkjet printing. If anything, this is more a commentary of the standard that has been sent by the collective cigar industry about what we expect for packaging. This didn’t look like a middle school art project, but it’s a far cry from what I see on 99 percent of cigar bands.
- Of note, these are different bands than what was on the cigars at the 2019 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, which was much larger than the bands that shipped.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time for the first two samples—ones that I smoked at a pace that I feel somewhat comfortable with—was one hour and 55 minutes. On the last sample, I decided to smoke the cigar as slowly as I could but without it going out—something that was an issue in the first two cigars—and generally just held the cigar in my hand until I could feel it cooling down too much. That ended up taking one hour and 35 minutes.
There are moments where the Daughters of the Wind Cremello shows signs of being fantastic, but I couldn't make it longer than a half dozen puffs without thinking about the draw. In the end, it’s a frustrating way to smoke a cigar from a brand whose cigars I’ve otherwise really enjoyed. It’s tough to say much about the flavor—as it definitely was impacted—but I could write paragraphs about the construction, all ending in the same place: not good. While the cigar lost points for its construction issues, our scoresheet will likely produce a number that is higher than my actual enjoyment was because at the end of the day, I was able to smoke the cigar from start to finish, just with a lot of help from a lighter.