Daughters of the Wind Robusto

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When a cigar company adds a new size to one of its lines, it’s a pretty formulaic announcement and process. The company generally either had a request for a certain size or needed to adjust to changing market preferences, and as such developed the blend to work in that size, either by adjusting ratios to maintain a certain flavor profile or letting the vitola have some impact on the flavor by way of the changing ratios of filler to binder and wrapper.

However, for Casdagli’s Daughters of the Wind Robusto, the company gave the cigar a blend that is different from the other four sizes, using an Ecuadorian HVA wrapper, an Ecuadorian criollo 98 binder and a mix of filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

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While the wrapper is the same, It’s a departure from the Costa Rican binder and filler blend of Dominican and Peruvian tobacco that the original four sizes used, three of which are salomones and belicosos, making the robusto the second parejo in the series.

It’s also the least expensive of the five, priced at $9.25 and offered in 15-count boxes.

“We have been collaborating on special projects with Don Olman for over six years now and are confident the Robusto is in safe hands,” said Jeremy Casdagli, the company’s founder, in a press release at the time of the cigar’s announcement. “The boxes will be the first to exhibit the new ‘Casdagli’ brand name but will continue to show the Colossus of Rhodes within the gold diamond – as diamonds truly are forever.”

The cigar gets its name from a 6th-century Arabian poem and is produced at Tabacos de Costa Rica, the same factory that is home to Atabey, Byron, Cuba Rica and MBombay, among others.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Daughters of the Wind Robusto
  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (HVA)
  • Binder: Ecuador (Criollo 98)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Ecuador & Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $9.25 (Boxes of 15, $138.75)
  • Release Date: December 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The first thing about the Daughters of the Wind Robusto that catches my eye is the band, and namely how it leads me to think it comes from another company. The second thing is the cap, which isn’t the most traditional style as the head is seemingly formed by gathering a strip of tobacco, slightly twisting it and laying it somewhat flat. Once clipped it makes no difference to the rest of the cigar, but the pre-cut visual is definitely different. The wrapper is very smooth to the touch and has an oily sheen to its well-tanned hue, which contrasts with some of the more prominent veins, including one that exposes a seam on one sample. Besides that the roll looks and feels good; there’s some give in spots but nothing overly concerning. The foot has a good amount of fruit sweetness with a bit of spice to it, while light woods intermix themselves in various quantities depending on the sample. The cold draw is a touch firm but not overly tight, with flavors of bread crust and woods, with only a dash of pepper at times and hardly any sweetness save for the final sample that has some fruit cup syrup notes.

The first puffs of the Daughters of the Wind Robusto have a good amount of earthy terroir, reminding me of standing in a freshly tilled field when the land has been turned over and its aroma seems to permeate the air. It’s a chewy, doughy-textured smoke, with puffs in the first half-inch beginning to leave an awkward, somewhat metallic and sour finish on the palate. By the one-inch mark the cigar has shed some of that earthiness, and now reminds me of something with a good amount of seco and viso tobacco, creamy but without much in the way of strength or standout flavors. I’m tempted to peg it between mild-plus and medium-minus so far, though getting some distinct flavors to establish themselves would certainly nudge it up the scale a bit. There is an interesting sweetness that I find wafting through the air as the cigar rests, and it makes me think of the fruity, slightly spicy aroma I picked up off the foot of the cigar prior to lighting. The first thing it calls to mind is a bowl of strawberries with a bit of TAJÍN Clásico seasoning, which is a blend of chili peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice and is used to kick up the flavor of fruits and vegetables, among other foods. The draw, burn and smoke production have all been good so far, with just one sample having some flaky ash that doesn’t hold on well in a breeze.

By the second third, the Daughters of the Wind nudges into medium territory, though it is still fairly restrained and not bursting with flavors, even with some samples trying to push a bit of pepper on to my palate. The smoke getting just a touch thicker and chewier, while the aroma picks up some white pepper that is more prevalent on retrohales than it is on the palate. Retrohales are beginning to get more complex as I pick up some very subtle vanilla in one sample that leads into a pleasing white pepper tingle. The cigar begins to pick up a bit of harshness towards the end of the second third, irritating the back of the throat with a new sensation that I’m a bit surprised to discover given the otherwise smoothness of the smoke. It also turns a bit drier, something furthered by the development of a very dry wood flavor that seems to suck moisture out of the front half of the tongue and provides a contrast to what the first third had to offer. While I wouldn’t call that section particularly creamy, it certainly seems like it when compared to what is being offered currently. The technical performance is still quite good, as regular puffs keep the cigar burning well. 

The Daughters of the Wind Robusto doesn’t hang onto too much of the harshness as it enters its final third, but there is just enough to be noticeable, and when there’s that much, it’s too much for my liking. It’s not a consistent component of the cigar’s profile, as one sample showed it much more than the others, but I get it at some level across the three cigars. The dry wood flavors from the closing puffs of the second third carry over into this section then lead the cigar towards some dry, earthy terroir of a region that I can’t immediately identify. The burn line can waver a bit in this section as well, with one going off-kilter just enough to warrant a quick touch-up. The cigar enters its final third hitting the medium to medium-plus level in flavor intensity, while strength is medium or just below as the sensations on the tongue are much more pronounced than any physical effects felt below the throat.

Final Notes

  • If I didn’t see the logo on front of the bands, I would have sworn this came from MBombay. In fact, I thought I didn’t have these cigars in my possession because I didn’t look closely enough at them, and immediately thought they were an MBombay offering.
  • The fact that this came from the same factory that produces MBombay is even more of an interesting coincidence.
  • The wrapper on the second cigar I smoked seemed quite fragile, splitting a bit in the final third as well as near the cap.
  • Casdagli was formerly known as Bespoke Cigars but changed the name in August 2018 after reaching an agreement with Alec Bradley Cigar Co., which holds the trademark for the word bespoke in the U.S. Outside of the United States, the company is still known as Bespoke Cigars.
  • Casdagli is pronounced cas-dag-lee.
  • Other than the name change, the company’s logo remained the same, which features an image of the Colossue of Rhodes.
  • The company changed the packaging of the of the other four vitolas of the Daughters of the Wind line, removing the tubos that they were packed in over the course of the first quarter of 2019.
  • Given that this was the first release to come out under the Casdagli name, there is no mention of the word on the cigar itself.
  • In July 2018, SmallBatchCigar.com received an exclusive size of the line, a 6 1/8 x 52 Pyramide.
  • Also in 2018, the company released a Salomones vitola that had been aged for four years, with just 50 boxes of 20 cigars available.
  • There’s very little nicotine strength to this cigar, though depending on how the final third goes, you may be left with a lingering taste on your tongue.
  • I’ve come to believe that one of the points we’re not discussing enough, and that manufacturers aren’t encouraging, is whether they blend to a profile that is consistent across all the sizes in a line or whether they allow the vitola to dictate the flavor profile. The former is like a soda: it should taste the same regardless of how much you pour or from what container you consume it, while the latter acknowledges there are ratios in play that will change as a cigar changes shape, notably in how much filler is used.
  • The example I use for the latter is pizza: imagine going from a small to a large without adding more toppings, just adding more dough. That would certainly have an impact on the end product.
  • I’m also not crazy about this size having a different blend than the others; I think if a cigar is going to wear the same band, it should have the same blend. If nothing less, add a secondary band or something that creates some differentiation, otherwise I think you’re asking the consumer to remember too much or setting them up to be misleading.
  • I can’t say I’ve smoked the other sizes in this line, so I can’t provide a comparison as to the two blends.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 30 minutes on average.

The original version of this article reported that the other sizes of the line are all salomones and belicosos; in fact three of them are, the other is a 7 x 56 parejo. We regret the error.

85 Overall Score

While on the mild and somewhat timid side, I definitely enjoyed the first half of the Daughters of the Wind Robusto as there are few times I’ll knock a cigar for being mild and mellow. If anything, I'll take mild and mellow every time over rough, robust and unrefined. Where I did take issue with the cigar is the transformation it goes through just past the midway point, turning anywhere from a bit rough to downright irritating, and for seemingly no good reason. Other than a bit of standard wood and dry earth, I can't say the flavors in the second half were appreciably better than those in the first, leaving the irritation factor as the main differentiator. I'd take the first half of this cigar any morning with a latte, while the second half merits having something to cleanse the palate rather than complement the cigar.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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