During the 2022 PCA Convention & Trade Show, Caldwell Cigar Co. showed off a follow-up of sorts to the company’s Long Live the King line that debuted in 2014. Carrying the somewhat appropriate name of Long Live the Queen, the regular production line featuring is made with a Cameroon wrapper covering a Sumatran binder and filler tobaccos grown in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

 

While four of the five Long Live the Queen sizes are regular production releases, the 6 x 52 Ace of Hearts vitola is limited to 8,000 total cigars. In addition, the Ace of Hearts is the only box-pressed vitola in the line.

Currently, the Long Live the Queen line includes five different vitolas:

  • Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword (7 x 38) — $14.50 (Box of 10, $145) — Regular Production
  • Long Live the Queen Queen’s Court (5 x 52) — $14 (Box of 10, $140) — Regular Production
  • Long Live the Queen Queen’s Crown (6 x 50) — $15 (Box of 10, $150) — Regular Production
  • Long Live the Queen Queen’s Club (6 x 56) — $16 (Box of 10, $160) — Regular Production
  • Long Live the Queen Ace of Hearts (6 x 52) — $18 (Box of 10, $180) — 800 Boxes of 10 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)

Long Live the Queen is rolled at the Ventura family’s El Maestro factory located in the Dominican Republic. The cigars are packaged in 10-count boxes that began shipping to retailers in January.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: El Maestro
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Binder: Indonesia (Sumatra)
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $14.50 (Box of 10, $145)
  • Release Date: January 2023
  • Number of Cigars Released: 3
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: Regular Production

Visually, all three of the Long Live the Queen Queen’s Swords are quite similar: each features the same milk chocolate-colored wrapper with plenty of oil and just a bit of tooth when I run my finger along the length of the cigar. In addition, there is plenty of mottling—albeit in larger patches than I am used to seeing—and each cigar is nicely firm when squeezed. Aromas from the wrappers include strong cedar followed by sweet earth, generic nuttiness, barnyard, leather and light mint. Notes from the feet are significantly sweeter and include milk chocolate, sweet nuttiness, dry hay, earth, mocha coffee and vanilla beans. Finally, the cold draws bring flavors of creamy and sweet almonds, espresso beans, cocoa nibs, straw and honey sweetness.

Just after I light the foot, flavors of bitter espresso beans and earth start off the profile of the Caldwell. While there is some significant spice in the mix as well, it begins to recede almost immediately. About 10 puffs in, the profile shifts in a major way, leading to a new combination of flavors made up of sweet cream and almonds that reminds me of vanilla almond milk mixed with half and half. Secondary notes of sweet earth, leather tack, ground coffee beans, milk chocolate and a touch of floral make themselves known at various points, while the retrohale is full of white pepper and a burnt sugar sweetness that makes me think of creme brûlée. Flavor easily hits a point just under the full mark by the end of the first third, while the body and strength lag far behind between mild and medium. There are very few issues when it comes to construction so far, as all three cigars feature excellent draws and plenty of smoke production, but one cigar does need a minor burn correction to stay on track.

A new flavor combination of creamy cedar and sweet custard takes over the profile of the Queen’s Sword during the second third, followed by notes of almonds, earth, brewed black coffee, cocoa nibs and a small vegetal flavor that comes and goes. There is an increased amount of the floral note compared to the first third, but the amount of spice on my tongue has significantly decreased, albeit not to the point where it has totally disappeared. In addition, the retrohale has barely changed at all—a very good thing—and retains the same amount of both white pepper and burnt sugar sweetness. Flavor reaches the full mark while the body ends the second third at a point just under medium and the strength crosses into solid medium territory. Construction-wise, the burn on one of the cigars becomes problematic enough that I have to touch it up—a different cigar than the one that had issues in the first third—but the draws and smoke production on all three cigars continue to be excellent. 

The profile of the Queen’s Sword loses some of its sweetness in the final third as the main flavors change again, this time a combination of milk chocolate and almonds takes over. Additional notes of sourdough bread, leather tack, gritty earth, creamy cedar and a light floral flavor flit in and out, and while there is still quite a bit of the burnt sugar sweetness on the retrohale, the amount of white pepper has increased noticeably. Flavor decreases slightly to medium-full, while the body increases to a solid medium and the strength ends the cigar between medium and full. Finally, although the smoke production and draws continue along their excellent paths for all three cigars, one of the cigars again needs a minor correction with my lighter.

Final Notes

  • The name Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword is as awkward to both say and write as it looks like it would be.

  • Although it had no noticeable effect on the overall construction that I could discern, the ash on my second cigar split right down the middle, leading to an interesting visual effect. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time I’ve seen this while smoking a Caldwell cigar.
  • This blend will punish you severely if you puff too hard or too fast, so keeping things slow and even is the best course of action. Having said that, I was interested to notice that instead of becoming bitter or metallic when I puffed too fast—as has been the case with most of the cigars I have smoked—the profile of this cigar turns ashy instead. Thankfully, the profile reverted back to the former sweetness almost immediately after I slowed down the puff rate.
  • Cameroon wrappers have a reputation—mostly warranted—for being delicate, but I experienced no issues at all in that regard with the three cigars I smoked for this review.
  • When it comes to construction, I had no problems with either the smoke production or draws. While each of the three cigars needed at least one correction at some point, they were all very minor in nature.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • This turned out to be a fast-burning cigar: even with me purposely keeping my puff rate slow—see above—the average smoking time for all three cigars was only one hour and 16 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword, site sponsors Cigars Direct and Famous Smoke Shop have them for sale on their respective websites.
91 Overall Score

While I have enjoyed a number of Caldwell’s releases in the past, the Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword is on a totally different level. In fact, this is a flavor bomb of almost epic proportions: incredibly sweet and creamy on the palate and retrohale, but with enough spice and white pepper to enhance the flavors instead of taking anything away from the overall profile. Sure, the burn ran into some minor issues on each of the three cigars I smoked, but the combination of excellent balance and medium-full strength that never threatened to overwhelm the experience more than made up for it. If you are not a fan of cigars with sweet profiles, stay far away from the Long Live the Queen Queen’s Sword, but everyone else should seek them out to try for themselves.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.