Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, & U.S. Tobaccos
Size: 5.5 x 54 “Gran Robusto”
Price: $6.80 MSRP
Today we take a look at the Caldwell Iberian Express Gibraltar Extra Gran Robusto.
Thanks to an anonymous reader for sending me a pair of these cigars.
Four sizes ($6.80-$8.00 MSRP):
Jamon Jamon (4.5 x 44)
Torpedo (6.25 x 52)
Gran Robusto (5.5 x 54)
Magnum (6 x 60)
From the Cigar Federation web site:
“Caldwell Cigars Gibraltar is now the Gibraltar Iberian Express Extra. A reworking at Caldwell has turned the Junior Varsity brand into the Iberian Express brand. Due to a misconception that the Junior Varsity title meant Caldwell seconds, when that is not the case.
“The Gibraltar Extra is the same medium bodied, peppery blend as the Gibraltar, but with two main differences. They have been repackaged with new bands and 25ct boxes. And Caldwell has added some larger ring gauges.”
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft I can smell sweet floral notes, orange citrus, spice, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark cocoa, coffee, creaminess, spice, citrus, sweet cedar, and marzipan.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark bittersweet chocolate, spice, citrus, and coffee.
The draw is a bit airy.
Flavors begin with some sweetness, dark chocolate, spice, toasty nuts, cedar, and a touch of malt.
The airiness of the draw becomes an annoyance.
The spice rises to the occasion with a very peppery serrano quality.
The char line begins to go haywire. I touch it up but if it does it again, I’m going to let it burn until it’s a canoe. I’ve grown tired of saving a manufacturer’s bacon by constant touch ups. If their rollers do a lousy job, so be it. I will document it.
Flavors remain static. No dramatic changes. And the malt elements are not qualifying for a run down.
Never been a Caldwell fan. I don’t think this blend will change my mind. I’ve reviewed the Blind Mans’ Bluff, the Murcias, Eastern Standard (I liked this one), Long Live the King (I liked this one too), and the King is Dead (I liked this one as well). But there is a big list of blends that Caldwell puts out which I have smoked but did not want to review them because I really didn’t care for them. Why waste my time and yours?
Caldwell is another “gimmick” brand. Lots of stupid names for cigars. The premium line is way out of line in their pricing. And blends are not consistent. There are almost no reviews of this cigar…nor the original Caldwell Gibraltar. Now I remember smoking some of the original blend; which I believe is a bait and switch. Sizes changed from the original Gibraltar. And I would not be surprised if the blend got tweaked a bit. Just another horse of a different color…but virtually the same nag.
And with 1-1/2” burned on the Caldwell Iberian Express Gibraltar Extra Gran Robusto, I am underwhelmed by its construction and flavor profile.
A couple of the original Gibraltar reviews were less than kind and recommended dumping it.
I got pulled into the PR. I thought this was a new blend. Which it may be without the company telling us. I didn’t do my research before requesting this cigar. The price is also higher than the original Gibraltar by almost $2.00. Of course, the robusto was only a 5 x 50. Not as big as the larger ring gauges of the new line. So the company considers $7.00 a value priced cigar? For chrissakes.
Don’t you just hate a scam?
But Caldwell is right about one thing….this is definitely a “Junior Varsity” blend. I bet they wish they hadn’t stepped on their own dicks with that name.
Smokers thought that this line of Junior Varsity blends were actually 2nds due to how bad they were. Hence, the new name. Sad state of affairs when you need to re-tool a whole line of your cigars because smokers mistake the blends for crap. Making the ring gauges bigger doesn’t help.
No change in the flavor profile.
Here is the non-exciting flavor list: Spice, creaminess, sweet tea, cedar, chocolate, and nuts. That’s all folks!
The flavor profile does improve a bit in the second half but nothing to write home about.
I’m sure that this line can be had a lot cheaper than the $7-$8 range on plenty of boutique line online stores. But at this point, I wouldn’t bother. Should have done my research.
It is actually a gorgeous day in S.E. Wisconsin. Will get up to 69°. It has been nippy and, of course, the fan blower in our “new” used truck broke. We were supposed to pay my son in law a payment for the truck. Maybe next month.
Usually by now, we are seeing some snow but nothing but clear weather in the forecast.
Been in Milwaukee since 2007 and saw some horrific winters. This is going to be a fair one I predict.
The char line needs lots of touch ups.
A crack has formed. Once the double cigar bands are removed, I see trouble.
Which by the way, the secondary band saying “Extra” is placed very sloppily. The ends don’t overlap evenly. And the cigar is way out of round.
Have I convinced you to buy one yet?
Some readers asked for a wish list and I gave them one just going down a list of the least expensive new cigars I could find. My apologies. I didn’t mean for them to waste their money.
Strength is medium/full.
Flavor profile sees no changes. No complexity. No balance. And a medium finish.
I could be watching TV but I wanted to write.
And then a baby Jesus miracle occurs. FLAVORS!
The list of flavors hasn’t really changed but they have improved and become more distinct and a bit complex. Halle-fucking-leujah!
I found a couple comments I made in my reviews of some Caldwell blends. I repeat that they are old school needing a shit load of humi time. This could be the same. But based on the lack of reviews, I’m guessing no one wants to piss of the Caldwell folks by writing a critical review. I don’t have that problem. I don’t care.
Malts finally show up big time: Caramel Malt, Rye Malt, and Chocolate Malt. These three malts are carrying the whole flavor profile.
Nicotine kicks in as the strength hits full body. Fuck me.
My illness symptoms have gotten much worse as of late. I’ve been keeping a journal for the last month to remember things. I’m at that point where sometimes I don’t recognize myself in the mirror. It was scary enough when I did.
And I don’t like leaving the house. It scares me. Charlotte is trying to be patient but I’m testing her limits.
I torch the foot and burn through the crack before it has time to spread.
Here’s the deal. If the cigar had started out the way it is at the moment, it would have blossomed by now. Back asswards.
The creaminess and sweet caramel and malts are really making this cigar, finally, enjoyable. If the nicotine level was lower, it would be closer to fantastic. Even if the flavor profile is a mere one trick pony.
The smoking experience cleared up by the time I hit the second third. The airiness had gone away. Now it’s back. Like sucking through a straw with holes in it.
Then just like that….the bold flavors dissipate. A mere moment of prick teasing.
I’m sure constant torching of the cigar doesn’t help the flavor one bit. I said I wouldn’t torch it but this would have gone beyond a canoe. It would have been the Titanic.
I even let it rest for 15 minutes while I took a shower. That will usually settle down the burn issues. Nah….
I believe we are done here with the Caldwell Iberian Express Gibraltar Extra Gran Robusto.
Final smoke time is an hour and 15 minutes.
Thanks go out to Paul Barden and Gabe Hollingsworth. Thank you brothers.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS