Bespoke Grand Café | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
Binder/Filler: Dominican San Vicente, Nicaraguan Condega Viso, PA Broadleaf
Size: 7.5 x 39 “Laguito No.1”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $14.00

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bespokelogo

Today we take a look at the Bespoke Grand Café.
Thanks to Jeremy Casdagli for the samples.

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There are so many names for cigars this size so I consulted Cigar Aficionado. Here are the differences: The Panatela is 5”-7-1/2” long and a ring gauge of 34-38. A Lonsdale is typically 6.5” x 42. A Lancero is 7” x 38. A Laguito No.1 is exactly 7-1/4” x 38.
So this cigar is a cross between a Lancero and a Panatela.

The reason I bring this up is that I am not a fan of long skinny cigars. It is a small niche in the serious cigar smoking community. It had its time in the history of cigar smoking but the more popular sizes are Robustos and Toros. Or in the other extreme: Corona Gorda or Coronas.

I find that most Lanceros have burn issues. If you don’t keep an eagle eye on the char line, it goes all to hell.

So, when I got the samples, I groaned when I saw the Laguito. The redeeming quality to this particular brand is that they are hugely popular in Europe and Russia. So Bespoke must be doing something right.
I’ve had the cigars in my humidor for 4-5 weeks. It should be ready to go. Let’s see.

BACKGROUND:
If you want to learn about this company, you need to go to either their web site or to Cigar Journal where there is a lot of information.
The company is based in Estonia. Its biggest sales are in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia.
Distributed by Biggs Mansion out of Chicago.

Bespoke has several lines and I have in my possession the Grand Café ($14.00), Cotton Tail ($16.00) and Gran Mareva ($13.00).
From Jeremy about the line:
From KBF factory:
Traditional Line: Cotton Tail, Grand Cafe, Robusto, Super Belicoso
Basilica Line: Basilica A, Basilica C # 1, and being introduced this summer : Basilica C # 2, Basilica C # 3
Mareva Line: Gran Mareva, Gran Mareva Gold & Mareva Especial
Cabinet Line: – coming this autumn – The Rosetta : a beautiful coned cigar – 4inches ending with 46 gauge – using an 11 year old bonao opus X binder

From Costa Rica – using Peruvian , Nicaraguan and ecuador connecticut wrapper
Daughters of the Wind Line: Pyramide, Dahman,Salomone

From the Bespoke Cigars web site:
“This cigar was launched to celebrate the launching of the Bespoke cigar brand in the Republic of Belarus in 2012. The first client to offer Bespoke cigars in Minsk was The Grand Café. With the Tripa including aged Nicaraguan Condega Viso & Dominican Seco along with a little USA Pennsylvanian broad-leaf this elegant cigar delivers distinct vanilla notes with a sweet aroma.

“This cigar is blended especially for Bespoke cigars by Hendrik Kelner Jr of the famous Kelner family of Master blenders at the KBF factory, Santiago, Dominican Republic.

From Cigar Journal:
“Jeremy Casdagli, founder and co-owner of Bespoke Cigars, has been crafting his own blends of long filler cigars for 20 years. Since 2014, his production has been concentrated at the Kelner Boutique Factory (KBF) in the Dominican Republic, which is headed by Hendrik Kelner, Jr. (of Davidoff fame). Within months, Bespoke Ci¬gars developed a reputation in Europe and the Middle East for complex, uniquely sized cigars. Since November 2015, his full line has been available in a retail and distribution partnership with Biggs Mansion in Chicago. “Being based in Tallinn, it was natural to develop first in the Nordics,” Casdagli explains, “but, while looking for another possible sales platform for my cigars, I kept an eye out for buildings reminiscent of my family’s ancestral home, Villa Casdagli, in Cairo. “When a friend encouraged me to visit his club, the Biggs Lounge in Chicago, I thought, ah, America!” he says with a laugh.

DESCRIPTION:
The Bespoke Grand Café is a well-constructed cigar. Nearly invisible seams. Few veins. A hard cigar. With little or no give.
The wrapper is an oily, tawny, peanut color.
It is impossible to count the caps but there is a nice Cuban fan tail atop it.
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And the foot is partially closed.
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AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell wood, cream, spice, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, cedar, and coffee.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell spice, cream, fresh grass, barnyard, coffee, cedar, and chocolate.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, black pepper, cedar, dried fruit, and baking spices.

FIRST THIRD:
Wow! A huge blast of pepper; both black and red!
Like dominoes, more flavors fall into place: Creaminess, vanilla, chocolate, malt, coffee, caramel, nuts, sweetness, toastiness, cedar, and baking spices.
Now this is what I expect a $14 cigar to start like. It wastes no time hitting par excellence.

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Strength is nearing medium/full. Complexity is beginning to hit within the first inch and the balance is perfect. It has a very tasty long finish.
And voila!! The char line is spot on!! This is a first for me. Very cool Bespoke Cigars.
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The stick is super complex by this early point. Jeremy sent me 3 cigars each of the three sample blends. I tried this one about a week or so in and it was most definitely not ready. Now, after 4-5 weeks, it is banging the gong for the blender’s intent. And I do believe that Jeremy told me it is his favorite of the blends he produces.

Nice slow smoking cigar. The Bespoke Grand Café is not like most Lanceros I’ve smoked. The others burn quickly and unevenly. This Laguito smokes slowly like a robusto. It won’t be over 15 minutes after starting it.

If the Bespoke Grand Café continues on this trajectory, it will get a great rating.
More subtle flavors appear: Cinnamon, lemon custard, and pie crust.
If you are looking to buy some Bespoke Cigars, the Bespoke web site shows only one store in the U.S. Biggs Cigar Emporium.
There is an incredible Cubanesque flavor to this blend. At first, when I received the cigars, I thought they were Cuban. The Casdagli family is Greek, not Cuban.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Strength is medium/full.

No kidding. This is the best Laguito, or Lancero, I’ve ever smoked. Now I understand the price point.
The flavors keep up their bombardment of the senses while the complexity is deep and rich.

I’m not quite sure where you can buy these cigars. I Googled them and only found Biggs Mansion as a source but they don’t sell online. Check out their retailer’s page.
I found an online store: Puro Express. The prices are in Euros. They appear to sell every single blend and size and quantities for Bespoke. The page this link will take you to shows the traditional line but if you type in Bespoke in the Search window, it opens 5 pages of choices.
Maybe after reading the review, Jeremy can add a comment about this.

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Maybe I’m insane but the Bespoke Grand Café has a strong RASS element to it. My only serious recommendation is that you allow the cigars at least a month or longer before lighting one up. It’s night and day from a week or two off the truck.
I thought I had reviewed the RASS but I can’t find it. Man, I lose more things than your wife who says she is putting something special in a safe place never to be found again.

A sweet fruity component appears. Black currants. And those little chocolate rings with the raspberry jell in them. My favorite as a kid when we had company.

I reach the halfway point.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.

Construction is absolutely flawless. Not a single touch up of the char line is required. I think I read that Jeremy uses #8 rollers. No doubt.

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Yesterday, I gave the Makin’ Bacon a 96. The Bespoke Grand Café is a completely different blend but every bit as good, if not better.

This is a treat of magical proportions. The creaminess, the spiciness, the malts, the graham cracker (new), the vanilla, milk chocolate, nuts, coffee, toastiness, baking spices, pie crust, fruit, cedar, and an incredibly intense complexity make this a stunner of a cigar. I didn’t see this coming.

I have the biggest smile on my puss. And the good part? I still have one left. And I still have two left of the Cotton Tail and the Grand Mareva blends to smoke. I can’t wait to review them. It will be a tall order to beat the Bespoke Grand Café’s rating.

This is about as perfect cigar as they come.

Sorry detractors but this cigar blend is a bona fide flavor bomb now. And I still have a little less than 3” to go. This is also the first cigar I’ve smoked in months that didn’t need at least one char line touch up. Now that’s rolling talent.

I get a lot of heat for dissing bad cigars. It seems that is all readers remember…how cruel I was. But if I don’t tell you the truth, who will?

I have the same reputation for going overboard in fawning over a great cigar blend. This is one of those times.

The price point? Worth every nickel.

I can’t begin to count double digit priced cigars that come nowhere close to the quality of the Bespoke Grand Café.

Jeremy showed me that Cigar Journal gave his Basilica blend a 93 and he was bummed that it was all they could muster. Don’t worry Jeremy. I shall make you a happy man today.
The only other cigar I’ve rated this high is the Dunbarton & Tobacco Trust Sobremesa.
It will definitely make the top of the list when I do my top 25 cigars of 2016 list.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is 55 minutes.
Strength hits full body.

While I totally understand the pricing on this line of cigars, it is too rich for my blood. Living on social security, and my health issues, has removed a cigar this price from my budget. Still, the fact that I have a few left makes me very happy.

This is a special cigar for a special occasion. Like sitting alone in your man cave watching sports. You don’t want any distractions when you smoke the Bespoke Grand Café. The subtleties and nuances could be eliminated if you are herfing with your friends. You lose that all important inner focus.

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If I blind taste tested this cigar, I would definitely think it is Cuban.
I’m very glad I was patient with this cigar. When a manufacturer sends you samples, you want to please them. And get a review out as soon as possible. But if you wait, like your gut tells you to do, you are rewarded.

I highly recommend the Bespoke Grand Café. It is the first, and only, lancero I’ve ever recommended and given the Katman blessing.

There is no let up to the flavor profile. It keeps grinding out complex flavors.
And as a spice junkie, this blend is perfect for me. The cigar stays at a highly spicy place the entire time.

With 2” to go, some nicotine shows up. But it is mild and not swooning material.

I will try to get more info on how to buy this cigar when Jeremy gets back to me. I really think that you sophisticated smokers will enjoy the hell out of this blend.
The Bespoke Grand Café finishes without a hint of heat or bitterness. And cool to the touch.
Thank you Jeremy Casdagli.
Final smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.

RATING: 98

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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4 replies

  1. Hi Phil,

    The Grand Cafe and other Bespoke cigars are currently available in the Los Angeles area and Santa Barbara.

    Los Angeles:
    Cigars by Chivas, 58 S De Lacey Avenue, Pasadena.
    The owner Mr Kamarian is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge and provides exquisite service. A man of great taste.

    Santa Barbara:
    La Aroma de Havana, 411 State Street
    Moses, the shop’s owner is very knowledgable and his lounge is a very friendly place where you can always count on fantastic and relaxed service.
    If you’re in town on Thursdays, there is a locals night and it is usually very lively, starts around 8 PM! 🙂

    Warm regards,
    Vlad

  2. Thanks for the review Phil you’re the only person out there who can get me to buy a $14 cigar!

  3. Hi Phil . To answer your question about on line shops . Pure express does not actually sell our line of cigars . They do have “bespoke” cigars available but these are not our trademark . Our site does not have an online shop as we only sell through authorised distributers . Our distributers are clearly listed on our site under “how to buy” . If a distributer is not in your area then anyone is welcome to contact us directly . Jeremy@bespokecigar.com . I will be meeting Biggs about putting up an online shop in May . Meanwhile Vlada ( our ambassador on the west coast USA) has furnished shops currently selling in California …enjoy 🙂

  4. Gots to get me some of these.!
    Long cigars are interesting but I’ve never smoked one that didn’t have run problems but that would be another reason to try them.
    See Phil. ….because you tell it like it is you get the kind of respect that gets you unusual and killer cigars that no one else reviews or even gets to try.
    TR