Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Costa Rican Puriscal & Nicaraguan
Filler: Dominican Oscuro Ligero & Peruvian
Size: 6 x 48 (Box Pressed)
Today we take a look at the Casdagli/Bespoke Daughters of the Wind Pony Express.
I bought a 4 pack from Small Batch Cigar. (Use promo code: Katman for 10% off)
Limited Edition Small Batch Cigar Exclusive
“The final blend was finally agreed upon during this year’s IPCPR in Las Vegas. The main ingredient that had to be concluded upon was the amount of the Dominican Oscuro Ligero filler that would be used to further enrich the existing Daughters of the Wind blend for Small Batch’s clientele. The other change to the Daughters of the Wind blend is that the Pony Express is embraced with two binder leaves with a Nicaraguan Estelï binder joining the Costa Rican Puriscal. Total production was 333 boxes of 15.
Tasting Notes: Rye Toast, Baking Spices, Cream, Finished Leather, Cocoa, Peppercorn.”
This stick is no different than the rest of the Casdagli catalog…every cigar is a work of beauty; rolled by only the best.
The Bambi hued wrapper is smooth as silk. Seams are tight as a drum. A tiny fraction of veinage. An impeccable triple cap that blends seamlessly into the body of the cigar.
And an absolutely perfect, crisp square box press.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Enormous notes of floral meet my enormous schnoz. A combo of different spicy peppers lilts gently amongst the flowers…then sweet elements like caramel, rich creaminess, really dark chocolate, malt, cedar, a touch of peat, cinnamon and nutmeg, coffee nougat, and lastly…there is that rye toast from the P.R.
The cold draw presents flavors of caramel, dark chocolate, malt, cedar, creaminess, a touch of spiciness, baking spices, and a surprising vanilla frosting.
This stick is rolled perfectly. No need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. But then I’ve never once had a draw issue with any Casdagli cigar.
I nearly felt sacrilegious clipping the cap. Sometimes, you just want to frame a Casdagli…until you remember what you paid and then you smoke it instead.
Normally, I allow 4 months of naked rest (the cigar, not me) before I review a Casdagli…but this is an extremely limited edition and I wanted to get the word out before they are gone; as opposed to relaying the information after you can no longer purchase one.
I light up and immediately feel like a real gentleman.
Flavors pour out of the cigar like they are running from the taxman. Black, red, and white pepperiness spews forth in a quiet way without shocking your delicate palate.
First up are the sweet factors: Caramel, vanilla creaminess, dark Estonian chocolate, café au lait, and raisin.
This is in complete tandem with some savory components: Smoky, deep and rich tobacco, malt, cedar, slightly meaty, assorted baking spices, and black licorice.
Clearly, these cigars have had substantial aging before being released into the wilderness. The cigar tastes like its been sitting in my humidor for 6 months. Wow.
Complexity wastes no time whatsoever. It blooms like a mushroom cloud. There is a very intense flavor profile that is both way bigger than the individual flavors; yet at the same time, I can taste the elements previously described.
The caramel creaminess and the other sweet factors jive like a jazz trio. The balance at this early juncture is crazy good. The finish is on my teeth and lips is unbelievable. And the transitions? Speed of sound, baby.
Keep your friggin’ Padrons. No one puts out cigar blends at this price point like Jeremy Casdagli.
Strength is a solid medium. Dr. Rod Kurthy…this is right up your lane. I swear this blend was designed for pleasure but also complete and total relaxation. I’m at peace with the world…well, most of it anyway.
The cigar is jam packed so it burns slowly. I want this to be a 2 hour+ cigar. I missed out on the Ecstasy generation, but this feels like a mock version…except no boner.
My jinx with box pressed burns is gone…at least til I smoke a lesser brand. The burn is spot on.
Newbies…you want to try an expensive cigar and not wait 6+ months to smoke it…it’s right here my babies…come and get it. The strength is evenly distributed at a calm pace as it wafts over my disappearing brain cells.
I’m reviewing this cigar blind. Did not try one before deciding to review it. That’s how much trust I put into Casdagli cigars. Never been disappointed.
Subtle variations and nuances shatter into many forks in the adventure. And yes, I meant to say adventure. Damn, this is a fine cigar.
Sip of water…my face peels back.
I know you guys and gals prefer me to go bat shit crazy on a bad cigar because I completely lose my filter. But I prefer to bring you great new things. Even if I am not quite so exciting. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
The buttered rye toast rises to the occasion. The spiciness is now white pepper…mild and succulent. The balance of savory v. sweet is spellbinding.
I’m having such a good time, I am standing naked with the cigar in front of my window on the 2nd floor. No one below notices. I gotta lift weights or something.
A quantum leap juts its chin into the race. We are on a new plateau now. The richness doubles down. The complexity is through the roof.
I’m going to wait til the end of the review to tell you how long I’ve had these cigars.
To prove I’m in the world of perfection, “Valley Girl” by Zappa is playing. I gotta check on how my dental floss farm in Montana is doing.
The Casdagli/Bespoke Daughters of the Wind Pony Express is so bloody good that I need to stop typing and just kick back, listen to music, and enjoy. I’ll be back.
I want to have rough sex with Casdagli…did I say that out loud? How does this man choose what to smoke of his own line every day? I’d be in brain lockdown trying to decide. Must be good to be the king.
This is a godamm perfect blend for my palate…no shit. If I were a rich man, I’d buy the rest of the cigars from SBC and send them to all my readers. I just need your social security number, DL number, and a credit card.
Y’all know where this is heading. The dreaded rating of a perfect 100. “No. There is no such thing as a perfect cigar!” Bullshit. A perfect blend has nothing to do with being the best cigar in the world. Totally different subject. My palate tells me what it loves and what it doesn’t love. And at this moment in time, I can’t think of anything other than how happy my inner cigar demons are.
Yeah, OK…$17 ain’t cheap. But nowadays, there seems no limitations to cigar manufacturers coming out with their own blends in the same price range that can’t shine the shoes of a Casdagli cigar. Sure, this is a cigar meant as a treat for most of us. It’s worth it my dears. I mean if this poor old schmuck can snag a 4 pack, so can you.
Salty German pretzel. With a hint of Dusseldorf mustard. Wasn’t expecting that.
Strange little flavors are zooming past. The more complex it gets, the more outrageous the flavors.
I just told Charlotte that we are moving to Estonia. Jeremy doesn’t know this yet, but we will be living with him.
The burn remains impeccable.
It’s taken an hour and a quarter to get to the second half. Where does time go when you are naked and having fun?
Sip of water…an eyebrow flies off and hits my cat in the puss (pun intended). Having a moustache is becoming on him.
Strength is stretching its legs. We are close to medium/full now. But oh so gently and without much fanfare. Are you listening newbies?
Oh lord…”Free Bird” is playing. The bane of every cover band in the world. Almost as bad as “Proud Mary.”
The flavor profile is a mile long and more intense than childbirth. (I’ve had kidney stones so I know).
Time out again…I gotta kick back once again to enjoy in solitude.
The Casdagli/Bespoke Daughters of the Wind Pony Express could easily be my choice for best stick of 2020. But as it was limited to only 333 boxes, I can’t do that. Or I could.
I envision Jeremy standing at the Crossroads with Robert Johnson making the same deal.
I could list out flavors again…but it would be a laundry list. They go way beyond the P.R. description. But I’m guessing that if Casdagli listed everything I have been enjoying, customers would laugh. Better to keep things simple.
“Urgent” by Foreigner is playing. 1981. Junior Walker played that blistering sax solo in the song. But I remember that things didn’t go down the way Walker wanted. The band kept pushing him take after take. He finally said screw it and left. So, if you listen intently, you can hear the edits where Mutt Lange spliced the solo together.
I’ve reviewed 14 Casdagli cigars in the last 4 years. I’m a fan boy.
Drat. I tore the wrapper where the secondary band was. Had to remove it to get my photo.
The blend is right on the cusp of medium/full.
It is here that the cigar blend explodes into a million different directions. I repeat myself under stress, I repeat myself under stress…I…I could list more flavors…so, I will…
There is still that perfect balance of savory v. sweet. The savory is malty, smoked brisket, cedar, hugely rich aged tobacco, buttered rye toast, a leathery element I can taste, hazelnuts, black pepper, and that compendium of baking spices.
The sweet envelops flavors of caramel, dark chocolate, café au lait, intense vanilla creaminess, a small touch of candied lemon peel, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and banana cake. Whew. My face is now screwed into a permanent scrunch.
Definitely medium/full now. (No nicotine).
Nothing linear about this blend. In constant motion…total flux…weaving…dancing like a butterfly. Just when I think additional complexity cannot happen, I get kicked in the groin with more.
I’m verklempt. Anything I smoke the rest of the day will pale dramatically.
“Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd. Sums me up.
This has been such a treat. I’m kind of a snob. This blend, or anything by Casdagli/Bespoke, takes you on a magic carpet ride without dropping acid. If you haven’t tried one of Jeremy’s concoctions, I urge you to go to Small Batch Cigar and snag some of these before they’re gone. Tell the wife you needed a new clutch or something. Or try any of his blends. It is impossible to be disappointed.
Remember…Katman promo code gets you 10% off.
Total time is two hours 15 minutes. Yes, Jimi, I’m now experienced.
I think Jeremy should consider Walt Disneying himself and get his head frozen after he passes…(no hurry)…so he can be brought back in 100 years and start blending again.
Visit Casdagli/Bespoke Cigars.
Well done by any yardstick.
Oh yeah, I promised to tell you how long I’ve had these cigars…One week!
And now for something completely different:
We were on tour for 6 weeks throughout Europe. For one of those weeks, we were on the same bill as Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House.
Most of you may not know who Larry Coryell is. He is known as the “Godfather of Fusion”. He changed my life with his progressive style back in 1972. Along with his cohorts of the day: Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Keith Jarret, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and on and on.
I was a jazzer when I auditioned for Curved Air, in 1974, and won the audition hands down because my kind of playing hadn’t reached the English shores yet. All the bass players at the audition played exactly like Chris Squire of “Yes.”
We spent a week in Switzerland opening for Coryell. At the time, Switzerland had no big arenas so we played in auditoriums that seated just a couple thousand people.
But we packed them. We were a double threat.
Drummer Alphonse Mouzon got a little crush on CA singer, Sonja Kristina. And he never hid his feelings. One night, it boiled over. Copeland, Kristina, Mouzon, and I were standing on the side of the stage while blind keyboardist Mike Mandel played a long solo alone on stage. I remember he did a great Nixon impression that cracked up the Swiss audience.
And then it went haywire. Copeland and Kristina were an item; later to be married. Mouzon put on the heavy moves in front of Stew. In a flash, tempers flared and fists started flying. Both Kristina and I got in the middle, and took a couple hits each, to stop the insanity. Roadies came to the rescue, from both sides, and pulled them off each other. For the rest of the week, it was all ice between us and Mouzon. Coryell never got involved but no one knows what he said to Mouzon behind closed doors.
Swiss audiences are very reserved. Applause is minimum. There is no screaming. No girls on top of boys’ shoulders with their tops off. They just sit quietly in their seats taking it all in and really focusing on the music and performance. I liked that about them. I hated raucous audiences. No one was really listening. Now we never had a Beatles-like reception but I got the taste of what it was like not to have anyone listening, just going nuts. Of course, in those days, the Beatles had horrible sound systems and they couldn’t be heard anyway.
We had one of those systems that blew your hair back.
Now who the hell thought it a good idea to put him on a bill with us….a progressive rock band with a violin, cutting edge synthesizers and a chick singer along the lines of Stevie Nicks and Janis? It was a crazy bill.
This was the band he used when we played with him in 1974:
Even though the musicians in my band were world class classical musicians, they didn’t know squat about this new musical movement. But I did, because I was the only real American in the group. Even Stewart Copeland, (The Police), our drummer, wasn’t that familiar. I idolized Larry and his band mates so when one night, after the gig, he invited us up to his hotel room to shoot the shit and smoke cigars, we all jumped at the chance.
The worst thing you can do with a celebrity, if you should meet one, is act like a fan. Be yourself and talk about the weather.
But noooo…my bandmates interviewed him. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t look up from my cigar.
Curved Air has close to 20 albums under their belt so they were no slouches. And here they are mesmerized. And behaving like rank fans.
I had been smoking cigars since I was 18. That’s because my dad smoked ‘em and so did his pop. I was DNA impregnated. My band mates smoked cigarettes and that’s it. They had no idea what was in store for them. I did; and chuckled.
Larry passed around GIANT Cubans. Beer and wine were offered and Larry and I dug right in. The others watched our lead as they had never smoked cigars, including the chick singer.
I remember the bliss of that fine cigar and as my eyes met Larry’s, we smiled big and laughed out loud. From the peanut gallery, I heard coughing and choking. Again, Larry and I glanced at each other and burst into raucous laughter.
The schmucks did not want to admit they had never smoked a cigar, let alone, a strong Cuban. So, they puffed away, occasionally inhaling. They were real dumbasses. In a matter of minutes, I had a bunch of Kermit the Frogs in the room. It is hard being green.
Larry answered their questions politely. Then, one at a time, each one of the dip shits excused themselves to go to the bathroom where we heard projectile heaving. Larry and I never laughed so hard.
Within 30 minutes, my band had retired to their own hotel bathrooms and Larry and I spent the rest of the night, til dawn, smoking, drinking, and telling stories about the “road.”
I am pleased to announce that Larry is alive and well and still playing. And I shall never forget his kindness and down to earth personality.
What a night!
(This story appeared in a review in 2016. Larry passed in April 2017 at the age of 73. Alphonse Mouzon passed in December 2016 at age 68).
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS