Having made recommendations for mild, medium and full-bodied smokes, it’s time I come back around to another mild smoke to review today. This will fit in as a good supplemental smoke to go to instead of the Oliva Connecticut Reserve I recommended the last time around, but it’s important to understand that this cigar stands on its own. With whatever similarities it may share to the mild stick from Oliva, this cigar is intentionally blended to be a more complex offering. I am still every bit as likely to pair this cigar with a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.
Where the Oliva bills itself as being a smooth, creamy mild cigar, this cigar maker tucks in lots of subtle flavor notes. Is it smooth? Sure. Do you get flavor notes of hay and natural tobacco? Absolutely. But the similarities end there. this stick will sneak in flavor notes that are found primarily in more medium bodied sticks, without sacrificing the smooth, mild experience I want for a classic morning smoke. Whether you’re following the show or just looking up reviews, you’ll notice I mention cigars as being a “change of pace” from my normal full-bodied Nicaraguan preferences. And this cigar is exactly that.
At IPCPR 2016, Robert Caldwell introduced the Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut as a followup to his 2015 Trade Show Release. For the Connecticut, the same wrapper and filler are used, but he replaced the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper leaf with an Ecuadorian Connecticut leaf. In doing so, he turned a nice medium bodied Habano into a smooth, balanced, complex Connecticut that really stands out from the other cigars in its weight class.
Caldwell Cigar Co. Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut Robusto
The Blind Man’s Bluff comes in the same typical sizes that attract most cigar smokers:
- A 7×48 Churchill
- A 6×60 Magnum
- A 5×50 Robusto
- And a 6×52 Toro
And then he throws a 5.75″ by 44 ring gauge Corona into the mix if you’re looking for something in a smaller ring gauge to really give your palate a workout. Today I’m reviewing the 5×50 Robusto, available in my area for $7.99. Your tax situation may make the cigar nominally more expensive, but it’s still a bargain at the $8 price point.
This boutique blend showcases Dominican and Honduran long filler tobacco, a Honduran criollo binder leaf and is wrapped in a Connecticut wrapper grown in Ecuador. The wrapper leaf is only barely oily and the cigar is neither excessively dense nor especially soft. A few veins are visible on the wrapper. The band looks faded. The scratched out eyes make for some interesting branding. But largely, Blind Man’s Bluff’s branding seems to play the part of what you’re beginning to expect from milder cigars. The draw and burn on the Caldwell are excellent. The white ash hangs while the cigar burns. And the smoke stays smooth, never burning too hot and never becoming bitter.
Hay and natural tobacco, right? Those components are there from the cold draw and stay present for the first third of the smoke. The Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut doesn’t leave anything to be desired in the smoothness department. There’s barely a touch of leather on the wrapper, but in the smoke, I get notes of baking spices, pepper and some raisin or fig. For the second third, the baking spices really come through in the blend while the pepper relaxes some. For the last third, I get some nuttiness and a little cedar, mixed in with the spices and the pepper returns faintly. The flavors blend well, stay smooth and retain a nice complexity in this mild cigar landscape. Especially at the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better blended Connecticut.
So why does Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut make my recommendations list? If I’m smoking the Oliva I reviewed previously, I’m looking for a smooth, creamy morning smoke. But if I’m smoking the Caldwell, I’m searching for more complexity alongside my cup of coffee. I tend to recommend the Blind Man’s Bluff Connecticut specifically to folks who think that they’re too cool for a mild morning smoke. If this is your first cigar ever, it probably is not one you’re going to be able to appreciate fully. But if you’ve ventured into the landscape of medium bodied smokes and like cigars like the AVO Syncro line, the dried fig you’ll find there compares nicely to the raisin in Blind Man’s Bluff. Personally, I tend to like the competing notes of baking spices versus pepper spice that ebb and flow throughout the smoke. The cigar makes a nice changeup whether you’re just getting your day started or if you’re looking for something with a soft, light finish that won’t stay with you all day.