Deep in flavor. Deep in your mind.

1/11/17

Caldwell Funfetti - Cigar Review

B"H
THE CIGAR
Caldwell Cigar Co.
Funfetti 5 x 50 Robusto
w. Indonesian Sumatra
b./f. Nicaraguan
m. Tabacalera William Ventura, Dominican Republic

INTRO
I grab my guillotine and matchbox. I address the cigar. "Hello-ooo, cigar," I say, giggling at my own cleverness.
PRE-LIGHT
In addressing the cigar, I must first heft the thing. It's light in my mitt. Wrapper foot is cracked a dried tick. Other-end sees a nicely 'nuff affixed cap, looks like a single 'un. Some dryness there, too. Delicate. Shaft of the thing is an uneven natural brown spectrum hue with a singular pin-head water-mark in the 2/3. Not a very noticeable under-hue, nor over-top marbling. Some lumps. Almost tight, even seams. Veins are medium-sized and of a medium occurrence. Some run horizontally across the shaft -- but not in the thickness required to speak to future burn impediment. Hand-feel is that un-hefty bit and dry softly smooth, again delicately so.

Some very light tobacco, yeasty hay, sweet dirt melange on schnozzing the shaft. A pale nut and white pepper are subtle additions on the foot. Snipping the cap, I get a cold draw of all that and a citrus-y attachment. Draw tension is a -full resistance. Still un-lit, the body creams up buttery on my palate and a subtle then less subtle white spice-rack comes on in.

LIGHT
Toasts slowly but readily and burn-line starts quickly ahead. Buttered toast aroma off that toast and light. First draw is yeasty hay with a new buttery cedar bit. Quickly coats the smoke-hole in a smedium viscosity manner. Spices are white and influence the sweet-tangy dirt which surrounds the light tobacco core. Second draw is retro-haled and very toasted... marzipan. Almond extract in a confectionery base. White pepper, finely ground and buttery, though not sauteed per se. Third pull is all that and a bag of chips. Really. Salty, greasy potato chips.

Draw feels a bit hesitant, but the mouth-feel is rich nonetheless. Its resistance hath lessened to a medium+ comfortability. Zilch strength as of yet, and a medium profile beyond that, as to flavors/body. Body is quite rich, but also subtle -- tho becoming less-so. Ash is a tick flaky and is 80/20 salt/pepper in a failed sheath. Hints of tooth which must be via binder, for alas, the top-leaf ain't got that. Burn-line is even all-told, but is a tick ribbon'd. There is an audible crackling to combustion at the first couple/few tugs.
ACT I
Creamy oily body and salted lips. Soft as buttah texture. Draw continues to feel a tick drafty, but too continues to get job did. Wants to be smoked in the classical three puffs of short, short, long -- but the light hand-heft makes me a bit concerned with over-smoking. Burn-line ribbons more and widens some. Seams loosen a half-tick at char. Packing has softened to an even medium from its medium+ on-set. Shoulder holds together, but is also being sucked down over cap some, most likely from the tense tension at start.

Flavors haven't shifted greatly as of yet. There is a new diner-style coffee with cream and sugar. Cedar has soften a bit or two and has sweetened with a new caramel lilt. At the end of this opening act, ash is still ugly yet still attached in its entirety; a graham flour note hits yeasty stuffs. Some soft vanilla is there. Spices are remaining white and blended beyond spotting a primary note.

ACT II
I start here by rolling off the ash. Dry exterior with a nicely oiled core. A toke in my Dollar Store hand mirror shows an even combustion re: wrapper/binder/filler. Pace is slow end of average and maybe I mistook excellent balance for light of weight? Sweet oat is a new note. Finish is still a rather simple sweet creamy baccy with a bit of spice which is mainly a feelz. Body is now a medium+. Tanginess from a citrus thing grows on immediate draw, still verily sweet -- though not dessert sweet -- in spite of the Funfetti name. Or perchance sure, desert -- but vanilla ice-cream next to yellow cake and white frosting or icing dependant upon yer current geographics. Fine, yes. Funfetti it is. Even I cannot taste the sprinkles. Also: marshmallows. I'm glad I worked that out, gentlepersons.

As the middle act comes to a close, ginger. Ginger emerges as leader of the still pale spice-rack. There is some substantial flowering of burnt offerings. All other nods to construction/combustion hold. Profile, ditto. Smoke is robust and white off each end, even whilst resting. Room-note ain't really changed since toasting, but is nice 'nuff and kindly so.

ACT III
More toasting. Particularly in grains and sweet tangy dirt. Sharpens profile a bit, but nicely so -- staving off the barnacles of creaminess. Ash is drier, as is moisture-level of smoke-hole. More flaking and cracking of burnt offering. Mouth ain't bad, not dry 'nuff to drive me to drink. Pace slows. Not an overly transitional smoker; most is right up-front but side-steps boredom with nifty additions and nuance. I'd say as complex as possible sans them shift-on-the-fly transitions. Smoke and shaft are cool to the band, wherest I typically stop reviewing.

Smooth, sweet, consistent. Excellently balanced with a sweet tanginess and gentlepersonly spice. All told, a medium smoke with a mild+ strength that makes my eyes half swoon in my head... I think it's the left eye. If that matters. There was a drunk vibe somewhere in the 2/3 whenst I flirted with the idea of a pet monkey and Mexicali road-trip.

FINAL GRADE
****B+****
OUTRO
Halfwheel writ: "For this cigar, Caldwell created a 5 x 50 robusto that he said is designed to be a more balanced version of the 4 x 44 Yellow Cake, something he achieved through making changes to the blend. Gone is the Dominican corojo wrapper, replaced with a Sumatra capa that sits on top of a Nicaraguan binder and fillers. Caldwell told halfwheelthat “I didn’t like Yellow Cake; I like Funfetti.”"

I too like Funfetti, gentlepersons. More than just a bissell.
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