Bite Size Review: Casdagli (formerly Bespoke) Daughters of the Wind
We all love gifts. Admit it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $10 Starbucks giftcard or a $100 bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon. Although, I don’t think I have to point out the obvious preference if forced to choose. Of course, it’s not uncommon for cigar lovers to share and trade cigars and in many cases gift special stogeys out of gratitude or in the spirit of camaraderie. And in our endless search for cigars to add to our review bullpen, none other than one of my sons gifted me with a big, oily Bespoke Daughters of the Wind. Starbucks – ha!
Bespoke was one of those boutique brands on our radar that seemed to pinball in and out of the US market over the years yet still managed to quietly build a following even before its “official” US launch in 2015. Since 1997, Jeremy Casdagli has aspired to create a world class, luxury line of cigars and his choice of “Bespoke” as his brand moniker epitomizes his intentions. Initially catering to the UK market with unique, super premium offerings made with the finest Cuban leaf, Casdagli would eventually forge partnerships that would take him to Central America.
Today, the Greek cigar purveyor produces his cigars in both the Dominican Republic (partnering with Henke Kelner) and in San Jose, Costa Rica with the Midas touch of Don Olman Guzman. With a predilection for avant-garde vitolas, Casdagli often uses lesser-used molds in which to forge some of his more iconic cigars, like “the Cotton Tail”, resembling a blunt nightstick or the “Super Belicoso”, a rotund 60 RG cigar that looks like a 20mm round. Now sporting 5 lines, the vitolas in the Daughter’s of the Wind marca are a combination of sleek, oversized perfectos, Torpedos and Toros.
The Dahman is dubbed a “toro” by Casdagli, but at over seven inches long and with a ring gauge of 56 it is more of a wide Churchill. Interestingly, this large cigar is light in the hand and is uniformly firm. With an oily, pecan shell-colored sheen and visible seams, our Dahman is moderately veiny and sports a well-executed pigtail cap. The draw is near perfect just by removing the pigtail, but personally, I wanted a bit less restriction so a punch did the trick. Lush honeysuckle, milk chocolate and leather aromas abound from the wrapper and foot with a cold draw of raisins.
At first light, there is a tidal wave of cinnamon notes followed by a leathery charm. It settles into a profile of oak and a delicious medley of baking spice and vanilla. Incredibly smooth, light and elegant, the Dahman finishes with a semi-sweet mélange of wood and leather while adding notes of graham cracker late. The draw features an equally alluring mix of honey and wood. Complexity maintains throughout transitions with a focus on more woody backdrops and a warm, spicy character.
The flavor palette in most cigars wanes in the latter stages, but not our Dahman. The spice is next level with a fun mix of sweet pepper, pecans and caramel. Balance is near perfect and combustion is solid for most of the smoke. In the waning stages, there was a tendency for repeated “helmeting’ which required several corrections, which is my only gripe. To blend a cigar this large with such deep, satisfying flavor is truly remarkable. This cigar lives up to its $22 price and is worth every cent – a luxurious gift indeed. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The Daughters of the Wind line is inspired both by an ancient Arabian poem, of the same name, celebrating the beauty of Bedouin horses while also paying homage to Casdagli ancestors’ breeding of champion Arabians.
- Profile: Medium-Full
- Vitola: Dahman [Toro]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 7.1″ X 56
- Purchased: Gift
- Origin: Costa Rica
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian
- Binder: Costa Rican
- Filler: Dominican, Peru
- Blade: Xikar Punch
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $22
- Humidor Age: 11 mo.
- Box: [or Tin] 12
- Other Vitolas: Sabino [Figurado – 6.1″x58/60], Rabicano [Figurado – 7.3″x50/57], Calico [Torpedo – 6.1″x52], Robusto [5″x50]
N O T E S
Smoke Time: 1:27
Construction: Large but light; pecan shell coloring; visible seams; oily; lightly veiny; pig tail cap; uniformly firm; struggles to hold any appreciable ash; good smoke production.
- Wrapper – Honeysuckle, leather
- Foot – Milk chocolate
- Cold Draw – Raisins, leather
- Initial: Blast of cinnamon which lingers throughout; underlying oaky quality; noticeable hints of honey and wood on the draw; leather and baking spice notes accompany hints of vanilla on retro; long finish of wood and leather; graham cracker notes added late
- Transition: Prominent oaky core with hints of charred wood and residual cinnamon notes; oaky draw; a light spice and caramel notes on retro; robust finish of cedar and espresso.
- Transition: Spice ratchets up behind a woody profile of sweet chili peppers and pecans with a caramel carry over; baked quality to draw; tasty finish of baked bread and coffee; notes of molasses late.
Touch ups: 4
Combustion: Superb early, but becomes very uneven at times
Weaknesses: Nagging tendency to ‘helmet’ (shallow runner)
- Boxworthy / Go-to
- 5 packer
- Yard ‘gar
- NR [No Recommendation]