Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Dominican Republic
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $5.25 - $6.90
Available in 4 Sizes:
Corona (5 3/4 X43) [pictured]
Robusto (5 X 50)
Magnum 60 (6 X 60)
President Caldwell Cigars
Gibraltar is part of your Seleccion Junior Varsity; these are your lower cost lines, correct?
The idea with JV is that it’s an everyday smoke. Regardless of what we might think of our Caldwell collections, some guys can’t afford it or they don’t want to spend the money. You know, you have all types of smokers. So we didn’t want to alienate anybody and we didn’t want to lose the business so we decided to have a line that was a more cost conscious line. These are cigars that the factory makes and they distribute actually in the Dominican Republic. So they have these three cigars that are made and distributed there and then we basically changed the blend a little bit to make them more amicable to the American market. They come in 10 count boxes so it’s easier to move by the box.
From a quality standpoint, is the level of quality comparable to say a bundled cigar?
No, much higher quality. What we do to save cost is they don’t have the stringent quality control measures applied to them that we have for Caldwell. You’ll notice when you open a box of them, you might have like a disparity in color. Caldwell usually is really in line but the JVs don’t go through a sorting process anything like the Caldwell stuff. So you’ll have one with a more reddish brown next to one with a lighter brown but guys who are smoking a $5 cigar don’t care and it just adds cost. So we take out some of those measures.
Caldwell Collection uses all Grade A tobacco. These use Grade B, which is probably the majority of what is used in a general market cigar. The other thing too with these cigars is that the cost of the tobacco is a bit less and the scarcity is not there. So these tobaccos, they’re just grown in huge quantities on these, where the Caldwell stuff is not. And also the age and things like that that are components with the Caldwell aren’t applied to JV. You don’t have wrappers that are four years old, or two years old, you know, the process is much easier to g et these cigars made.
What about aging? How long does a Caldwell cigar sit in the aging room before being shipped as compared to a JV cigar?
They vary. The Eastern Standard rests about 45 days before it can ship. Long Live the King needs almost 90 days. All the JV stuff usually ships around 40 days. The reason is that all the tobaccos we use in the JV lines play a little bit better.
The branding on these cigars is decidedly Spanish, not Cuban but Spanish. What’s the story with that?
A lot of brands come out and they do like a classic Cuban concept so we came out and we did a classic Spanish concept. The two ports of entry for tobacco in Spain were Gibraltar and Murcia and the first cigar factory was in Sevilla. So we named the brands Gibraltar, Murcias, and Sevillana.
It is interesting that your concept goes to Spain as opposed to Cuba.
Yeah, I had the Caldwell Collection idea lined up and then I was in Spain in November. I go to Spain every year. So I was down in Sevilla and I found out about this history. And I thought that classic Spanish is kind of a fun play on it. When I’m in a store guys ask all the time, ‘What is Gibraltar?’ I’m like ‘Oh it’s a British territory at the southern tip of Spain.’ And then you get to explain that history we just talked about. So it’s something that makes people ask another question.
Speaking of stores, which of your lines are available in s tores and which ar e available online?
Caldwell Collection is only available in brick and mortar stores and that’s due to the production levels. I just don’t think we’ll ever be able to make enough of that to sell beyond B&M. The JV lines however are sold in B&M and online/catalogs.