Camacho Criollo

My esteemed colleague, Mr. Chris Gwaltney, has already talked a bit about Camacho cigars and has touted the virtues of the Camacho Corojo.  Definitely an outstanding smoke, but perhaps a bit on the overpowering side for some folks.  Let’s take a look at its close relative…the Camacho Criollo.

Corojo and Criollo.  Two terms that can get confusing to many cigar smokers.  Without trying to get too technical, let’s just take a quick historical look at tobacco in Cuba and its movement into the other tobacco countries.  The original tobacco developed in Cuba was known by its scientific term of Habanesis, which is basically the father of all cigar tobaccos.  One of the hybrids of Habanesis that was developed back in the 1940s was known as Criollo and this eventually became the heart and soul for all cigar-making in Cuba.  This Criollo hybrid would actually become the tobacco from which all Cuban tobaccos would derive from and was used for wrappers, binders and filler.  In the mid-1940s on the El Corojo farm in Cuba, a hybrid was derived from the Criollo…and appropriately called Corojo.  This new hybrid Corojo created a leaf that was absolutely perfect for a wrapper leaf and became the leaf of choice for wrappers displacing the Criollo.  There is much more history to delve into but the bottom line is that Corojo is essentially a hybrid of Criollo.

Camacho

While many cigars in the Camacho lineup are Honduran puros, the Camacho Criollo is not a true puro.  It has a Honduran Criollo 98 wrapper, a Honduran Corojo binder, and filler that is Honduran Criollo with a bit of Dominican Piloto Cubano added.

So let’s take one out of the humidor and enjoy an evening smoke!  First off, I get a little whiff of the “barnyard” smell prior to lighting.  Not as pronounced as I thought it would be, but still there nonetheless.  The first few draws were very easy and continued to be easy draws throughout the smoke.  Very light flavors of earth and rich tobacco are the first flavors to be noticed along with what seemed to be almost a raw honey flavor.  I thought that was odd and I looked at some other reviewer notes and they all described that same honey note, so I was thankful I wasn’t alone in my experience!

Camacho 2

As I get about one third through the cigar I begin to pick up some pepper on the retrohale…not overpowering but definitely there.  And the honey notes still remain to help balance out the pepper and keep the flavor well balanced.  The full and rich tobacco flavors that Honduras is noted for also keep shining through.

The remaining two thirds of the cigar gave essentially the same flavors of pepper and honey along with that rich earthy tobacco flavor, although the intensity increased as I got down to the last two inches or so.  In terms of complexity, I would say this is not an overly complex smoke…a bit of a change at the one third mark were I was picking up peppery notes, but stayed fairly consistent from that point.  It had a good burn throughout the smoke and only needed one touch-up.  Produced a fairly solid medium gray ash and the smoke maintained its smoothness from start to finish.  I would call it a medium-bodied cigar with mostly medium strength; however strength does kick up a notch or two in the last third.

An overall nice smoke that gives one a good idea of the flavor profiles and boldness that Camacho is known for, without going over the top.  Not as powerful as its bigger brothers, Camacho Corojo or Triple Maduro, but still a bold cigar!

The best cigar is the one you enjoy,

Steve Mungeer

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Cigar and Gourmet Products Planner and Certified Retail Tobacconist

Follow me on Twitter @abccigarmungo  

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