Camacho recently came out with their “Bold is Back” campaign with some reblending of their core line of cigars. One of those cigars is the Criollo and that is the cigar I will be taking a look at in this review.
This cigar review is sponsored by Cigarscity.com and I am very thankful for their sponsorship of this and a few other upcoming reviews. Check out their site, their prices are comparable to the “big named” online retailers with friendly customer service and fast shipping.
The first noticeable aspect of the cigar is quite obvious; its a tubo. The yellow metal tube is bright, bold and very noticeable over other cigars with their brown tobacco hues blending in from box to box on the shelves. The bold color draws your eye to the cigar whether you choose to purchase it or not, it gets your attention. The tube provides a few plus factors with the cigar. The main one is that its a great protection device for the cigar. Not everybody wants to tote a 5ct travel humidor to the golf course or out on the boat fishing. The tube allows you to put the cigar in your pocket, golf bag, tackle box etc… without fear of it being mangled. It also holds humidity inside the tube so you don’t have to worry with that factor either. I am not sure how long it will hold humidity stable, but the outer atmosphere will play a big issue in that (heat/cold). One drawback I have found with tubos is there is a good chance that mold can form inside them if stored sealed in your humidor. I found to take the cap off the tube and store the cigar that way in your humidor until you are ready to travel with it. Then, screw on the cap and away you go! The airflow helps regulate the humidity in the tube and stops mold growth.
The cigar itself is far from a beauty queen. The wrapper is not as smooth as most cigars, the double cap is deeply applied, but not the cleanest applied cap I have ever seen, but I have seen a lot worse. The wrapper has a slightly darker than a medium brown hue to it with a few veins here and there. Some are larger and thicker than others, but none seem to look to cause any construction issues. The cigar has an overall solid feel to it and is fairly light in the hand. The wrapper has a light hay note with dabs of a black pepper in the mix. The foot aroma has hints of nutmeg, hay and a slight spiciness to it.
Vitola: Robusto (in tubo)
Wrapper: Criollo ’98 fourth priming
Binder: Authentic Corojo
Filler: Honduran and Dominican-grown Piloto Cubano
Country of origin: Honduras
Price: $5.50 (when purchased via 10pk)
The draw was slightly lesser than milkshake thick. I don’t prefer a thick draw, so this was a tad bit thicker than I would usually prefer, but very manageable. The burn had a few waves in it, but never needed any assistance or relights. The ashes held tight and had dirty off-white and gray hues. A few flakes here and there, but not big deal.
The first handful of draws, I get flavors of a white pepper, some grassy and vegetal notes. There is a very light hint of a herbal-type spice that hits me on the tip of my tongue and it lingers for a while. From time to time during the first third, I got short lived hints of a bitter cocoa, that started showing up more and more on the finish; but never became a key note in the smoke. Personally, the bitterness of the cocoa and vegetal notes didn’t seem to jive well.
Heading into the middle portion, the vegetal notes ease off in power. The vegetal notes easing off, allows more of the bitter cocoa shine through and loose some of the bitterness of it. The white and black pepper eases off a bit as well and moves to the latter half of the draw and lingers a while on finish as well as a bit of the bitterness left over from the cocoa. Heading out of the middle portion, a musty note comes into play and is pretty bold and almost unpleasant. The vegetal and white pepper notes start to ramp back up in strength, but still a lesser form than in the first third.
The last portion of the cigar, I want to try to retrohale it, but I think the white pepper and musty notes will be too much for my sinuses. They are pretty bold and I can only imagine them being even bolder through the retrohale. The cocoa note is pretty much out of the picture and the white pepper, vegetal and musty notes are in command through the final third.
This was not a bad smoke, but it didn’t hit my typical flavor profile. I think the vegetal “twang” in the smoke was what I didn’t prefer. I don’t smoke too many Criollo cigars mainly due to I find the vegetal and grassy notes not to my likings. The white and black pepper seemed to be almost too bold for me at times. I don’t want to seem like a “Debbie Downer” on this cigar, as it wasn’t horrible. Just something I wouldn’t smoke too regularly as there are many other Camacho cigars that I prefer over it. The construction was great and gave me no issues, just like how most of my experiences with Camacho cigar were. The flavors were not “foul” jut not my in my typical wheelhouse. They were a bit over medium in strength and the body of the cigar is a solid medium.
*This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from CigarsCity for this review. Many thanks to those great people for the opportunity to review this cigar!