2017 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to Camacho Cigars

2017 CA Report: The Essential Cigar Advisor Guide to Camacho Cigars

Cigar Advisor’s Essential Camacho Cigars Tasting & Buying Guide

By the Cigar Advisor Editors

If there’s one thing you should know about Camacho cigars, it’s this: Corojo. This is the type of tobacco that formed the backbone of the Cuban cigar “taste,” an intensely flavorful cross between Criollo and Indonesian Sumatra. It was perfected in the 1940’s by Diego Rodriguez, a Cuban tobacco grower. Until…

Enter Fidel Castro, his hostile takeover of Cuba’s resources and the rest of the story you already know. Rodriguez fled the regime with his family and settled in Honduras’ Jamastran Valley, whose terroir closely mirrored the famed Vuelta Abajo region. It was there he partnered with various tobacco growers and cigar makers, including the Eiroas, who gave Corojo its delicious comeuppance in their Camacho cigars just before the Boom. Oettinger Davidoff Group (makers of Davidoff and AVO cigars) bought out Camacho Cigars in 2008, yet continue to source the Corojo for these blends from the Eiroa family farms in Honduras – keeping the supply, and flavorful tradition, alive.

For this Tasting Guide, the Cigar Advisors have sampled their way through the regular production lineup of Camacho cigars, along with some of the more popular special editions and annual releases. Our taste tests consisted of (primarily) robustos, so that we could give you our basic first impressions of each Camacho in the most popular and often-smoked sizes.

We always say that taste is a subjective thing – so use these Camacho cigar reviews as a general overview of each smoke. And if what we’ve described sounds like something that’s up your alley, give ‘em a try for yourself and see what you think. And if you’ve already smoked them – or have a favorite – tell us what you like about any of these Camacho cigars by leaving a comment below!

Camacho American Barrel-Aged Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: PA Broadleaf
Filler: American Broadleaf, Pennsylvania Maduro, Honduran Corojo
Binder: PA Broadleaf

camacho cigars guide camacho american barrel aged cigarsConstruction and Overall Appearance: Broadleaf has even coloring; some veins, slight tooth, not oily; well rolled, with a carefully applied cap.
Draw: A bit on the tight side.
Pre-light flavor: Dried fruit, earth, wood, sweet tobacco.
Toasting & Light: Broadleaf is tough to light.
Base flavors: Oak, pepper, sweetness and leather.
Retrohale: The corojo’s sweetness shines through the wood and spice, along with dried flowers.
Aroma: Warm, sweet and somewhat thin.
Burn / Ash Quality: The burn is straight, the ash splits.
Balance of flavors: Favors intensity over diversity.

camacho cigars guide camacho american barrel aged cigar review john

A slow-cooked Camacho deep dish: the Broadleaf/Corojo combo makes for an aggressive smoke, but the warm flavors stick to your ribs. Click to see more.

Summary: Somehow Camacho has found a way to put that burn of Bourbon into the smoke of a cigar – it’s not the taste, and it’s not an infusion, but something that triggers the taste buds in the same way as a swig of hooch does: with a big, full peppery-sweet bite.

It looks it, but this is not a Maduro – this PA Broadleaf smokes with more edginess. The oak from the 5 months of barrel finishing the tobaccos is very evident up front; pepper is, too, and in a big way – and when it hits, it’s bitey. Those tastes are met with charred steak and leather. These are all warm flavors: big, full and round. Eventually, the Corojo’s subtle sweetness slowly makes its move – and at about halfway, in comes a saltiness that lingers for a while. Some smoky bitterness creeps in from time to time, but doesn’t diminish the quality of the smoke – then everything finishes out on a leather sensation, with some more woodiness and a bit of bite.

The flavors are full, the finish is short; and while it’s intense, this is one of the Camacho cigars that smokes with more nuance than I expected. They put a lot of work into making this one – pour a glass of something sturdy and give it a try.

 

Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Cigar Review

By Tommy Zman

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000 Wrapper
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran & Dominican
Binder: Mexican

camacho cigars guide camacho nicaraguan barrel aged cigars reviewDraw: Perfect
Pre-Light: Earthy and sweet
First Few Puffs: Very nutty and caramel
Retrohale: Intense caramel
Aroma: Sweet
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid
Balance of Flavors: Great balance of complex flavors

camacho cigars guide camacho nicaraguan barrel aged cigar review tommy

Rum can be sweet; cigar tobaccos aged in rum barrels, even sweeter. Asking if it’s full flavored is like asking if the sky is blue…Click to learn more.

Summary: The people blending Camacho cigars completely outdid themselves when they introduced the original American Barrel Aged, and now they have recreated excellence with the Nicaraguan Barrel Aged. This is one hell of an excellent premium cigar from the construction, to the aged tobacco and the complex flavor profile. The blend is an absolute ass-kicking mix of Nicaraguan Corojo, Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Honduran Corojo aged for five full months in Flor de Cana rum barrels. The binder is Mexican San Andreas for some spicy zing and the wrapper is a beautiful vintage 2000 Ecuadorian Habano. There are some amazingly delicious notes of espresso, black cherry and a sweet caramel nuttiness that definitely comes from that rum barrel aging. While the flavors change throughout, that caramel-like sweetness basically lasts from start to finish. This is a very full-flavored cigar and I’d recommend it for those who have some real cigar smoking experience. Yet another triumph for Camacho Cigars.

 

Camacho Connecticut Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Toro (6 x 50)
Strength: Mild-plus to Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut-seed
Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic
Binder: Honduras

camacho cigars guide camacho connecticut cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. Wrapper is ultra-silky, even in tone and devoid of any veins. The cigar has a nice weight and feel in the hands.
Draw: Excellent. (Almost too open.)
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Leather and nutmeg.
First few puffs: Well-rounded and toasty with a nice amount of sweetness.
Base flavors: Cedar, roasted nuts, sweet spice, leather.
Aroma: Sweet.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn revealed a very thin carbon line with no issues. More impressive was the cigar burned at a nice even pace, even with a very wide open draw. The ash was almost entirely dark grey in color and not very firm, yet surrendered to gravity in 3/4-inch nuggets.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Observations

  • First Third: Got off to a nice, creamy start with notes of leather, cedar, roasted nuts, and sweet spice. The smoke was mostly medium in body with excellent balance.
  • Second Third: A continuation of the first third. Flavors continued to be smooth, well-balanced, and mostly nutty and woody in flavor with some sweet-spicy notes on the finish.
  • Final Third: Body transitioned to medium-plus, with the woody-nutty and spice flavors intensifying slightly. No bitterness, even at this juncture, especially since the draw was wide open.
camacho cigars guide camacho connecticut review gary

The ideal starter cigar? Gary gave it high marks for consistency of burn and flavor: “this Toro was smooth sailing down to its 3/4-inch nub.” Click to see more.

Summary: Somehow, I got the feeling that my Camacho Connecticut Toro cigar knew exactly how it was going to smoke and nothing was going to get in its way. I’ve smoked a number of Camacho Connecticut Toros over the years, but this cigar was a true standout. Often with Connecticut wrappers, the cigar will turn bitter, especially in the last act, but this Toro was smooth sailing down to its 3/4-inch nub, and both the balance and core flavors never wavered. That also speaks to the quality of the tobaccos Camacho uses in their blends. So, if I were to offer a recommendation based on the performance of this cigar, I’d say it was the ideal “starter cigar.” N00bies take note.

 

Camacho Ecuador Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength: Full (actually medium)
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Filler: Honduran/Dominican
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina

camacho cigars guide camacho ecuador cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Very dark natural Habano wrapper has gorgeous coloring, with a silky sheen. Expertly applied triple cap, no veins, seamless roll – a flawlessly-made smoke.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Tea, earth, leather, mineral – and a mouthwatering umami sensation.
Toasting & Light: Red pepper, minty greens, saltiness.
Base flavors: Unroasted nuts (think macadamia), citrus, tea, greens, leather.
Retrohale: Wood, leather.
Aroma: Sweet, floral – excellent.
Burn / Ash Quality: So-so burn with a stacked silver ash; needed one touch-up.
Balance of flavors: Not wildly complex, but the flavors are pretty intense – and not too strong. Great midday smoke that certainly leans to the layered side.

Summary: While they toss around the word “bold” a lot, the boldness in these Camacho cigars isn’t in the strength – it’s in the intensity of the flavors. Thick with Corojo (of course) and Criollo Ligero, the Camacho Ecuador offers good-sized rips of peppery smoke right out of the gate; I can’t say it’s too thin or too thick, just that there’s plenty of it.

camacho cigars guide camacho ecuador cigar review john

John reviews Camacho Ecuador: “[A] real surprise…may turn out to be one of the dark horses of this whole Camacho cigars guide.” Click to learn more.

But a couple more puffs in and you’ll see there’s a lot going on beneath the surface: an underlying sweet tanginess that wants to come out that’s like dates or raisins…an undercurrent of black pepper that comes and goes from time to time, just to name two. Then the dam breaks: the tanginess pours on, kind of a mix of citrus and sweet earth backed with a bite as the pepper comes back, just not as intense as before. By 2/3, all that savory stuff trails off and leaves leather, pepper and wood until the finish.

The Camacho Ecuador BXP box press, which I sampled as a comparison, exhibits many of the same notes – and is even sweeter in the Gordo size.

If you overlooked this cigar upon its release, or just didn’t give it much thought, it’s time to give Ecuador its due. Let’s just say this cigar is a real surprise – and may turn out to be one of the dark horses of this whole Camacho cigars guide.

 

Camacho Criollo Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo ’98
Filler: Honduran Criollo ’98 and Dominican Piloto Cubano
Binder: “Original” Honduran Corojo

camacho cigars guide camacho criollo cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. The cigar is well-packed with no soft spots. Wrapper had a nice oily sheen, was entirely even in color with virtually invisible seams and no discernable veins.
Draw: Very good.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Earthiness and a Honeydew melon-like flavor.
First few puffs: Earthy, leathery and woody.
Base flavors: Earth, cedar, white pepper, charry tobacco
Aroma: Sharp.
Burn / Ash Quality: Very good with hardly any carbon line. The ash is mostly grey and modestly firm.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Observations

  • First Third: Medium-bodied and well-balanced. The smoke is primarily earthy and woody with a hint of sweetness. Some peppery notes are revealed early on, then fade as this section comes to a close.
  • Second Third: The flavors transitioned to a more earthy-woody character with some charry notes sneaking in to the mix. Flavors were still well-balanced with more depth, moving to a medium-plus body.
  • Final Third: The flavors become darker, more intense and funneled down to three primary flavors – earthy spice, dark tobacco, and charred wood.
camacho cigars guide camacho criollo review gary

Camacho Criollo: “A real tobacco lover’s cigar,” according to Gary. “It’s not sweet or too strong…a rich salvo of well-balanced, TRUE tobacco flavor.” Click to see more.

Summary: I don’t know where that melon-like flavor came from in the pre-light, but it never resurfaced after I lit up. I guess I expected some citrusy notes in the flavor pool, but all-in-all, this cigar has a very lean mix that comes down to mostly earthy spice, wood, a little white pepper and some dark, charry tobacco notes; what I would call “a real tobacco lover’s cigar.” It’s not sweet or too strong; rather, it offers a rich salvo of well-balanced, TRUE tobacco flavor. I don’t know any other way to describe it other than, once you smoke it, you’ll know what I mean. More experienced smokers will likely have a better appreciation for this, but with its medium body, newer cigar smokers should consider adding this to their collection, if only to experience its very Cubanesque flavor.

 

Camacho Corojo Cigar Review

By Tommy Zman

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: Corojo
Filler: Corojo
Binder:  Corojo

camacho cigars guide camacho corojo cigars reviewDraw: Smooth and easy
Pre-Light: Earthy
First Few Puffs: Slightly peppery and coffee
Retrohale: A bit tingly from the upfront pepper
Aroma: Slightly charry
Burn/Ash Quality: Solid, perfect, light gray
Balance of Flavors: Pretty straight forward

camacho cigars guide camacho corojo review tommy

Turns out, Camacho Corojo is one of Zman’s go-to smokes. click to see more.

Summary: Honduran Corojo has a distinct and delicious taste and the people at Camacho have done a terrific job at keeping this classic cigar consistent. Fifth priming, high-grade tobaccos from Honduras’s Jamastran Valley are aged for two full years giving this full-bodied treat its unique flavor profile. It starts off slightly peppery, but that gives way to a sweet cedary component that’s consistent all the way through. You’ll also get some notes of leather and coffee on the palate as well. I love this stick with a good cup of coffee and for me, it’s good from lunchtime on. The construction is great and the draw is smooth and easy. Can I have another one, please?

 

Camacho Triple Maduro Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres Maduro
Filler: Honduran, Brazilian, and Dominican Maduro
Binder:  Authentic Corojo Maduro

camacho cigars guide camacho triple maduro cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Handsome looking Maduro wrapper, cool looking band. Triple seam cap looks perfect.
Draw: Nice and easy.
Pre-light flavor: Foot smells of earth, woods, general sweetness and leather. Cold draw is a very sweet fig flavor with bread, toast, spice, and woods.
Toasting & Light: Very woody with black pepper and a slick- oily mouth feel, There’s definitely a toasted note as well. A rich oak follows along with a spice-like sensation like to nutmeg.
Base flavors: Black pepper, chocolate, woods, earth, coffee.
Retrohale: Very tangy, woody, and peppery.
Aroma: Woody/peppery.
Burn / Ash Quality: Slight canoeing in the beginning, was quickly straightened out. The ash was almost fluorescent.
Balance of flavors: In the end this was a well-rounded smoke, though it did favor peppery and woody spice early on.

General Observations

  • After toasting, the Triple Maduro leaves me with black pepper on the tongue and a generally woody profile.
  • About an inch in, that Mexican sweetness slinks its way in, tasting very chocolatey and earthy but that black pepper still lingers on.
  • The smoke is nice and cool; chocolate and cocoa are the top flavors with earth, wood and coffee in the background and black pepper holds the anchor on the aftertaste.
  • Around the second third there’s increased sweetness, chocolate is abundant as well as coffee and a nutty tastes chimes in as well, black pepper is present throughout.
  • Retrohale is still very tangy, peppery, and woody.
camacho cigars giude camacho triple maduro cigar review fred

Black pepper…dark and sweet flavors…an insane amount of smoke. That’s Triple Maduro – click to see more.

Summary: This cigar had everything you could ask for from the all-maduro leaves. Classic dark and sweet flavors shines through on the cold draw which brought a very sweet fig-like dried fruitiness with a bready spice, toast, and woods.

What’s to wait for? I toasted up and was immediately greeted by black pepper on the tongue and a woody profile. While the first third lacked the typical maduro sweetness, it more than made up for it with an intensely woody and peppery profile and an insane amount of smoke.

An inch in, tons of cool chocolatey and cocoa notes dominate with earth, wood, and coffee and in the background, the black pepper served as an anchor on the aftertaste. By the last third, this turned into an intense cigar. It had rounded out rather nicely with a chocolatey sweetness that’s countered by a sharp black pepper on the aftertaste. One fantastic smoke; one would do well to pair this with a rye or dark ale.

 

Camacho Ditka Signature Cigar Review

By John Pullo

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo
Filler: Dominican Republic
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99

Camacho cigars guide Camacho Mike Ditka Edition cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Malt-colored wrapper with minimal veins and tooth. Average weight and feel with a triple cap. Sports Ditka’s Cowboys colors.
Draw: Nice draw, on the border of airy.
Pre-light flavor: Dark cherry tanginess meets a dry sensation somewhere between wood and leaves, along with a cool and crisp floral note.
Toasting & Light: Be aware – the Camacho Ditka fires up fast and burns quick, which you’ll notice more than the flavors.
Base flavors: Dry spice, coffee, a strong cedar, leather.
Retrohale: Sweet, with a tiny bit of crisp, toasty spice.
Aroma: A mellow, floral room note.
Burn / Ash Quality: White ash with an even burn throughout.
Balance of flavors: Leans on the sweet, more flavorful than strong.

Summary: You may know him as Iron Mike, but it’s evident that Ditka likes his cigars a bit more on the mellow side…and Camacho Cigars has obliged, giving Coach a smooth smoke that doesn’t force the strength issue. This blend smokes differently because of the binder – where Camacho usually waves the flag of “authentic” Honduran Corojo for all to see, Ditka’s cigar uses a more sweet/less spicy leaf from Nicaragua.

Smoke this cigar and you’ll sense the nuances moving in groups: two flavors at a time, shifting 2 or 3 times. Another review I read on this cigar noted an “effervescence” – like the feeling in your mouth after a swig of champagne. I got that same vibe early on, along with a subtle sweetness and a mineral-like component from time to time.

camacho cigars guide camacho ditka signature review john

Hall of Famer Mike Ditka gets his own cigar; surprisingly, it’s much more mellow than Iron Mike is, with long, sweet flavors. Click to learn more.

About halfway through, the sweetness ratchets back and becomes more of a bready, baked goods taste tinged with faint tannins; for the Ditka Signature’s next (and last) move, the whole thing smooths out and smokes like a medium bodied Connecticut through to the end.

Definitely not your standard Camacho fare, but certainly a nice change of pace from the hair-raising intensity on which they’ve built their name. If you want to smoke Camacho cigars – but don’t want to struggle with a full-bodied smoke – I’d recommend you start here, without hesitation.

 

Camacho Liberty 2017 Cigar Review

By Gary Korb

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Toro (6 x 54)
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Honduran Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Dominican Piloto Cubano

camacho cigars guide camacho liberty 2017 cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: Impeccable. The wrapper is sealed with a perfectly-applied triple seam cap, even in dark chocolate color from head to toe with a light oiliness, and devoid of any nasty veins. The tobaccos are well-packed with no soft spots, and has a nice heft in the hand.
Draw: Perfect.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Mostly leathery.
First few puffs: Woody and sweet.
Base flavors: Caramelized flavors of earth, sweet spice, oak, cedar and molasses.
Aroma: To die for (like my American freedom).
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn was even with a thin black carbon line, and formed a perfect cone when ashed. Ash was very fine, almost powdery in texture, mostly grey, and held on well, but a bit flaky, revealing a whiter ash inside when broken.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Observations

  • First Third: Started out very creamy with caramelized notes of wood and molasses. Each puff had a good volume of sweet, chewy smoke. Each draw was consistent and I began thinking, “It’s SO good now, what could possibly be next?”
  • Second Third: I was expecting more of a transition here, but the smooth, creamy smoke continued as before, which was fine by me. If anything, I noticed a little tartness and a dash of pepper on the finish, and by the end of the segment, the smoke ramped-up considerably in both body and strength.
  • Final Third: After readjusting my head, the volume of smoke increased even further and the strength, even more intense. It seemed like the sweeter aspect of this cigar was losing its grip. Here again, I expected more of a complex transition, but surprisingly, the smoke mellowed in the last few inches and returned to its base notes. How’d they do that?
camacho cigars guide camacho liberty cigar review gary

If he looks content now, you should have seen Gary’s face fifteen minutes after this picture was taken: cigar heaven. Click to see more.

Summary: I felt liberated just admiring this cigar. I haven’t had a Camacho Liberty release in several years, but I remember it fondly; and all things being equal, they put everything they’ve got into this annual release. The 2017 Liberty cigar started off so beautifully in both flavor and aroma I wanted to make sure I got every puff in, so I smoked it as slowly as possible. Like the Camacho Criollo above, this is also a very SOLID smoke, in that, each puff is loaded with flavor, but not in an overpowering way. Let’s just say the smoke is issued in shovelfuls rather than spoonfuls. I think they were going for a more Powerband-like smoke with this year’s Liberty, too. Starting off on the sweet and woody side, the smoke builds to a very robust, dark tobacco profile, then miraculously, returns to its base flavors in the last couple of inches. Fans of Camacho Cigars’ annual Liberty release will definitely want to add this to their list, as well as experienced smokers who love hearty, full-flavored cigars with more of a Nicaraguan bent.

 

Camacho Powerband Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size:  Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
Filler: Honduran Corojo ligero and Nicaraguan Corojo Ligero
Binder:  Mexican San Andres

camacho cigars guide camacho powerband cigars reviewConstruction and Overall Appearance: The band reminds me of a billboard ad, including a word cloud of phrases like “high octane” and “full throttle”. The wrapper is almost flawless except for a few pin-sized water marks on the foot.
Pre-light flavor: Foot- earth, leather, pepper, spice and a peaty moss. Cold draw produces very bready and warm flavors of cocoa, coffee, wood, earth, and damp wood.
Toasting & Light: Initial flavors are very bready and chocolatey with a saltiness, rich creaminess, and coffee. There’s also a mineral type note that works its way in as well.
Base flavors: Black pepper, chocolate, wood and earth.
Retrohale: There’s a rush of white pepper followed by a sweet and savory oak wood flavor, followed by cocoa powder and malt.
Burn / Ash Quality: The ash is liquid-paper white and holds steady as a rock; burn line is surgically sharp.

camacho cigars guide camacho powerband review fred

There’s an interesting story to how the Powerband is rolled; click above (or the video review link below) to learn more about it.

Summary: The Camacho Powerband is a very balanced smoke: savory, mixed with a dry sweetness. Smokes like an old timey train. At 1 inch there’s black pepper on the throat with a dry chocolatey flavor that’s similar to cocoa powder, notes of bread and coffee and a tang on the aftertaste. Some of the nicotine strength kicks in early – I’m starting to see that “high octane” was more descriptive of these Camacho cigars than I thought.

A mineral note persists into the second third, though the flavors are mostly the same: cocoa powder, black pepper, wood, earth, bread, and a tang on the aftertaste. Then the Powerband gets more creamy and sweet: the chocolate note is more pronounced, as is oak wood – the pepper shifts to the aftertaste.

Last third shows off a more pronounced chocolate, but the profile is mostly a cool woody and dry smoke. Earth, bread, and coffee still offer some complexity and the black pepper is very subdued.

Overall, this is a very rich and filling cigar…especially the last third. Would pair nicely with an after dinner liquor or a fuller Scotch.

Ed. Note: Powerband is one of the more uniquely-made Camacho cigars, and we gave it an in-depth video panel review not too long ago. See/read more about it here.

 

Camacho Diploma 1962 Cigar Review

By Fred Lunt

Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: Special Robusto (5 x 50)
Strength:  Full
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Filler: Honduran Corojo
Binder:  Honduran Corojo

Camacho cigars guide Camacho Diploma 1962 cigars review

Camacho Diploma cigars are offered in only very limited availability, and are currently not in stock. Click the image to see more from our selection of Camacho cigars.

Construction and Overall Appearance: The coffin this cigar came in was beautiful, a royal blue box, heavily lacquered with silver lettering. The cigar itself has a handsome wrapper and seems to be very solid in construction.
Draw: Fantastic, smoke is pouring out.
Pre-light flavor: The foot smells of earth, cocoa, leather and a sweet liquor that reminds me of Kahlua. Cold draw: aged wood, like old fire wood, oak leather, coffee, spice, cocoa powder, a light white pepper.
Toasting & Light: Very, very chocolatey upfront with a smoked wood note and a buttery mouth-feel. There’s also a toasty sweetness and subtle peppery tingle on the lips.
Base flavors: Chocolate, oak, pepper, leather, wood.
Retrohale: Very peppery, with oak, black coffee, and a slight bitter note.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is precision sharp and the ash is white and solid.
Balance of flavors: This cigar leaned toward chocolatey sweet and woody flavors underscored by a slight black pepper.

General Observations

  • One inch in, Diploma is well balanced with a chocolatey sweetness and a woody savory component. Notes of cocoa, coffee, oak, cedar, and leather.
  • Not much changes through the first third except that there is a very rich leather, wood and chocolate component to this smoke with a slightly peppery tingle.
  • Around the 2/3 there’s a slight saltiness that comes about. There’s also a tangy, bitter note that reminds me of lime zest.
camacho cigars guide camacho diploma cigar review fred

It’s more consistent than complex, but Diploma sure goes all-in on this small handful of flavors. And yes, it got nubbed.

Summary: Chocolate. My god, this cigar tastes like chocolate. From the cold draw to the nub, the biggest flavor here was a rich chocolate, though some varying subtle notes chimed in here and there. At the 1-inch mark, Diploma held a nice balance of strength and flavor while drawing notes of coffee, oak, cedar, leather, and (of course) chocolate. The first third can easily be described as rich, holding decadent notes of leather, aged woods, chocolate, and a slight peppery tingle.

By the second third a slight saltiness came about, complement to aforementioned chocolate. What was interesting to note was a tangy-bitter note that reminded me of lime zest. The last third was much the same as the second, but hold on – the intensity cranked up to 11, in true Camacho cigars form.  The retrohale held a peppery note with heavy flavors of oak, black coffee, and a slight bitter note. Overall, while this was a unique smoke and very rich, it lacked the complexity I was expecting from a $20 cigar.

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Out of all of these Camacho cigars, you’re sure to find a favorite – or maybe you already have one. What’s yours? Comment below, along with why you like it.

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