Reading Time: 3 minutes Gary takes a ride on the Kristoff Guardrail Matador, one of three vitolas in the new line. Although the story behind the cigar is chilling, thankfully it ended well. See this review now to learn whether it bears a similar conclusion.
#nowsmoking: Camacho Corojo Robusto
#nowsmoking Classic Edition: Camacho Corojo Robusto Cigar Review
Camacho Corojo Cigar Review – Robusto
Factory: Diadema Cigars de Honduras, S.A. – Danli, Honduras
Size: 5” x 50
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo (Vintage 1997 from original Cuban seed)
Binder & Filler: Original Corojo seed (Honduras)
Presented in Boxes of 20, 5-packs and singles.
The Camacho Corojo Cigars Back Story
It all started in 1961, when Cuban exile, Simon Camacho, opened Miami’s first cigar factory and introduced the now famous Camacho cigars brand. Camacho passed away in 1990. In 1995 the Eiroa family, based in Honduras, purchased the rights to the brand and made it a star of the 1990s cigar boom. Seeing the potential for expanding their catalog, Davidoff purchased Camacho in 2008, and has remained true to the brand’s “Live Loud” motto.
Camacho calls it the “infamous” Corojo seed that so clearly represents pre-revolution Cuban cigars. The Corojo seed was developed in the early 1940s by Diego Rodriguez on his El Corojo farm in Pinar del Rio. His goal was to isolate a particular strain of the seed.
The world’s only 100% authentic Corojo seed
By crossing a Mesoamerican Criollo strain with an Indonesian Sumatra, Rodriguez created a full-bodied, complex, and highly flavorful tobacco that produced a wrapper leaf with a color and flavor unlike anything that had come before. Rodriguez’s Corojo seed would soon become the standard for Cuban cigar tobacco.
After the Revolution of 1959, Castro’s new regime nationalized farms and imposed economic sanctions. This not only threatened farmers like Rodriguez, it also jeopardized the seeds. Corojo fell victim to disease, which meant protecting the seed and resulted in lower yields at harvest time.
The Corojo Seed Exits Cuba
Enter Daniel Rodriguez, Diego’s son, who scooped up as many of the original Corojo seeds as he could and relocated to the fertile Jamastran Valley of Honduras. This location had a unique microclimate that was almost identical to Cuba’s famed Vuelta Abajo region. As a result, Rodriguez’s Corojo seeds adapted fairly quickly. Therefore, little if anything was lost in translation.
The Corojo used for the Camacho Corojo wrapper is a high-grade, fifth-priming wrapper leaf, with more Jamastran-grown original Corojo seed leaf used for the binder and filler. This makes it a puro through-and-through. As a result, the bold, “Cubanesque” nature of the cigars’ flavor profile has made Camacho Corojo a must-smoke for premium cigar lovers worldwide.
The Cigar Basics At-a-Glance
Construction: Well packed. The wrapper has a somewhat dry appearance with an attractive caramel color. Look more closely at it when the light picks up its oils, and it almost resembles a Cuban Corojo wrapper. The cigar was also so expertly rolled I couldn’t even find the seams on both of my samples. The cap is well done, and if using a double blade cutter, clips in a perfect circle.
Cold Draw: Perfect, with a salty leathery taste.
Toasting and light: The cigar toasts and lights fairly quickly, revealing initial puffs that are a very spicy mix of pepper, salt, and earth, with a tease of sweet tobacco.
Base flavors: Spice, leather, roasted nuts, charred wood, and sweet earth
Aromas: The wrapper has a familiar hay-like fragrance, while the tobaccos at the foot are more leathery, and the smoke, itself, is spicy.
Retrohale: Mostly peppery in varying degrees, depending on what part of the cigar you’re at.
Burn & Ash: For some reason, this cigar tends to burn a little fast, but it does burn true, and the ashes are quite firm.
Camacho Corojo Cigar Review – Act I
Once you get over the initial spice kick, it doesn’t take very long for the cigar to round-out. What’s left is a mixture of sweet tobacco, some spice, and some pepper on the fringes. This is a bold smoke from the start, but it’s also smooth and medium plus in body during the early stage. I also found a fair amount of tartness in the mix.
The first ash was very firm, mostly grey, and hung on well until gravity finally won-out, exposing a sharp cone-like shape.
At this stage, the Camacho Corojo Robusto was more spice than pepper, but if spice is your thing, there’s plenty more in the aroma.
Camacho Corojo Cigar Review – Act II
By the time we arrive at the midsection, additional flavors enter the fray including leathery notes and nuts. Well into this section, the body goes all-out full as does the strength. From here to the end of this section, the cigar flavors are highly consistent. As the final third approaches, notes of burnt wood arrive.
Camacho Corojo Cigar Review – Act III
Pretty much a continuation of the midsection. The flavors are very bold, still very spicy and now, woody along with some sweet earth. At this stage, it’s the only form of sweetness in the mix. At this point, the cigar has clearly demonstrated how authentic Cuban seed Corojo tastes. I’d almost forgotten how spicy the Camacho Corojo was, but the flavors are so well-balanced, it makes for a very distinctive taste.
What whiskey pairs best with the Camacho Corojo Robusto?
Knob Creek Rye – A 100-proof Rye that pairs traditional rye spice with Knob Creek’s signature sweetness. It has a high corn mashbill, offering a bold rye spiciness with undertones of vanilla and oak. The whiskey also offers aromatic notes of herbs and rye with nuances of oak.
In lieu of that, try a mixed drink like an Old Fashioned.
(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.)
Does the Camacho Corojo taste like a Cuban cigar? – Final Thoughts
Corojo through-and-through is the order of the day. So, if you want to know what perfectly-aged Cuban-seed Corojo tastes like, this is where you begin. Considering its five-inch length and its bolder profile, you should take your time with the cigar. It does smoke a bit fast naturally, but if you over smoke it you may regret it. Because I let the cigar smoke itself, I was able to smoke it down to an inch, and it never went sour on me.
Because the Camacho Corojo may possibly be a challenge for some cigar smokers who are just starting out, they might want to go for the Camacho Scorpion line. On the other hand, it may not be for more experienced smokers who care little for full-bodied and spicy cigars. Yet, I think every cigar smoker should have the Camacho Corojo experience at least once. Does it taste like a Cuban cigar? It’s still apples to oranges, but if you’ve smoked enough Havanas, you’ll at least be able to make an educated comparison.
If you’ve smoked the Camacho Corojo Robusto, or plan on doing so soon, please leave a comment and share your opinion.
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