November 4, 2014
Origin : Honduras
Format : Corona
Size : 5.5 x 44
Wrapper : Honduran Criollo
Filler : Honduran Criollo and Dominican Piloto Cubano
Binder : Honduran
Price : ~$5 each
Just before the IPCPR trade show in 2013, Camacho Cigars launched an aggressive makeover of their line in a campaign they called the “bold standard.” While a complete re-branding has been part of this campaign, the changes in Camacho’s lines are more than band-deep. The blends have also been consolidated and transformed, with Camacho choosing to focus on just seven different cigar lines (excluding special & limited editions). Camacho Criollo is one of those regular lines, available in seven different sizes: Robusto, Corona, Toro, Figurado, Gigante, Churchill, and Robusto Tubos. I had the chance to try the Camacho Criollo Corona.
Appearance : [rating:4.5/5]
Like all of Camacho’s re-branded cigars, this one will grab your notice instantly. The eye-catching bright yellow label really “pops” against the dark brown wrapper. Black lettering, simple, minimalist design, and a bold, modern typeface really grab you, along with the slogan, “Infamous since 1962.” I love the edgy new look of these cigars. The scorpion logo is down at the very bottom, also new since the re-branding effort. As to the Honduran Criollo wrapper itself, there are a few visible veins and wrapper seams. From the foot, I catch a whiff of nuts, cocoa, and leather.
Construction : [rating:4.5/5]
The construction is almost perfect. The draw actually is perfect, easy without being too loose. The burn line needed a couple of corrections, but otherwise was straight as a razor. The ash was a bit flaky, but didn’t make too much of a mess, and it did hang on surprisingly long.
Flavor : [rating:4/5]
You’d better love pepper, because you’re going to be hit with a serious blast of it up-front. Underneath it I detected earth and chocolate. There is just a hint of sweetness in the background which tastes like honey, but it is barely detectable under the pepper which remains the dominant flavor. The honey increases just slightly going into the middle third, but still remains in the backdrop behind the pepper. The chocolate starts fading around this point.
Over time, the honey moves into the foreground right alongside the pepper, balancing things out a bit more. Nuts, leather, and earth come and go, but they remain very faint, subtle notes. During the last third, the strength starts amping up from medium to high. During this final segment, the earthy notes are very prominent, and I also detect some kind of wood. I realize now it is probably cedar, and I think it was actually present since the beginning, but I didn’t notice it underneath all that pepper. I did start to find the nicotine kick a little overpowering as I got down toward the nub, to the point where I actually had to give up early. Still, if a “bold standard” is what you are looking for, this cigar lives up to its image.
Value : [rating:5/5]
You can buy a box of 20 of these for just over $100, which comes out to around $5 a stick. You really cannot go wrong with a price like that; it is incredibly reasonable. So even if you are on the fence about it, you may want to try at least one.
Overall Rating : [rating:4.25/5] (4.25)
Whether you will enjoy the Camacho Criollo Corona depends a lot I think on what you are looking for in a cigar. The flavors are intense (especially with all that pepper), and the strength is bold. While I found it slightly overwhelming by the end (and I have heard other smokers say the same), if a strong cigar is what you are looking for, you will probably love it. I can definitely say that the re-branding of Camacho’s cigars is befitting of their blends. Like the scorpion in their logo, this one might sneak up on you.
January 9, 2018
YAWN…I found the flavors to be pretty basic. Middle of the road, medium bodied smoke that tastes a lot like an RyJ 1875. If you guys think this is a “bold” smoke, you should seriously stay away from the Triple Maduro. Now THAT is bold!!
August 28, 2016
Excellent review. I’m finding the criollo and fantastic smoke which grows on me every time. Props to the Maduro too as per comment above.
April 2, 2015
I’m a big fan of the Camacho line and really love the new blends –
The Criollo is a great smoke and a bang on review (I always prefer robustos) – Pepper city – Knocked me a little goofy towards the end as I like to smoke my robustos to the very end –
The new Corojo is an excellent blend as well – As strong as the Criollo but less peppery and less of a kick at the end – For a little less of a nicotine buzz, try the Connecticut or the Triple Maduro (although its supposed to be the powerhouse I have found them less so but immensely tasty) –
BTW – I’m not a sales guy – I just like to see brands I enjoy succeed so I can keep smoking them..
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