“All the rich, deep flavor and spicy kick you'd expect from Camacho, without the knock-down power.“—Davidoff of Geneva
I’m just going to come out and say it because no one else seems to want to make this a topic of discussion: More brand names need to interweave the word “macho” into their official titles. Especially premium cigar brands with a tendency of producing potent cigar flavor profiles.
While we can’t resist an enchilada plate from the local “Macho Taco” Tex-Mex fast food joint down the road, the thought of puffing a mild cigar from the likes of Camacho is a bit of an oddity.
Founded in 1961 by Simon Camacho, the man responsible for Miami's first cigar factory furthered his legacy by crafting a line of cigars bearing his family name. For nearly three decades Camacho Cigars stood strong as a stogie staple, all the way up until Simon’s passing in 1990.
Five years later, the Nicaraguan-based Camacho brand was purchased by the Eiroa family and moved to their farm and rolling factory in Honduras. There, it was rebranded and blended using estate-grown tobacco. It was there, too, that the full-strength Corojo side of the Camacho cigar brand emerged, thus changing its image forever.
Five years following the Eiroa family’s selling of the Camacho brand to Davidoff of Geneva in 2008, another massive overhaul occurred in 2013. Davidoff wanted to re-release the Honduran brand with fresh blends, bolder marketing, and brightly pigmented packaging to back it all up.
Since then, things have been pretty much cigar business as usual. As of late, things have been looking up for the Camacho brand too, especially from a figures perspective, with Camacho sales reportedly increasing +11.3% in 2020 alone.
All of those scorpions, vibrant colors, big-ass cigar bands, and the bevy of revamped premium cigar flavor profiles must have worked. Take the mildest of the Camacho lot for instance. A big, bold banana yellow banded Connecticut line, that serves double duty as a very highly reviewed milder smoke, and as the “gateway cigar” for the modern-day Camacho brand.
Meticulously constructed, yet slightly tight on the binder and wrapper, the Churchill size of this cigar appears to be quite snazzy. Above its doughy colored wrapper, the scorpion sits in wait, looking right at home atop its overhauled bright yellow split band. A band that fits the elongated length of the cigar quite nicely, might I add.
So what if the Churchill cigar type is not for everyone? This cigar type is still selling like mad, even well over a century after being named after the cantankerous old bulldog of a Brit. Yes, despite its sizable length, the Churchill cigar type stands strong as a favorite parejo amongst cigar smokers of today..
As for Camacho’s Connecticut Churchill, if you roll the barrel of this cigar between your fingers, you will be able to get an idea of how spongy, or doughy it feels. There’s also this grassy, citrusy shade-grown scent, the direct result of the premium cigar blend and Ecuadorian shade-grown Connecticut cigar wrapper leaving their aromatic remnants on your hands.
The smell is even more intensified once popped into your mouth. A tart, muscadine-like flavor that remains subdued by an unlit nose. A sensation that is typical of the shade-grown Connecticut cigar wrapper options coming out of Ecuador these days, and a damn fine one at that.
Paired with a Japanese Wilkinson ginger ale and some Zubrowka bison grass Polish vodka, my afternoon highball of choice proved to be the perfect cigar and alcohol pairing for the Camacho Connecticut Churchill. As cold pulls continued to pair perfectly with the ginger fizz of my beverage, I snagged my trusty torch lighter and set the foot of that blonde beast ablaze.
Tobacco Nerd Note: An article in Cigar Journal many years back referred to Christian Eiroa as “The Corojo King.” Not just due to his affinity for red leaf tobacco strains, but because of his intense work ethic from 2001 to 2008, just prior to him selling the cigar brand to Davidoff. In the interview, Eiroa explains the Camacho brand’s success in unfiltered terms, saying, “We experienced an 82-month-long success streak. Every day, every week, every month, we topped our sales from before – seven years long.”
Outstanding initial notes of toasted grain and fresh bread are the first thing you’ll pick up with this mellow Camacho. So much so that I foolishly began referring to my premium cigar blend as my “Unmacho” smoke for the first part of the evening.
But just as it began to look like nothing amazing was going to emerge during the first quarter, something true to style struck me. Ah! There was that Camacho kick I adored. That Corojo karate chop. The red leaf roundhouse that to this day continues to keep the Eiroa side of the story in charge of most modern Camacho incarnations.
Thankfully, this translates to the first quarter of the cigar containing that distinctly Honduran Camacho Corojo cigar flavor profile that everyone knows. Obviously, the Honduran/Dominican blend of the long-filler spews flavor and aroma as well, but it’s the big red leaf binder that’s the true catalyst at work here.
Tobacco Nerd Note: As the story goes, it was Christian Eiroa who had the bright idea of working with a select community of cigar patrons at a smoke shop to fine hone his rebranded Camacho line of premium cigar blends. Over the course of a full year during the late 1990s, customers and store clerks alike group tested and submitted feedback about the Camacho brand’s test run smokes. Everything from wrapper styles and cigar band styles to boxes, prices, and strength levels were up for critiquing.
The Second Half
More ginger ahead of nutmeg notes hit hard toward the halfway point of this milder Churchill’s cigar flavor profile. All the more reason to pair this cigar type with an alcohol featuring similar notes. Don’t have a Japanese ginger ale and some Polish bison grass vodka handy for a highball? Opt for a Pimm’s Cup, a tequila-based Old Fashioned, or even a Dark & Stormy for those favoring contrasting alcohol flavors over complimentary ones.
No matter what you choose to swig alongside this Connecticut-wrapped Churchill, there is no mistaking the refreshing lemongrass cigar flavor profile toward its core. All of the dry cedar aromas that billow forth thereafter are even more pronounced, too.
Then there’s the covert crouching tiger in the room. That signature Camacho Corojo kung-fu kick at the cigar’s center. A familiar fiery tobacco bite that is both welcomingly warm and a harbinger of the inevitable Camacho ass-whooping that is sure to follow.
But the frontal attack on the senses never occurs. Just the warm embrace of the final parting puffs of Camacho’s Connecticut Churchill returning big flavor and subtle strength.
From unlit nose to tail end, those hints of ginger and toasted rich-grain bread are all accounted for too. Along with its outstanding pull, velvety smoke, and pleasant early parting puffs, the Connecticut Churchill by Camacho comes to a very fine finish. A finish that would be cut short by time constraints and a misjudgment on the lengthy time spent smoking and assessing this Churchill cigar.
But up until that point, it was all smooth sailing for the Churchill cigar in its construction, combustion, and ash building capabilities.
I guess that’s why we here at Klaro Cigars enjoy the Connecticut cigar blend from Camacho so damn much. It transitions seamlessly at every stage, earning it a top spot as both a preferred Klaro Cigars 5-pack option and a staple in our monthly cigar membership subscription plan.
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut-Shade
Wrapper Shade: Natural Claro
Binder: Honduras - Corojo
Filler: Honduras, Dominican Republic
Ring Gauge: 48
Smoke Time: 90 minutes