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Camacho Connecticut Churchill review

In this review, Punch and Draw evaluate a Camacho Connecticut and discuss Camacho’s recent re-branding.Comocho Connecticut Churchill cigar

Punch: This has a strong, nice, alfalfa aroma, but I’m not getting much else. It’s pretty firm; I’m noticing a few prominent veins.

D: Mine is nicely firm, as well. There are no prominent surface features on mine. It’s a flat-finish natural leaf with barely detectable seams. It has what I consider a fruity aroma, suggesting grape or raisin.

P: The pre-light draw is nice and fruity, but the flavor of the tobacco on my lips is bitter and off-putting.

D: I have a Pepsi with me this afternoon, and I’ve been enjoying a Pepsi all afternoon, and I miss the sweet subtlety of the dry-draw. Instead I am tasting saltiness, and a hint of lavender floral bouquet. Mine punched cleanly.

P: I’m lighting with a cedar spill today (cedar cigar box lining that has been broken into narrow strips). It has left the foot very sooty for a good ¾ of an inch — very noticeable on this light, natural, Connecticut wrapper. There is slightly harsh bitterness on the attack, leading to a slightly sweet, woody, middle, and a mild pepper finish which diminishes to a longer leather… post-finish(?).

I heard a real good analysis of the difference between lighting with a torch vs. soft flame by Paul Buza, this week. Paul is the managing partner of Big Sticks Fine Cigars in Mesa, Arizona, and he was a guest on a video review over at the Phoenix Cigar Club web site with Peter Hudson, while they reviewed the STK Barracuda. You may want to check out this review video to benefit from some of the good cigar smoking insights Paul passes along from his 30 years in the business.

D: I went ahead and torched mine — not that I don’t appreciate the analysis, or a better kind of light: I simply don’t have cedar to spare. I did work my way in a bit before coming to any conclusions about the flavor however, in case my torching affected the initial flavors. The result? Same conclusions you found! I don’t know that I’d call the attack bitter as much as spicy, but there’s some whang to it. It blends well into a fruity middle with a woodsy pepper finish. The burn line isn’t quite perfect, and I’ve already touched it up to make up for any flaws in my lighting. However, it’s not trying to evolve into a new continent, so for the moment I am content. It produces a lighter smoke, very wispy and readily carted off by the breeze, carrying on from the foot for about a minute after each draw.

P: I’m only and inch in, but at only about 12 minutes it seems as though this Camacho Connecticut is a relatively fast burner compared to most other cigars I’ve had. Doing the math… carry the 12… this Churchill may only be expected to last about about an hour.

D: So what about this huge band, and the bold, new look of Camacho? I find the orange label on this natural Connecticut wrapper to be a nice balance, but I have trouble imagining this band on a robusto.

P: Yeah. It would be like “you are buying the band, and there happens to be this little cigar hidden inside it”. In fact, here’s a photo of the robusto from the Camacho site.

I really like the recent steps the Oettinger Davidoff Group has taken in updating the image of the Camacho brand. I think they have hit a home run with the new bands, the new slogan “The Bold Standard”, and the website — it is simple, bold, easy to navigate, and informative.

D: Here are some write-ups about the new branding: Cigar Aficionado, and Cigar Coop; both suggest that a re-brand was anticipated, however it seems to me that a five-year waiting period must have been a mark of respect for the pre-existing Camacho blends, in addition to research, design, and clearing the existing channel.

P: Or it could have just taken them that long to plan and implement the changes, anyway. Besides, you don’t empty the product channel anticipating new product; it’s going to have to coexist at some point in the roll-out process.

D: True, but they could have rushed it, and they didn’t. The rebranding this year seems very consistent with the changes taking place industry-wide, and not just part of the acquisition. A very natural move, and while numerous commenters have responded saying they didn’t appreciate the new look, I imagine it was more of a fear-response to what would happen to the blends. There was nothing wrong, in my opinion, with the classic stylized-letter C on the band, but that did nothing to distinguish Camacho from dozens of other cigars with letters on the band. The new look is a strong, distinctive, and readily-identifiable look.

P: Agreed. I may just buy a box of the bands.

I’m moving into the second-third of the total length, and I can’t say as I’m noticing much change from my previous description.

D: Agreed. If I had to find some difference, I’d say the creamy character is more pronounced; any initial harshness is diminished.

P: The description on their Web site says it all; they have an excellent writer:

This is one Camacho smoke that doesn’t kick in the door. It knocks. And enters with a mild, smooth taste. But don’t mistake mildness for weakness. This smoke is 100% Camacho. With a spicy kick. Boldness meets balance. We think you two will get along.”

That’s just beautifully said.

D: Speaking of the creamy character, the Camacho site attributes the creaminess to the Connecticut wrapper. Most interesting to me, they credit the sweetness (and the spice) to the Corojo binder. I’ll want to make a note of that and see where and how this sweetness shows up in other cigars.

P: Good point. I’ll finish off that ingredients list by sharing that the fillers are Dominican Aleman Ligero, and proprietary Honduran Generoso leaves, which they say add “profoundness”. I’m at halfway, or possibly the last-third of “smokable” length, and there’s really nothing to add about this cigar.

D: Yes. I’ll note that as darkness has fallen on me here in Kansas, it has predictably almost crushed my cigar — no, no, wait… it has predictably caused a condensation problem, and the cigar is no longer idling well. I’m relighting it somewhat frequently, but that’s no problem of the Camacho Connecticut cigar. I do note that I have a touch of unravelling, as I’ve burned down to it, where I removed the label. Well, lets see what others have said…

P: Here in the last third the pepper finish is a bit stronger than before, but other than that the flavors have been very consistent throughout. It has pared very well with a Warsteiner Dunkel I’ve been drinking, which takes a bit of the edge off of the pepper.

D: I’m just now noticing a flavor change. There’s a cedar flavor creeping in, but it’s not the normal cedar; it is taking to the sweetness of the cigar.

P: Yep. Now I’m noticing the cedar, too. It is faint, so definitely not a big deal, but, with two fingers left to go, the smoke is heating up and I’m going to call it done.

D: I’m a finger farther to smoke, but I agree: this new flavor may sit well with others, but its not the premium flavor I was enjoying earlier. With the condensation issues, and growing autumn chill, I’m going to let it go here, too.


Burn it or Spurn it?

P: Put a match to it, for sure. This Camacho Connecticut Churchill produced a very satisfying volume of smoke, it idled well and needed no touch-ups. Overall it is rather mellow mild, although I did start to feel some strength at the end. It could be a good recommendation for a novice cigar smoker, although as a smaller vitola in order have less chance of getting a nicotine rush. This is a  good value as a $5 Churchill, and would be a welcome visitor in my humidor.

D: Burn this. I would move it more toward medium strength, but mild in character. Despite our early prediction of burn time, this was a good value at 100+ minutes. I enjoyed the way the mild sweetness paired with the spice, and overall very smooth. It was an easy smoke.

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