Camacho Ecuador

I haven't really done much with myself today. It's been a long week, and I would up sleeping until mid-afternoon. Since I didn't really have any reason not to, I reached into my humidor for a nice Robusto (these seem to be my preferred vitola— not too small, but not so large that they require an excessive amount of time to smoke). Tonight's review is on the Camacho Ecuador, which is a real eye-catcher. I've been dying to try it for a long time, so here goes.

Cigar: Camacho Ecuador

Vitola: Robusto (5” x 50)

Price: About $7.00/stick

Origin: Honduras

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican and Honduran
Body: Medium-Full

Rating (out of 10): 9.1

Camacho cigars tend to stand out, with their large, brightly colored bands. The deep, turquoise blue band on the Ecuador is no different; in fact, it grabbed my eye more than the Corojo (red band) and Connecticut (Orange band) sticks beside it in the humidor at the Exchange.

The wrapper is a reddish-brown Habano, fairly veiny and extremely oily. There's a spot at the foot that looks as though it wasn't cut quite perfectly, but I'm sure it's going to light and burn just fine.

No soft spots, tears, or damage, and the cap is neatly applied, with just one tiny wrinkle.

I get a rich blend of aromas from the barrel of this stick: earth, wood, and citrus. Strong coffee notes from the foot.

First Third:
The cold draw is open, and... spicy. Very spicy. Like taking a mouthful of salt and black pepper.

Beyond the spiciness coming off the wrapper, there's also a sweetness from the filler, something like honey or molasses.

I'm trying to light this thing, but damn. My lips are burning off.

Strong tobacco aroma once this thing is lit. Smells like tobacco and cedar. It's beautiful.

The flavor is much woodier after lighting, with strong notes of cedar joining the honey sweetness and the fiery pepper spice. If not for the bright blue Camacho band on this thing, I might think I was smoking a Jaime Garcia.

I'm getting real faint notes of citrus in here somewhere. It's quite a nice pairing to the honey flavor, and the sweetness balances quite nicely against the spicy kick.

The burn is a little bit wavy, but mostly even. It leaves behind a solid, light-grey ash column.

Second Third:
Had to give this one a quick touchup at the start of the second third to correct the burn slightly.

A lot of the sweetness has subsided by this point, leaving a primarily cedar and spice profile, with hints of coffee underneath.

The honey and citrus notes start creeping back in around the halfway point. This is a fabulously complex cigar.

A little past halfway, the honey and citrus take over, pushing the cedar to a more secondary position on the flavor profile. The spice, though, is still going strong on the finish.

Another slight touchup a little farther on, where one side stopped burning.

Final Third:
One side of this stick is really struggling to keep burning. Another touchup rolling into the last third.

The spice is really picking up in the final third, and the cedar is regaining strength, as well. The coffee undertones are intensifying, also.

Just before the end, the cap peeled away, but without damaging the cigar or causing it to unravel.

Closing Thoughts:
This one surprised me; first, with the fiery spiciness that held strong from start to finish; but also with the complexity of flavors ranging from cedar, to citrus, to honey, to coffee. There was a lot going on with this cigar. It grabbed my attention right away with the spice, and held onto it for the entire smoking experience with its complexity, flavors rolling in and out, constantly shifting around one another.

Still, it did experience some consistent burn issues, and the fact that it still scored so high has me thinking, once again, of modifying my rating system, to place less emphasis on flavor, and more emphasis on burn and construction.

Nevertheless, it was a greatly enjoyable smoke, and I'd be quite inclined to pick up more of these for my collection.