Friday, May 25, 2007

Camacho Candela Monarca

5" X 50, Candela

I thought I would try something a little different tonight, a candel wrappered cigar. Unlike the other cigar wrapper designations, the candela wrapper is not fermented, but is put under a process of artificial curing during 72 hours at a temperature of between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (30º - 32º C), and suddenly stopping the process in such a way that its color is maintained. Next the leaves are put under rest or conservation, but they are not fermented or aged. Candela wrappers were something that was very popular during the 1970’s & 1980’s, but you really do not see many of them today.

In 2005 Camacho produced this cigar in very small quantities for St. Patrick’s Day. The response was enormous, so much in fact that the Camacho Candela has become a regular addition to the Camacho portfolio. The cigars are grown and rolled at Ranchos Jamastran, one of the most famous factories in Danli Honduras.

Appearance: Downright weird. Now mind you the construction looked solid, and the wrapper looked pretty nice. There were no soft spots, but the cigar was rolled firm and evenly the whole way through. The wrapper looked smooth and uniform in color and free of any visible defects. The problem was, it was GREEN, and this is very jolting to me because I am not used to having green cigars.

Despite the spiffy Palio in the picture, I clipped this jolly green cigar with my Credo Synchro Cutter, and the cut was clean and without issue. The prelight draws revealed notes that were earth, and well, grassy. I hope this just wasn't my mind playing tricks on me because of the color of the wrapper, but it sure seemed I detected that flavor note.

Burn/Draw: Hmmmm. . . . this part of the cigar was interesting. There were no major problems per se, but it was interesting, and if you notice anything about the burn and draw of a cigar, it generally isn't how fabulous it is. Okay, the burn was not horrible, but it did need the occasional touch up (mind you, I think I am a tad more neurotic than most in regards to wanting a straight burn). This was nothing that distracted from the cigar smoking experience, but it did warrant mentioning. The draw of this cigar, while not tight, was a little more firm that I would have lied, and while perfectly adequate, was a little lean on the smoke production. The ash on the other hand, was quite firm and held on nicely, to the point it took a little work to break it off at the two inch mark. Overall it is kind of middle of the road construction-wise, not great, not horrible either.

Flavors: First off I must mention, I was pleasantly surprised with this cigar. I don't know what my expectations were for this stick going in, but it really was not too bad. While fairly mild in strength, and staunchly medium in body, it has flavor and some of it quite distinctive. I do not think I was imagining the grassy notes initially, because upon lighting it burst across the palate, and while not as pronounced, maintained throughout the smoke. Also there was the earthiness of pre light, which made the overall experience not unlike what I think smoking a hunk of peat bog would be like, in ideal circumstances. Do not be frightened in actuality, this was a much more enjoyable experience than it sounds. About halfway, a woodiness creeped in and toward the end some nice strength built up to a bit of a black pepper finish. Overall a pretty decent time. While I doubt I would buy a box of these cigars, I would definitely have one again.


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