In 2007, Camacho Cigars released an Executive Travel Bag that included five different blends, all in Camacho’s signature size, the 11/18 perfecto vitola. One of the cigars included in the bag was the CLE Limited Edition, which was said to be the personal blend of Christian Eiroa, Camacho Cigars former president.
A quote from Eiroa in an interview published by Cigar Weekly has more information on the blend:
The CLE was done one time only for the Bag. We’re refining the blend. It’s 90-95% done, but there’s something missing. I can’t say what it is, but I’ll notice it when we get it right. I just follow what people tell me what they want. We made strong cigars and then people asked for something different, that was more creamy, so we came out with the [Camacho]10th Anniversary Box Press.
Now the CLE is refined and we want to keep that refinement, but add depth. The new cigar won’t be called CLE, maybe ‘Camacho Plus’ or something like that. We hope to have it out in the first quarter of 2009 as a standard-production line.
It will be strong, starting at maybe ‘6’ out of 10, but then the focus will be on creaminess and trying to make it more complex. Maybe we can push the strength to ‘7,’ but we will have to see.
In February of 2012, we broke the news that Christian Eiroa was returning to the cigar industry, and had registered the name CLE as part of that transition.
There were five different blends with four cigars of each blend included in the Camacho Executive Travel Bag.
- Camacho Diploma 11/18
- Camacho Triple Maduro 11/18
- Camacho Liberty 2007 11/18
- Camacho CLE Limited Edition 11/18
- Camacho Corojo 10th Anniversary 11/18
- Cigar Reviewed: Camacho CLE Limited Edition
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Tabacos Rancho Jamastran
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48/54/48
- Vitola: 11/18 Perfecto
- MSRP: $16.60 (Bag of 20, $332.00)
- Date Released: 2007
- Number of Cigars Released: 5,000 Bags of 4 Cigars (20,0000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The Camacho CLE Limited Edition is a good looking cigar, with a light cinnamon brown wrapper that is extremely toothy to the touch. There are multiple obvious veins running the full length of the cigar, and a very slight box press is noticeable, although it is so slight I am thinking that it is due to being in the bag for so long. The combination of foot band and large main band works visually, although I try not to look at it too long. Aroma from the wrapper is very faint, just a slight aged wood and perhaps a bit of leather, but nothing else. The cold draw actually has a distinct — albeit faint again — citrus note.
The first third of the Camacho CLE Limited Edition starts off immediately with a pervasive metallic note that reminds me of chewing on tin foil, back when I did such things. There are other flavors underneath in the profile, namely chocolate and aged cedar, but they are not even close to strong enough to compensate for the metallic note in the first third. I am noticing some overt black pepper on the retrohale and even a tiny amount of spice on my tongue, but neither are very strong or consistent so far. Smoke production is quite copious, while both the burn and draw are excellent so far, giving me no problems at all. Strength-wise, the CLE Limited Edition easily hits the medium mark by the end of the first third, but does not seem to be going anywhere past that very fast.
The profile of the Camacho CLE Limited Edition gets noticeably creamier by the midpoint of the cigar, but other than that, there is little change from the first third. In some ways that is a good thing, as the construction and smoke production remain wonderful in all aspects, but unfortunately, it also means that the flat and bitter metallic note is still overwhelming any of the other flavors that are present. The black pepper on the retrohale has decreased, as has the spice that was present, and as expected, the strength has gone absolutely nowhere, and ends the second third still firmly in the medium range.
Sadly, the final third of the Camacho product changes hardly at all flavor-wise with that same bitter metallic note almost all I can taste, although every once in a while get hints of some generic wood and chocolate struggling to break through. While the draw is still excellent, the burn quality takes a nose dive, and the smoke production has really decreased noticeably. By this point, the spice has disappeared, and the black pepper note from the first two thirds is down to almost nothing as well. The overall strength has increase a bit, but is still far from the full mark by the time the bitterness in the profile forces me to put it down with more than an inch left.
- I have always loved the 11/18 vitola, and really wish it was available in other blends, just as I wish the La Flor Dominicana Chisel vitola could be used with other blends.
- Interestingly, while the “Camacho Plus” was never produced, Eiroa released the CLE Plus blend in mid-2013.
- Despite what the marketing said when these were released, the bag that all of these blends came in is kind of chintzy, and I really can’t imagine using it as a travel humidor, especially since it is not even close to air tight.
- There are very few times that I will not smoke a review cigar down to less than an inch if I have the time to finish it, and it annoys me that I was unable to get it down that with this cigar due to the overwhelming bitterness that prevailed at the end.
- The year after this bag and its contents were released — 2008 — was the year that the Eiroas sold the Camacho brand to the Oettinger Davidoff AG.
- While I am not usually a fan of foot bands on cigars, I think that they work for the cigars in this series, especially when you see them in the bag for the first time.
- The smoke of the Camacho CLE Limited Edition smells significantly better than the cigar tastes.
- The ash on the Camacho CLE Limited Edition is extremely well-formed, almost seamless, and sticks on the cigar for inches at a time.
- The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The average smoking time for both samples was one hour and 35 minutes.
While I never smoked this particular blend from the bag when it was fresh, I can't imagine the overwhelming and almost palate destroying metallic note was what they were going for when they approved this cigar. Don't get me wrong, there are other flavors in the profile, but they struggle mightily — and ultimately fail miserably — to make any headway at all. The construction was excellent overall, and it had some good smoke production for the entire smoke, but at this point in its life, the Camacho CLE Limited Edition is a perfect example of a blend that has not aged well and should be avoided at all costs.