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One of the interesting side effects of the FDA’s regulation on premium cigars is that a number of manufacturers have begun bringing back cigars from their archives. One such cigar was the recently re-released Camacho Candela.

Built on the brand’s original Corojo blend, it uses a candela leaf that was flash-cured over a charcoal fire and then placed over a Honduran corojo binder and filler. It made its return in the second half February, just in time for the holiday most commonly associated with all things green: St. Patrick’s Day.

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It’s offered in a single 5 x 50 robusto vitola priced at $8 per cigar, or $200 for a box of 25. Production was capped at 3,000 boxes, a total run of 75,000 cigars, all produced by the Diadema Cigars de Honduras S.A. factory.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Candela (2018)
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Factory: Diadema Cigars de Honduras S.A.
  • Wrapper: Honduras (Candela)
  • Binder: Honduras (Corojo)
  • Filler: Honduras (Corojo)
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $8 (Boxes of 25, $200)
  • Release Date: February 2018
  • Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 25 Cigars (75,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

It certainly is green, though the attempted match of the natural, matte shade of the wrapper with the neon green shade of the band didn’t seem to turn out quite as well as one may have envisioned. The wrapper has a few veins and otherwise clean look, though the cuts of the seams seem to stand out a bit more visually than on other cigars. The first sample is noticeable soft near the foot, while everything above the one-inch mark is more in line with typical cigar firmness. Other samples are a bit softer than the majority of cigars I’ve smoked lately, leaning more towards the Cuban sponginess than new world firmness. The foot is almost shockingly neutral, with just a bit of pepper as the tail end of an aroma that offers some generic tobacco and muffins, though the second and third samples has some aloe and wet grass. The cold draw ranges from quite good to quite loose as far as air flow, while the flavors give the first suggestion that this is a candela with a bit of vegetal sweetness on top of baked pretzels,

For showing restraint with its flavors and aromas before being lit, the Camacho Candela Robusto lets them off the leash with the first puff. Through the first inch, I can’t say that there’s a distinct moment where this tastes like a candela, with only faint notes of aloe sweetness and toast suggesting the nature of its wrapper. There’s also more pepper through the nose than I would typically expect from a candela-wrapped cigar, though knowing that this is built on the Camacho Corojo blend quickly rectifies the discrepancy. The ash in the first sample builds up quite well despite a slightly uneven burn line, eventually dropping at about an inch in length. Smoke production is also good, though it shuts down production when not being actively smoked.

The Camacho Candela Robusto begins to show a bit of creaminess as it gets into its second third, and while not over the top with that note or the generally associated sweetness, it is a very mouth-pleasing sensation. Pepper is even more present now than it was in the first third, and retrohales are getting stronger and punchier with each subsequent one, though stay manageable at every turn. At the midpoint, I find myself fighting the urge to go fishing for the typical candela flavor profile, as it certainly doesn’t appear to be coming to me There are hints of grassiness at times in the aroma and a bit of aloe sweetness on the tongue, but they are certainly not dominant. A bit more pepper begins to emerge at the tail end of the second third, and the cigar shows a bit more pointed character, a contrast to the generally smooth and easy profile that it had developed. The draw is and burn both remain good, with plenty of smoke production, while strength sits at medium-minus and body sits at medium.

The final third of the Camacho Candela Robusto continues developing this new profile that is more rocky and sharp than the previous sections have been, yet still offers some faint tastes of the candela profile, while keeping a subtle creaminess as part of its base. It’s a profile that keeps building, getting negatively compounded in the final inch and a half start, where the profile begins to feel affected by heat. It continues to sharpen up to the point where I force myself to let the cigar cool a good bit between puffs, a technique that is mildly helpful and allows me to smoke the cigar down to under an inch with no major qualms.

Final Notes

  • The draw on the second sample was quite loose, and while it didn’t seem to affect the flavor, it did cut about 30 minutes off the smoking time from that of the first sample.
  • I mentioned to a colleague that I was smoking the Camacho Candela Robusto for a review, and it opened up an extensive discussion about the sentiment towards candela cigars in general, ranging from pure love to pure hate, complete with a number of crude terms to accompany the latter.
  • There is some nicotine kick to the Camacho Candela Robusto, though it’s mild at best to my system.
  • Camacho advertises on halfwheel.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 20 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, Cigars.com, JR Cigar and Serious Cigars all carry the Camacho Candela Robusto.
87 Overall Score

I hate to call this a candela that I’d smoke because it doesn’t taste like a candela, but that’s exactly what came to mind after the first sample I smoked. It doesn’t have the outright vegetal or grassiness of some candelas that can be either endearing or off-putting, yet it also doesn’t taste like a blend where a candela leaf was thrown on simply for the novelty. Other than the final third where heat becomes a factor and the cigar gets unnecessarily rocky and sharp on the tongue, this is a very enjoyable cigar that seems to walk the line of being a candela without being everything that a typical candela is.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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