It's been awhile now since Camacho rebranded themselves as the "Bold Standard" and the Camacho Ecuador is the one I wanted to smoke the most. So, naturally, it is the first one I will review. The Ecuador is a new addition to the Camacho line. It was released earlier this year and, unlike the Triple Maduro, Corojo, etc., it was not a revamp of a previous line.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Brazil Mata Fina
Filler: Pelo de Oro Honduras and DR, Corojo, Criollo Ligero
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Samples for review were obtained via trade with CigarFederation members
Quick Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system
Pre-Light: I'm drawn to the look of this cigar. I love the band art and color, and I really love how it stands out on the dark Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. This is the kind of cigar I'd pick up at my B&M even if I had never heard of Camacho. Their look is bold and aggressive, and I dig it.
The wrapper gave off strong notes of chocolate, dates and dried cherries. The smell was REALLY strong off the wrapper. It reminded me a bit of the CAO Amazon Basin in that way. The cold draw was smooth and tasted strongly of dark chocolate and sweet cherry cordial. You know those chocolate covered cherries with that syrupy stuff inside? Well, the flavors on the cold draw reminded me of that.
Beginning: Well, they got the Bold part right. The Camacho Ecuador hit me with a ton of bold flavors right off the bat. On the first puff I found big notes of dark chocolate and molasses along with some secondary notes of leather and dry wood. The flavors thin out after the first inch or so and the profile really settles and becomes surprisingly smooth. Notes of anise and peppercorn show up early on the retorhale and hold strong through the first third. I was expecting a full strength and full body experience and, for the most part, that is what I got during the first third. It was full body for sure, but more of a medium strength which I found pleasantly surprising.
Middle: So, remember that peppercorn spice I mentioned on the retrohale? Well, it took over the whole damn thing. The middle third was dominated by black pepper. The sweetness of the profile was still there, but it took a backseat to the pepper. There wasn't much more going on in the middle. The pepper calmed down a bit as I approached the final third.
End: Thankfully, the pepper backed off and the profile regained the form it had in the beginning. Again I found smooth notes of dark chocolate and molasses. The balance of sweet and spice was back and the mild anise note returned to the retro. Overall, the Camacho Ecuador ended well.
Final Thoughts: I wasn't too thrilled after I smoked my first Camacho Ecuador. The cigar offered an experience that was different from what I expected. I smoked the second one with more of an idea what to expect and I found myself enjoying it. The pepper in the middle was a bit overbearing, but the profile began and ended well. The Camacho Ecuador offered a full strength and full body experience that is well worth the price tag. It's not the strongest cigar out there. In fact, I would call it more of a medium-plus to full-minus on the strength scale, but a newer cigar smoker might find it pretty strong.
Rating: 88 AKA "5-Pack"
If that pepper mellowed out in the middle, then the rating would be higher. It looks like you can find these for about $33 for a 5-pack online and to me that is a no-brainer. The Camacho Ecuador is a solid smoke for a good price. If you like a big flavor profile with some strength and some pepper, you really can't go wrong.