Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chocolate and Nuts on Toast - Wow!

Finally, a cigar that evidences the fabled "chocolate" flavor that I've read so much about but never encountered until this point.

The Perdomo Lot 23 Maduro robusto is one of the finest cigars I've had in its moderate price range. This stick is full, crispy and toasty from the light-up, and holds its characteristics with little moderation all the way to the last inch. The draw is just right and the burn even and slow enough that you can smoke leisurely without fear of it going out in three minutes.

The flavors are unique and thus commendable: Hints of nuts, toast, and semi-sweet chocolate. Yes, chocolate. I'm a believer. Not the sickly, syrupy stuff of campfire smores; but rather a subdued, aromatic whiff of the type you'd get from a fondue burner. Almost as if you are smelling and tasting it at the same time.

Though not heavy and meaty, this cigar is full and consistently complex. Like other Perdomos, you can't smoke it to the nub, but by then you've gotten more than your money's worth. Highly recommended.

Overall experience most similar to:
Excaliber Epicure Maduro robusto
Rocky Patel Sun Grown robusto
Padron Londres and Ambassador

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Limited Performance: Camacho Corojo Diploma

Touted as a strong smoke, the Camacho Corojo Diploma (natural) is anything but, and is alarmingly one-dimensional. I was so disappointed in the unbelievable blandness of this cigar that I almost gave up after two inches.

However, I stuck with it, because even a bland Camacho is twice as good as a your average cigar. Eventually, the third inch began to produce some warmer, peppery flavor. The last inch peaked with some moderately potent steak-like fullness, just enough to make me wish that the entire cigar had smoked this way.

This might be a case of "one bad cigar" from the bunch, but I'll probably not buy another. They are somewhat expensive (box for $150 or so) and I was lucky enough to receive this one from a friend.

On the whole, a disappointing Camacho. If you like the Fuente/Upmann type of naturals or have tried and liked the similarly mild Camacho 1962 series, you might enjoy the Diploma. However, the 1962 is a much cheaper smoke and for my money a better cigar. To be honest, you'd be best off buying a box of Jericho robustos, which are equal in strength, smoother in flavor, good from beginning to end and--guess what--one-fifth the price of the Corojo Limited.

Stay away from all the above if you are hoping for the meaty fullness that I've come to treasure in my favorite Camachos such as SLR, Maduro, Coyolar, and even the Candelas. Great strong smokes that are worth every penny.