Back in 2013, Camacho Cigars underwent one of the most significant brand revamping the premium cigar industry has seen in recent years. As a part of the overhaul, there was new packaging introduced as well as several re-blends of some of Camacho’s long-time brands. At that same time, several other Camacho brands were discontinued. Among the discontinued lines was the Camacho Candela, a cigar that utilized the Double Claro (a.k.a Candela wrapper). Fast forward to late last year, and Camacho started to re-introduce some of its old favorites for limited runs. First up was the return of the Camacho Diploma, and now the Camacho Candela becomes the second release. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, the release of Candela cigars is often timed to coincide with the event and the timing of the return of the Camacho Candela was no exception. Today we take a look at the 2018 edition of the Camacho Candela.
The original Camacho Candela first started to appear in 2005. A couple of years later, it was released into wider distribution. At the time, Camacho was owned by the Eiroa family (the prior owners of the brand before Davidoff acquired Camacho in 2008). Candela is nothing new for the Eiroa family as back before he owned Camacho, Eiroa family patriarch Julio R. Eiroa was growing tobacco and using curing methods to cultivate the candela leaf.
As for the 2018 edition of the Camacho Candela, it would receive a packaging upgrade that is consistent with the rest of the Camacho portfolio. The Camacho Candela is limited to a production of 3,000 twenty-five count boxes.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Camacho Candela and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The 2018 edition of the Camacho Candela is a 100% Honduran puro made at the new Camacho factory in Honduras. The blend features corojo tobacco grown from original corojo seeds. The Candela wrapper is actually a Honduran Criollo leaf that is flash cured over a charcoal fire that helps lock in the green color.
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo Candela
Binder: Honduran Original Corojo
Filler: Honduran Original Corojo
Country of Origin: Honduras (Diadema Cigars de Honduras, S.A.)
The Camacho Candela is available in one size – a 5 x 50 Robusto. This was a size known as the Monarca back when the Eiroa family owned Camacho.
The Candela wrapper of the Camacho Candela had what I term a “Kermit the Frog” green color to it. The wrapper had a near silky complexion to it. While there were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, I found this wrapper to be on the smooth side.
The primary band design of the Camacho Candela is arranged in the horizontal style that is prevalent throughout the Camacho line. The band is mostly black surrounded by lime green. On the black background is the text “INFAMOUS SINCE 1962” followed by the text “CAMACHO” and, in smaller font, the text “CANDELA” – all in lime green font. Below that is a chrome colored shamrock with a wavy 1970s-like design. The remainder of the band has lime green adornments. The lower part of the band has the text “BUILT BOLD” in a small black font sitting on a lime green background.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I commenced the smoking experience of the Camacho Candela by placing a straight cut to remove the cap. After the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of cream and grassy notes. There was a touch of natural tobacco sweetness. Overall, I did find this pre-light draw to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up the Camacho Candela.
Once lit, the Camacho Candela continued to deliver the cream and grassy notes that were present on the pre-light draw. In the background, I picked up some notes of citrus and white pepper. The white pepper was also present on the retro-hale.
During the first third, the cream and grass notes remained the primary notes. As the Camacho Candela moved into the second third, the cream notes subsided leaving the grassy notes primary. The cream notes settled into the background with the citrus and white pepper providing a nice balance to the grassy notes. Both the citrus and white pepper increased slightly in the second third.
Once the Camacho Candela entered the second half, the white pepper notes transitioned to a black pepper varietal At the same time, I also picked up a tea note. As the Camacho Candela reached the last third, the black pepper closed in on the forefront and the citrus and creamy notes dissipated. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Along the way, I found the Camacho Candela did require some touch-ups in order to maintain a straight burn path. The resulting ash had a near salt and pepper complexion to it. The ash itself wasn’t the firmest ash. There also was a slight amount of flaking from time to time. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw to the Camacho Candela was open, but not loose. This was low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from. This was also a cigar that produced an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
When it came to strength and body, I found the Camacho Candela to be in the wheelhouse of what a classic Candela smoke should be. This was a cigar that started out mild in strength and mild to medium in body. Both attributes increased in intensity. By the second half, the strength level progressed to mild to medium. While the body also increased, the flavors still remained mild to medium in strength.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had an edge for the first two-thirds, but by the final third, both attributes had an equilibrium between the two.
Much like Connecticut Shade cigars, I’ve found there are two similar categories of candelas – those that are classic milder smokes with grassy notes and those that try to be stronger and move away from the grassiness. The Camacho Candela isn’t going to try to redefine what a candela does as it is a milder smoke with a good amount of grassy notes. The nice thing about the Camacho Candela is it provides enough balance where it will offer more than just grass notes. This is a cigar that is for those who like a classic candela – whether a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one worthy of purchasing and enjoying.
Key Flavors: Cream, Grass, Pepper, Tea, Citrus
Burn: Very Good
Strength: Mild (1st Half), Mild to Medium (2nd Half)
Body: Mild to Medium
Value: Buy One
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted