Friday, February 26, 2010

Camacho Diploma Maduro

Camacho Diploma Maduro- The Diploma is one of Camacho's top premium cigars and has received good press from the smoking community. Cigar Insider rated the Diploma a '93', and some believe this is Camacho's answer to competitors like the VSG and Opus. I'm interested to see how much competition the Diploma presents.
The Diploma debuted as a stick comprised completely of Corojo; filler to wrap. This particular review is on the Diploma featuring a Maduro wrapper.
All the tobacco used in the Diploma is grown in Honduras' Jamastan Valley; an area known for its rich and potent crops. With all the hype, I'm excited to smoke the Diploma.

Prelight- I've seen a lot of these smoked in the shops I frequent, and it seems like a popular go-to for full-flavored smokers. I don't know why I've waited so long to smoke one(it may have something to do with the $10 price tag and only one shop I go to carries Camacho).
Anyways...the cigar has the shade of roasted coffee beans and the wrapper is rustic and veiny. There is almost no oil on this toothy maduro. Overall, the cigar has a good look to it. The band and foot band are gold foiled and have a nice look.
The weird thing about the cigar is that it is soft and spongy all over. I shuffled through the box and found this to be the case with every stick. It feels fresh, and I usually like a firm-spongy feeling on a cigar; but this is a little too soft.
The prelight draw is very loose. There is pretty much no resistance whatsoever. I taste fresh tobacco and a little spice.

Sparking it- The cigar lights up with ease and that loose draw produces tons of smoke. The amount of smoke isn't an issue, but I have to relax my draw to keep the cigar from burning hot or uneven. The body is full and surprisingly smooth. I taste chocolate and leather - it seems like this cigar may have some complexity to it. So far, the burn seems to be favoring one side. I have to touch up the cigar a few minutes after lighting.
The ash is loose and it seems to crumble off when not obsessively maintained. Kind of annoying when you're just trying to relax.

Smoking it- The best thing I can say about this cigar is that the flavoring is pretty complex. I'm not in love with the flavors, but they evolve throughout the smoke. The cigar turns bitter and I taste a little ammonia around the halfway point. I can taste coffee throughout the smoke; black licorice makes some cameo appearances in there too.
Unfortunately, the cigar's construction leads to a couple of issues. The burn is erratic and uneven; I had to touch up the smoke at least 6 or 7 times. The loose draw resulted in a hot burn - which could have caused the bitter ammonia taste I found in there.
I do not care for this cigar at all. At $10 a cigar, I'm not giving this one a second chance. I've read that the issues I ran into are common experiences for some folks.
In my opinion, Camacho needs to go back to the drawig board if they want to compete with the traditional powerhouses and new successful brands out there.

Overall- C

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What do you think? Am I on to something? Am I wrong? Or am I full of shit?