Cigar Review: CLE Cuarenta Corona
CLE Cigars is the new independent venture from Christian Eiora, former president of Camacho. These sticks are hand made in small quantities at the Tabacos Ranchos factory in Honduras, and made their debut in July of this year, just in time for Eiora’s 40th birthday. The CLE Cuarenta (which translates to “forty” from Spanish) features a Habano seed wrapper, and aside from that the company has been rather vague about the blend, although I’ve heard speculation that the cigar contains a mix of Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos. So, we’ve got a new stogie here from a notable industry guy, that is somewhat shrouded in mystery. This seemed to have all the makings of a great review, so today I decided to take the Corona size (5 ¾ x 46) out for a test smoke.
The Cuarenta Corona looked to be solidly rolled, with a firm and veiny wrapper covered by only a simple, clean-looking red band with the CLE name and the year 2012 in silver. Cold tastings gave off flavors of smoky cedar and toast through an ample draw, and after a thorough toasting of the foot I was off and smoking.
Upon lighting the cigar I was met with a complex flavor with notes of coffee, cedar, roasted nuts, and some zesty white pepper on the finish, all of which were very vivid and clean. The pepper seemed to ramp up a bit with each puff during the first inch or so before a thick cream note piped up, smoothing out the profile nicely.
The major flavors going into the 2nd third were of espresso and cream accompanied by a spicy tobacco taste. A hint of dried fruit sweetness trickled in every now and then, and the stick was still burning straight and clean beneath a sturdy 2 ½ inch ash.
During the final 3rd, while there wasn’t a lot of transition the existing flavors deepened, and I felt my palate drenched in a rich tobacco glaze. Toasty, savory, and sweet notes were all present here, and took turns being the most pronounced as I approached the nub. With just about an inch remaining, I finally laid the stick to rest.
I found the CLE Cuarenta Corona to be a very relaxing and easily enjoyable smoke. Its rotating cast of vibrant flavors were definitely the star of the show, rather than the strength of the cigar, and overall I thought it had a “classic” sort of taste and vibe to it. Both burn and draw on the Corona were excellent, and at no point did it require any assistance or touch-ups. I have to say the CLE Cuarenta would make for a great, easygoing, go-to smoke, especially at its reasonable price point. If you’re looking for a solid medium-bodied stogie with bold flavor and a flawless performance, you could do far worse than picking up a few of these. Look for CLE cigars to arrive at BCP sometime in the next couple of weeks.
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