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Cigar Review – San Marco Corona by Camacho

I’ve never had a disappointing Camacho smoke—the Baccarat Dominican Rothschild I reviewed a while ago was a solid cigar, and the Camacho SLR Rothschild Natural was one of the best I’ve ever had. I’ve also never had a disappointing exclusive; the Medici is still one of my favorite sticks to date. With these things in mind, I went out today to smoke the Camacho-made San Marco Corona, a BCP exclusive brand, with some pretty high expectations.

This marks a monumental point in my smoking career, as it’s the first time I’ve allowed someone to take photos of me while smoking. As you can see, I am clean shaven  and sporting the sharpest garb I could dig out of my closet.

So the stick had a bit of a softer roll than I’m used to, but still provided a little bit of resistance on the draw, which was much mellower than I expected. I was expecting a blast of pepper from the somewhat toothy Sumatra wrapper and Dominican and Honduran filler, but instead I got a little bit of fresh leafiness and just a hint of caramel. The cigar lit with little to no effort and the burn got off to a great start.

In the first third I got a bunch of traditional cigar notes—malt, nuts, caramel, and a TON of wood. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted so much cedar character in a cigar. The woodiness increased as the ash grew, eventually giving way to a bit of black pepper as the second third started to burn.

Right around that point, that subtle black pepper note exploded; this was definitely some Camacho magic. I’ve only seen that much of a sharp change in flavor in very well made cigars, and this cigar fits that bill. A little bit of sweetness crept up behind the black pepper, blending with the nutty flavor to produce a taste that reminded me of the toasty edges of a pecan pie. As I continued smoking, the complexity only increased.

That burnt sugar taste escalated with the black pepper until I got towards the end of the cigar; at that point, I got a little bit of bitter citrus, like orange zest, and the woodiness came back in full force. The cigar came full circle and eventually ended up right back where it started—woody and slightly sweet—eventually intensifying to the point where I had to set down the nub.

Regardless of the price point of the cigars in Camacho’s extensive lineup, they all seem to have one thing in common—complexity. You can never take a Camacho cigar at face value; the first puff is in no way an indicator of how the rest of the cigar is going to turn out. The San Marco meandered into cedar, pepper, caramel, citrus, and finally pepper, all while remaining smooth and manageable down to the nub. I didn’t get the heady nicotine buzz that I usually get from nubbing a cigar, which is a huge plus, as I had to come back inside to write this right after I put the thing down. Do yourself a favor and try some of these smokes; they’re tasty, well rolled, and are surprisingly affordable.