Certified Tobacconist’s Review: CLE Corojo 11/18

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The CLE Corojo 11/18 cigars come covered in a dark tan, slightly reddish wrapper leaf.  The wrapper leaves had minimal, fine veining, a silky feel, and were applied with precision and skill.  All four of my samples were wrapped in a left-hand fashion and were completed with a perfectly applied, tight cap.

The CLE Corojo line features an understated black band with silver and red lettering which complements the wrapper color and produces a very visually appealing product. One of my favorite features on both the CLE Corojo and other Tabacaleras Unidas products is the inclusion of the “rolling year” on the band, a feature I wish more manufacturers would emulate. A quick look at the foot of the cigars reveals a large, central bulk of very dark filler leaves with some lighter colored leaves around the periphery of the bunch.

Construction:

The sample CLE Corojo 11/18’s I received from Mike’s Cigars were all perfectly constructed; well wrapped and firm from foot to head.  The 11/18 vitola has amazing “hand-feel.”

Cut and light:

I incised each 11/18 with my Xikar XI1 grip cutter and enjoyed a perfect cut on every cigar.  All of the filler tobaccos lit evenly and freely with a few gentle touches of a single-jet torch lighter.

The Smoke:

I’ve never experienced a burn issue with any blend in the 11/18 vitola and the CLE Corojo carried on this perfect run.  The CLE Corojo 11/18 samples burned straight and even from foot to nub and produced a cool, easy smoking experience.

The cigars showed good progression of body opening medium bodied and ending on a medium/full note.  There were warm spices present in the nose with variations in intensity throughout the cigar.  A spicy-sweetness can be appreciated on the finish with rich flavors that linger.  At times, floral and citrusy tones fade in and out adding to the complexity of the blend.

The CLE Corojo 11/18 produces full, rich and smooth smoke that creates an interesting sweet feel on the soft palate.  The richness of the smoke produces great mouth-feel, coating the palate in a manner that accentuates the finish.

Throughout the cigar, the CLE Corojo 11/18 maintained a perfect balance of flavor, aroma and strength, presenting each in varying degrees as the cigar progressed, and insisting on my full attention as I smoked.

Smoke time:  60-75 minutes

Discussion:

I smoked a total of 4 cigars for this review. After a week’s rest, I began sampling, finishing the last cigar just over a month of their arrival.  The samples arrived from Mike’s Cigars in outstanding condition, protected in their cellophane sleeve.

I enjoyed my first CLE Corojo 11/18 in the CiGarage on one of the last, warm fall evenings we had here in Wisconsin.  I was immediately taken by the different flavor/aroma profile of this Corojo puro.  The difference from what I am used to in a Corojo based blend was such that I immediately thought the blend must feature a Cameroon binder or Cameroon leaf in the filler blend.

As I smoked the remainder of my second CLE Corojo 11/18 samples, I was again immediately struck by the uniqueness of the flavor/aroma profile of the cigar and found myself convinced that there was a Cameroon leaf somewhere in the blend.

Why I like this cigar:

If you are not familiar with the name, Christian Eiroa, all that need be said is, “Camacho.”

Back in the Cigar Boom days of the 1990’s, Christian Eiroa alongside his father, Don Julio Eiroa redefined “full bodied” with their release of the Camacho Corojo line.  This Corojo puro featured what the Eiroa’s refer to as “Authentic Corojo.”  The Eiroa’s grow their leaf at the famed Ranchos Tabacos Jamastran, near Danli, Honduras.  At the time, the Camacho Corojo was not only at the top, it was alone at the top of the “strong” cigar world.

After many years in the business, the Eiroa’s decided to sell the Camacho cigar brand to Davidoff Cigars.  After the sale, Christian stayed on with Davidoff and helped ensure that the Camacho cigar brand would continue to produce cigars of the exceptional quality aficionados have come to expect.  Don Julio Eiroa still heads the leaf production at Ranchos Tabacos Jamastran providing the tobaccos for the new Camacho/Davidoff cigars as well selling tobaccos to other manufacturers.

The CLE Corojo is one of the first offerings from Christian Eiroa’s newest venture, Tabacaleras Unidas, Inc. located in Miami, Florida.  Along with the Corojo and the CLE Cuarenta, Eiroa’s new company also manufactures and distributes the new Asylum, Schizo, and Wynwood cigar brands.

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Mr. Eiroa some questions about the CLE Corojo line and learned more about the unique nature of this new premium cigar blend.

For starters, Christian told me that he used tobaccos he purchased from his father’s company, the same company that he himself used to head.  The largest factor contributing to the very unique flavor/aroma profile of the CLE Corojo, is in the “purity” of the Corojo leaves themselves.  The Eiroa’s grow only “Authentic Corojo” leaf, with seed from the original strain (varietal) of Corojo plant developed in the 1940’s in Cuba.  I also learned from Christian that other Corojo based cigars utilize the Corojo ’99 hybrid strain.  While the Corojo ’99 varietal is less susceptible to disease, it simply does not offer the same unique savor as “Authentic Corojo.”

(For more information on tobacco wrapper varietals read this article about wrapper leaves here…

According to Eiroa, the CLE Corojo line features Corojo wrappers taken from the 3rd and 4thprimings.  The use of leaves from this height of the Corojo plant accounts for the great aromas, oily sheen and smooth texture of the wrappers.

When I asked Christian about the unique shapes of the 11/18, again, one of my all-time favorites, he explained…

“[The 11/18] that is my mother’s birthdate.  Back when we rolled out the Camacho Corojo, the cigars were unbanded.  Eventually, I became fearful that people might be tempted to sell other cigars as Diplomas so I decided to develop awkward shapes that were harder to copy.  At the same time we also launched the 07/05 (after my birthdate) but the cigar was not as successful.”

The new CLE Corojo and CLE Cuarenta lines represent a departure from the cigars of strength Eiroa has become synonymous with.  Reflecting the evolution of his palate, the CLE cigars are more medium to medium-full bodied rather than full-on full bodied in the fashion of the Camacho cigars he created a decade and a half ago.  Focusing on the flavors and aromas in the blend rather than strength, Eiroa has again re-invented the Corojo cigar and in doing so, set a new standard and created a new model for premium cigars that other manufacturers are sure to follow.

Good smokes!

Marty Klausmeier, CCT
Certified Consumer Tobacconist

Smooth Classic Cigar Combo

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