All cigar brands start with a story, and the story of Camaleón Cigars is told by two friends, Gabriel Beco and Pedro Betances. They started their journey when they experienced the tasteful and artistic world of premium cigars in 2016 at the “Chicos Factory” in the Dominican Republic. As stated on the Camaleón Cigars website, they were…
“… mesmerized by the experience on how something so simple as smoking could have such a complex and enticing sensation. It was an experience we not only wanted to replicate and expand, but also share with others…It’s exactly what new and old generations have been longing for, a refreshed smoking experience.“
The two friends bonded with Francisco “Chico” Rivas who has over 30 years of experience in the tobacco industry. Not only working with some of the top cigar brands in Dominican Republic, but he’s also a 4th generation tobacco producer. With an expertise in plantation, processing and blending of all tobacco varieties in America.
When it came to the name for the brand, the duo settled on the name Camaleón. It was a name that represented how they wanted to introduce themselves to the industry. As noted on their website:
“In an industry as conservative and traditional as this one, we wanted to create one of the best cigars. However, we found ourselves with little room to introduce and grow our alternate visions for the smoking experience.
Given this, the “Camaleón” spoke to us naturally. It is the living and graphic representation of change, transformation, evolution. All of these concepts closely align to what the tobacco experience is to us.“
The Golden Egg
The company introduced the Huevo de Oro (Golden Egg) as their debut cigar. Normally an introduction would be a single blend in a number of vitolas. The two friends instead chose to introduce two different blends, both using the same binder and filler but they changed the wrapper on one of the vitolas (Robusto) to an HVA leaf. Since this review is based on the Toro samples, we will focus on that blend which is described as:
- Wrapper: Havana 92
- Binder: Criollo 98
- Filler: Corojo & 2020
As noted, the Camaleón Cigars Huevo de Oro is expressed in 3 vitolas. They come packaged in 20-count boxes and carry an MSRP less than $10.00/cigar.
- Corona (5 x 46) – MSRP $8.10
- Toro (6 x 52) = MSRP $9.90
- Robusto (5 x 52) – MSRP $9.00
For this review, I sampled 2 of the Huevo de Oro Toros. The company has a link on its website where you can purchase these if they are not carried in your local brick and mortar shop.
The Camaleón Cigars Huevo de Oro toro is a dark espresso bean brown cigar that has some noticeable veins and bumps along the barrel. There is nice oily sheen to the wrapper and it is finished with a simple cap. The cigar has a decent feel in the hand and did not have any noticeable soft spots in the bunching.
A single band adorns the cigar, using a aqua blue, gold, and white motif. A bright white egg is centered in the middle with radiating gold lines projecting out of it. The phrase “Huevo De Oro” is emblazoned in gold across the center and the phrase “Hecho A Mano” and “Tamboril, Santiago” are printed above and below respectfully.
Running the Huevo De Oro along the nose, I picked up a natural tobacco sweetness along the barrel and a rather pungent, fermented leaf, note off the foot.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and took in some cold draw puffs that offered plenty more than the pre-light aromas. The draw was spot on with restriction and delivered notes of mild earth, pepper, sweetness and a hint of cream. Yes, there is a lot going on here, way before I hit the flame to the foot.
Follow along as I toast this one up, draw in the first puffs of peppery smoke, and turn the golden egg to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial pepper burst to the nose
- A butter cracker note begins to evolve as the pepper recedes
- Mild spice aroma wafts off the foot
- Full volume of smoke early in the burn
- A jagged thin char line forms holding a solid white ash
- Coffee and toasted bread notes round out the first third
- Touch of cedar enters moving into the second third
- Ash fell with a nice burn cone and the ash line has evened out
- Coffee is building with a creamy nuance
- Smoke is quite smooth and easy on the retro-hale
- Toasted bread notes are maintaining through the second third
- Burn line gets wavy again
- Increased cedar with nuance of dark chocolate
- Spice joins the mix and begins to build into the final third
- Smoke started to get hot in the final
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 50 minutes
Overall, the Camaleón Cigars Huevo de Oro Toro was a decent cigar that offered a pleasant array of flavors. I especially liked the butter cracker start and the dark chocolate nuances deep in the second third. I would have liked that to last a tad longer. It started with a fine burn but once it got midway, it started to burn a tad more wonky and the ash a little more flaky. All in all this is worthy of a trying a 5 pack as I rate this a 90.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn; (-1) Flaky Ash in second half; (-2) Smoke Got Hot in the Final