Binder: Criollo 98
Filler: Corojo 2020
Factory: Manufactura de Chico Rivas
Sample: IPCPR 2016
CigarNoise Price Range: $8-$10
Availability: Regular Production
Click any of the above links to view other cigars that we’ve reviewed with similar characteristics
Camaleon Huevo de Oro – First Thoughts
Camaleon’s Huevo de Oro translates into Golden Egg, if Google is to be trusted. This cigar hails all the way from the Dominican Republic in one of my favorite factories that goes by many names. Chogui calls it the Top Secret Nest, Campesino calls it Tabaqueria 1844, and others call Chico Rivas’ factory.
There’s one common denominator between each of the brands that come from this little haven of Dominican craftsmanship, and that’s Chico Rivas. Every story that I’ve heard about this gentleman sounds surreal and cinematic, highlighting how he takes people under his wing and walks them through the tobacco process. Seriously, he’s the Mickey behind these Rocky Balboa’s of the cigar industry.
Pedro Betances and Gabriel Beco are no different, launching Camaleon in April of 2016 at Chico’s factory. They have this to say regarding their brand, “Every day we learn something new about tobacco and how it really works. We produce our cigars with passion and love so that everyone may have the opportunity to enjoy a great cigar and learn something about us too.” For U.S. enthusiasts, they’re currently available at Papa Juan and Andullo cigar lounges in NYC, with an MSRP of just $8.
The aromas coming off the foot are of buttered raisin bread, woods, and subtle hints of cherries. A cold draw also demonstrates similar qualities, as well as excellent airflow. The Camaleon Huevo de Oro seems to be very well constructed from top to bottom.
Camaleon Huevo de Oro – Flavors
Oak, Pepper, Raisin Bread, Croissant, Weak Coffee, Cedar, Walnut, Bran Cereal, Cream, Butter Cookie
The first puffs are of oak and pepper amidst an oily backdrop. Pepper rests on the tip of the tongue at first and continues to linger in the finish, developing enough depth and body that I wouldn’t hesitate to pair the Camaleon Huevo de Oro with scotch. This isn’t your average, run of the mill pepper either – it’s a schoolyard bully. A few more moments of ash sees muted raisin bread notes trying to break through the dominate hints of woods and spices.
With an inch of ash clinging to the Camaleon Huevo de Oro, croissant flavors join the mix and moderate those overwhelming pepper notes. Oils cling to the roof of my mouth, creating a buttery sensation, while oak and hints of weak coffee reside in the background.
Dropping the ash and entering the second third, cedar marks a distinct transition and tags oak out of the ring. It’s a bright, vibrant sort of cedar that refreshes the otherwise serious tone of this cigar. If the Camaleon Huevo de Oro were a personality, I’d peg it for the sort that takes his or her time getting to know someone before opening up. Whereas the first third felt like business, this segment features more complexity by weaving in softer, dynamic notes combined with characteristic spice.
Oak, walnut, coffee, bran cereal, and pepper combine in the last third for another unique transition. While the flavors themselves aren’t remarkably different on paper, the sum of all the parts is satisfyingly dissimilar. Pepper continues to be the most dynamic and persistent player in the Camaleon Huevo de Oro, shifting to hit all parts of the tongue throughout the experience and now finishing quickly. In fact, a creamy essence has taken over in this last portion of the cigar that I didn’t expect.
With roughly an inch left to go, pepper drops out for the first time and I’m left with a much more delicate profile than before. Resembling one of those subtle butter cookies at the grocery store, the Huevo de Oro performs one of those rare feats where a cigar drops from full to medium bodied in the end.
Camaleon Huevo de Oro – Construction
This is where the Golden Egg shines and makes up the bulk of the score below. Having test driven several of these cigars in the Kuwaiti wind and my apartment alike, I’ve always experienced a maintenance free burn and ideal draw.
The pack of the Camaleon Huevo de Oro lends the right amount of weight to the cigar to feel like the construction quality is excellent without being too dense. The ash held firm until I forcibly removed it between each third, and always exhibited the cone of a well rolled cigar.
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