Binder: Vizo 2020, Vizo Criollo 98, Ligero Criollo 98, Ligero 2020
Filler: Havana Vueleta Arriba
Vitola: 7 x 48 (Largos)
Brand: Caminos Cigars
Factory: Top Secret Nest (Tamboril, Dominican Republic)
CigarNoise Price Range: $8 – $10
Source: Cesar Reyes, Caminos Cigars
Availability: Regular Production
Caminos El Retiro Largos – Opening Thoughts
Last year I was fortunate enough to receive a sample of the Caminos El Retiro from the 2016 IPCPR. In August, I reviewed the El Retiro Cortos, a 5 1/2 x 54 cigar. After contacting Cesar Reyes of Caminos Cigars, he agreed to send me the cigar featured in this review; the El Retiro Largos, measuring 7 x 48.
El Retiro’s mottled brown wrapper offered some tooth and almost no oiliness. A mixture of sweet cocoa, honey and mild tobacco emanated from the wrapper while the foot offered dried fruit notes and hay with a barely detectable sweetness. I accessed a seemingly perfect draw after removing the cap with a straight cut, eager for my second round with the Dominican El Retiro.
Caminos El Retiro Largos – First Third
Leather, Molasses, Dried Fruit, Cedar, Cherry, Black Pepper
As I began torching the foot and pulling smoke through the cigar, leather and molasses arrived in unison. The flavors, while easy to identify, seemed to take their time to fully develop. A black pepper spice lingered in the waning moments of the profile. Smoke production was moderate but produced a smooth retro-hale experience with medium heat and plenty of dried fruit and black pepper notes. Towards the end of the first third, El Retiro surprised me as the dried fruit flavors drifted off to allow the arrival of a great cherry profile. Joining the show, cedar also arrived in modest amounts.
Initially, the first third had a slightly tighter than I prefer, but it was manageable. The burn line, while wavy, remained relatively sharp and required no input.
Caminos El Retiro Largos – Middle Third
Cedar, Cinnamon, Molasses, Dried Fruit, White Pepper
Moving into the middle portion of the El Retiro, the deal on the table began to sweeten. Cedar, cinnamon and a heavy molasses flavor combined to remind me of my grandmothers molasses cookies right from the oven. Unlike the first third, the flavors gained boldness and truly shined in complexity and strength. Muted dried fruit flavors and a sprinkle of white pepper finished late in the profile, complimenting the initial sweetness perfectly.
Smoke production ramped up in the middle portion of the El Retiro as well. The retro-hale remained consistent, featuring mild heat accompanied by the dried fruit notes and pepper. However, as I neared the end of the middle third, El Retiro kicked up the pepper in the retro-hale. I only mention this because some smokers don’t care for peppery cigars. If you’ve read any of my reviews prior to this one, you already know i am a fan of peppery, spicy profiles.
Caminos El Retiro – Final Third
Cedar, Cream, Cinnamon, Cereal, Molasses, White Pepper
I’d experienced the appetizer and entree; I was ready for dessert and El Retiro Largos wasn’t about to disappoint. Soft cedar led the profile but was quickly overrun by cream, cinnamon, cereal and molasses. Creamy and sweet, the smoke body and fullness grew substantially in the final third. Coating my palate, the flavors hung on for what seemed to be an enternity; a nice, lengthy finish to the profile. In the late stages of the cigar, a tingling of white pepper arrived, providing an enjoyable little kick to the flavors.
The final third also found me enjoying the smoothest draw and a straight, crisp burn line. The final third was so completely enjoyable!
Near perfect burn
Complex flavor transitions
Tight draw first third