Cigar Review- CLE Cuarenta by Christian Eiroa

Wrapper: Honduran Habano Seed

Binder: Honduran

Filler: Honduran

Size: 5 x 50 Robusto

Body: Mild/Medium

Price: $5.00

The last couple years have been an exciting time for cigar smokers. The re-birth of ingenuity has taken place. The young upstarts with strangely named companies have been hurled to the forefront. And names that were anonymous as blenders for the big names have finally come into their own.

Who doesn’t like a Camacho cigar? Right?

Well, Christian Eiroa sold his company to Davidoff and stayed on a bit as president. With his obligation behind him, he started his new company; CLE.

CLE stands for the initials of Eiroa’s full-name: Christian Luis Eiroa.

With his horizons wide open he delved into the daring and exciting blends of the Young Turks. His new line under the CLE brand is making heads spin like Linda Blair’s.

The CLE Cuarenta and Corojo were the first out of the chute. And they have been welcomed big time by critics and smokers. Following that came the Wynwood, which I have already reviewed here….As well as the Asylum blend. All superb cigars at such reasonable pricing that you bow down to the Cosmic Muffin and thank him for plopping Eiroa on the planet.

The Cuarenta means the number 40, which is a tribute to that young whipper snapper Christian’s birthday in July of this year.

OK. Enough of the biography, let’s move on.

Construction on this fawn colored wrapper is somewhat rustic. Seams are not tight. The cap is a bit sloppy and there are a few big veins. But it is solid, man…except for a soft spot near the cap. I decide to punch the cap.

I bring the stick to my nose after punching it and can detect spice and cloves. Very strong clove. There is a fragrant floral scent along with some milk chocolate. Plus hay and barnyard.

Time to light ‘er up.

The Cuarenta opens up with some pepper and spice, but gentle and opposed to being slammed with a balpene hammer. There is also a note of sweet caramel. Good start.

And then came some citrusy notes. Like lemon zest…but sprinkled with sweetener. I know that makes no sense, but then neither do I.

The body is at a solid MILD! Holy Bat Shit! The man who created some of the strongest cigars on the planet has a mild cigar in his initial line up of the new brand. Why not? Rattle the cages of the loyal customers who would never expect this. Make them listen to the song of nuance and finesse. Instead of getting the spins 30 minutes in.

The red pepper is ramping up this whole time.

As the cigar enters the second third, the power of the little devil gets stronger and seems to want to grow up to be medium in body.

The char line is a bit uneven and I will give it a chance to correct itself or I will do it.

Complexity shows up here. The myriad of flavors come and go. Sophistication is the key here. Thurston Howell III would be impressed. But a nice blow job from Mrs Howell be just as impressive…and welcome.

The ash is a dark black and gray. And it seems to even itself out.

The citrus notes make a beeline for the front of the line…but the spiciness and now creaminess, push it back.

I’m having some problems with the wrapper. I’ve only had this cigar for a week and I suppose the harsh treatment from UPS and acclimating itself to my humidor has done this. I wanted to get this review written before the next 3 blends come out. Sooner, rather than later.

The last third develops an earthy richness to it. The creaminess, the cocoa, the citrus, and the floral delicacy…..are all there with the spiciness leading the pack. The red pepper never gets out of line for a medium bodied cigar.

I am smoking this cigar too soon…the wrapper is telling me this so I switch to placing the rest of the cigar in my pipe; which I use exclusively for nubbing. I don’t smoke pipe tobacco.

Problem solved. I have one other stick. I shall wait a few weeks, smoke it, and update my review.

There is a new component in the last couple of inches….cinnamon…joined by the clove I sniffed prior to lighting it.

As mentioned earlier, I have already reviewed the Wynwood and the Asylum. Both great cigars; but with more oomph than this one.

Clearly, a mild cigar blend like the Cuarenta needs some aging time in the humidor. It is a delicate cigar and must be treated as such with careful attention.

I can’t say if I would recommend this cigar yet. I got the other two blends at the same time I got this one….and I expected the same thing….Rip roaring and ready to go. Well, it’s not.

You know what would be nice?

Just like the warnings on cigarettes, the manufacturers should put a small note on the cello directing the smoker to wait 4 weeks prior to smoking…or something like that.

I like that Eddie Ortega prints on the underside of the lid of the 601 La Bomba that this cigar is extremely powerful so watch the fuck out!

We should elect a Cigar Czar to maintain an office that forces the cigar manufacturers to place this helpful advice on each cigar. Of course, it’s a pipe dream and ridiculous…but it sure would be helpful to the millions of cigar smokers that just can’t afford to let their cigars age for a year in their humidors. I am one of those people. The most I have ever been able to wait is a couple of months. So we smoke the cigars…probably before they are ready…because we want to smoke a cigar!

I will get back to you on this one in a month.




4 replies

  1. I have had this cigar in my humidor for three and a half months. It had a small split at the foot and developed another, rather sizeable split, midway while handling it. As I toasted the foot, it mushroomed a bit. The midpoint split grew some as I smoked, but didn’t affect the draw. Seems to be a pleasant enough cigar, but in no way did it “wow” me.

    Nice mid-day smoke. Nice review on your part as well.

  2. Ian- It sounds like a humidification issue. I don’t know. But I had no such problems and really enjoyed the cigar. You should give the cigar another chance.

  3. Definitely will try it again. It held together despite the split, which didn’t progress any further. I was actually smoking it while I wrote the comment. I used to keep my humidor at 70%, but had trouble with some cigars not burning properly and/or constantly going out so I now keep the humidor at 68% and have been for over 6 months now. The CLE had a somewhat thin wrapper, which I find typically have issues.I generally prefer a more robust wrapper due to this.

  4. Your humidity is fine. I find that while my humidity is normally controlled, I will allow negligence in my monitoring of the hygrometer. And thus, allow a humidity in the 62-65% range for a few days. And then if that happens a few times over 3-4 months, it may have an effect on my cigars. I don’t know for sure. I’ve had the same problem you described, Ian, with just about every brand of cigar I’ve smoked that has been in my humidor for months. It’s rare, but it happens. Go figure.

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