Binder: Criollo ’98
Filler: Corojo 2020
Size: 5 x 52 Robusto
Today we take a look at the Camaleon Huevo de Oro.
A gift from John P.
I’ve had a couple sticks in my humidor for 5 months.
Debuted at the IPCPR 2016 trade show.
From Cigar Noise web site:
“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.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Corona 5 x 46 $7.50
Robusto 5 x 52 $7.70
Toro 6 x 50 $8.00
A clean machine. A sleek, oily wrapper that has a symmetrical coloring of light wood and cinnamon. Seams have chosen to disappear; a wise decision. A few veins here and there but overall a very nice looking stick without blemishes. The number of caps is impossible to count so may we just say that this is a triple cap applied flawlessly? One thing does stand out…it’s as hard as a rock.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell bold floral notes, sweet things like caramel, cherry notes, and nutmeg laced spiced eggnog, dark chocolate, espresso, cedar, cinnamon, black pepper, and porno theater seats.
From the clipped cap and foot, I can smell dark cocoa, black pepper, malts, cream, espresso, salted caramel, cedar, cinnamon, charred wood, and the girl’s locker room on a Friday afternoon.
The cold draw presents flavors of salted caramel, black pepper, malts, barnyard, pig droppings, cedar, cinnamon, coffee, and chocolate.
The draw is exceptionally tight, so yes, I bring out my trusty PerfecDraw cigar poker tool and ream the shit out of it. The cigar is packed so tightly that without my PerfecDraw, this stick may have ended up in the trash. Nothing worse that sucking on a cigar that is no different than a flattened straw. Ta Da.
Good start. The draw is spot on with plumes of smoke creating small mushroom clouds above my head. Porcini, naturally.
First up to bat: Cream, dried fruit, espresso, chocolate, cedar, lotsa’ malts, caramel, an intense nuttiness, big notes of black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.
This is going to be a long smoke for a robusto due to the jam-packed tobacco. Feel free to take a nap while reading this. I do so while writing it. Does it show?
Strength is medium.
There is a carnivorous bite to the blend…a crossing of the lines between steak sauce and char broiled chop. Back in the day, while living in London in the mid 70’s, everyone put Worcestershire sauce on everything they ate. Like we put ketchup on everything in America. (Yuck). But back then, English food deserved some sort of subterfuge to disguise the horrifying diet by having their national food be boiled grey beef roast. I believe it is memorialized on the Union Jack flag. It’s called “We Can Fuck Up Any Recipe.” Thank God they opened up their tiny country to McDonalds and Burger King.
At the 1” mark, flavors expand exponentially. An early complexity settles in. The finish is extraordinary. Didn’t take too long for the Camaleon Huevo de Oro to find its center.
I tried a couple of my other sticks somewhere in the 2 month range of humi aging and they didn’t have the intensity that this blend is showing now after 5 months. Patience. Drat.
Clearly, hardly anyone has heard of this stick. But I’ve found it in the usual suspects of specialty boutique online stores. Small Batch has them.
The Camaleon Huevo de Oro wastes no time in dispersing all those individual flavors into the ether. This stick quickly displays the valid disposition of a blend that finds its whole better than its parts. The different flavors have earned the right to blur the lines between them and contribute to being an excellent blend of cohesiveness and exceptional complexity. Transitions occur at lightning fast speed. The finish is a mile long.
Cream rises to the top. Followed by the sweetness of graham cracker, caramel, chocolate malt, chocolate covered raisins, and black licorice.
Al these Big Guy manufacturers are pumping out $15-$20 cigars after this summer’s trade show. And here is little Camaleon creating a beautiful blend for less than $8.
Smoke time is 35 minutes.
Smooth. Balanced. Complex. That’s all I ask of any cigar. Camaleon delivers.
Rush is on the cable classic rock channel. This is where I alienate a shit load of readers. Geddy Lee is a fine bassist. But he sounds like he does helium before he sings…he sounds like a chipmunk. Drives me nuts.
The Camaleon Huevo de Oro seriously kicks in during the start of the second third. It is now in contention for competition for some of the most beloved blends that serious cigar smokers love. I’m not going to mention the blends because I get enough hate mail.
Sweet spot does not begin to explain what’s happening. The blend darkens and opens like a flower petal at the same time. A deep intensity ensures that I will return to this blend when I have a few shekels I don’t need.
Timing is everything. This blend is Old School. It needs nearly half a year to foment into a stunning blend worthy of most esteemed blenders. The cheese stands alone.
Strength moves to medium/full.
The Camaleon Huevo de Oro could have fooled me. It neatly fits into the double digit price range of good cigars. And yet, Camaleon has chosen to make this cigar available to every smoker; not just the effusive rich who like showing off their sticks in cigar forums and groups. “See. Look what I have and you don’t. Start drooling.”
I’d like to see SBC have a discount day for this blend. Bring the price down even further.
Chocolate doughnut with sprinkles, café latte, crème brulee, dried fruit, cinnamon graham crackers, cedar, sweets galore, steak sauce, boiled beef roast, buttered sourdough toast, and licorice.
Oh man, you guys must try this cigar. But don’t write me because you hate the cigar after allowing it only one day in your humidor. I get lots of those emails. So many smokers don’t realize how the composition of tobacco finds itself better served after allowing the cigar to breath for a few months; mixing with the other tobacco snausages in your humidor. Now I generally buy only cigars I know will be ready to go in a few weeks. I can’t afford to sink dough into a box of cigars that take half a year before they are ready to smoke. That’s why God invented 5 packs. Dump them in your humidor and go get a manicure and pedicure til they’re ready.
I’m talking about perfect balance. And the level of smooth-ocity is just fucking great.
This is a cigar to savor. Who cares what the reviewer-gone-crazy interpretation of its flavors are? The sum of its parts makes for a stunning and gratifying experience.
The halfway point arrives at a leisurely 50 minutes.
The burn line has been exemplary requiring not a single touch up. The flow of smoke is unwavering.
I am attempting to discern a decent example of what this cigar tastes like…it is unique making this task harder than masturbating while watching the Outdoors Channel.
Smoke time is one hour 20 minutes.
Blam. The sweet spot is never ending but now it reaches a new level rarely seen from the planet Uranus. The Camaleon Huevo de Oro is so fucking intense that my G string no longer bothers me while I type. I just move it a little so I can see. Yeah, like you don’t wear your wife’s underwear on your head while you smoke a good cigar.
Man, I hope Camaleon finds a decent customer base once word of mouth gets out. A real shame I could only find one review of this cigar. It deserves more attention but then if a cigar isn’t big time, it doesn’t get reviewed.
This is a gem of blending.
Strength hangs out at medium/full. Nicotine begins to enter the picture.
I don’t have a single criticism or negative thing to say about this cigar. Now cigar smoking is subjective…I know that. But for my palate, this is damn near a perfect cigar.
Sure, I don’t get to review all those fancy schmancy cigars that the big guys get delivered to their loading docks by manufacturers…but that’s just the price I pay for being a mother fucker. Manufacturers just don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to me. I’m a fucking mosquito raging about shit cigars. I’ve found over the last 10 years that you can give a manufacturer’s blends rave reviews. But oh; that one review that takes them to the mat for producing a dog turd does not go down well and all those rave reviews fly out the window. That’s why you see so many cigars ignored by the big guys…they don’t want to write a negative critical review and bite the hands that feed them. Fuck that.
The cigar band must have been tig welded in place as I damn near destroy it removing the bastard.
OK. I will stick my neck out…a combo of Ezra Zion, Padron, AJ, Stulac, Crowned Heads, Illusione, and Warped. Only Camaleon doesn’t charge $12+ for its wares.
Some reviews find me witty and urbane. Not this time. I’m overwhelmed by the voracity of this blend. It is the Supreme Leader of Carpacciostan. The Exalted Prince of Liver Wurstia.
You must try this cigar. I’m sure it’s available at some B&M’s. But readily available at Small Batch Cigar. Tell Andrew I sent you. Grab a 5 pack. Buy a box. Get some.
Thanks to John, I have been introduced to a blend I might never have known about. You’re in the will buddy. And now I’m introducing it to you because you deserve it.
Final smoke time is one hour 45 minutes.
And now for something completely different:
Have you ever been in a real house fire?
God knows why I can remember this when it is so long ago. But I do.
The first time was in 1975. April and I lived in a very nice flat outside of London in Edgeware. Mostly Jewish community and about 30 minutes from downtown.
One day, I was taking a bath. (Back then, trying to find a bathroom with a shower was about 100 to 1.) April came in, sat on the toilet seat and we began to kibitz.
She was making dinner and spent a little too much time with me staring at my evil shlong.
She had put some cooking oil in a big pot to make some chips (French fries to you Yanks). Well, as I sat in the tub, suddenly, I saw black smoke traveling along the ceiling. And it was traveling fast!
I jumped out of the tub and ran into the kitchen. The entire ceiling was on fire.
There was a column of fire about 12” in diameter coming from the pot and going straight to the ceiling. The entire flat was engulfed in fire and smoke.
Now, I was still naked. I shooed April and her little girl out of the flat. I went back in to call the fire department.
They didn’t have a 911 service in those days. I called the local operator and reported the fire; the whole time choking from the smoke.
Now this dumb ass old woman kept saying, “Oh my dear, oh my dear.” I started yelling, “Call the fucking fire department.”
“Oh my dear, oh my dear.” I hung up and crossed my fingers.
I managed to put my boxer shorts on, grabbed my basses, and out I went.
The fire department showed up with the lamest siren I had ever heard: “Ding ding. Ding ding. Ding ding.” WTF?
The fire fighters had these enormous helmets that made them look like Darth Vader.
I stood outside choking and I remember a fire fighter asking, “You all right, mate?” I said no…you idiot..I can’t breathe. And he said, “OK. You are doing well”
Where was the oxygen? It was like a Monty Python sketch.
BTW- The most important part was that I put out the fire. Just before I bolted, I grabbed the lid to the pot and managed to cover it stopping the column of fire immediately. But it didn’t stop the rest of the flat from burning.
The landlord was furious with us. Clearly, it was April’s fault. She was a real dumb bunny. But she was sweet. I’m glad that after 8 years together, she cheated on me and left me. It led to a wild 5 years of bachelorhood, going back into the music business, and eventually making Charlotte’s dream come true by finding me.
The second time was with April again only this time it wasn’t her fault. It was 1978. We were living on the top of a hill in San Pedro. We had a gorgeous view of the L.A. Harbor from the living room. This time it was a house; not an apartment. A big beautiful house.
On the very first day we moved in, the house owner decided to move the water heater from inside the house to the outside…in the back of the house. While we were moving boxes and furniture into the house, the plumber was doing some brazing or welding. Can’t remember which.
What he didn’t know, by the time he left, was that he had started a fire between the outside of the house and the inside framing.
We were in the house maybe an hour when someone in a car honked until I came out to see what was going on. He screamed, as he pointed, “Your roof is on fire!!”
I ran out front and sure as shit, the entire roof was engulfed in flames.
Once again, I shuffled April and the kid outside and I went back and got my basses.
The fire department was there in less than 2 minutes. Lots of fire trucks.
April and I stood there as black smoke completely covered a 5 house perimeter. All the looky loos were choking from smoke.
This was a bad fire and yet the fire fighters were scrambling to get into the house and on top of the house. I had a tremendous respect for them. One even went through the roof and disappeared. Fortunately, he was saved by his comrades.
When it was all over, the fire chief came over to me; put his arm around my shoulders and walked me slowly towards the house. The whole time telling me it looks worse than it is.
I walked in and gasped. Nearly all of our belongings were destroyed. The entire roof was gone. Water flooded the floors. We had just moved in and hadn’t even spent one night in the house.
We spent time in cheap motels until they rebuilt the house. Only took a month.
I sued the plumber. I wanted to get my money back for everything.
I went before Judge Bean, the hanging judge of San Pedro, and he took one look at my giant afro and denied my case. And the defendant? The plumber? “Not Guilty!!”
I had fire reports saying it was the plumber’s fault. Arson. The judge wouldn’t even look at them. All he saw was a Hippie.
Both experiences were terrible. My only advice if it ever happens to you…get out fast. Fire moves much quicker than you realize. A few seconds can make a difference.
And on that happy note….Have a great day!
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS