Camacho Scorpion Sun Grown | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium
Price: $6.55 MSRP (A buck less online)

Today we take a look at the Camacho Scorpion Sun Grown.
I’m reviewing this cigar because my son-in-law swears by the new Camacho blends.
I paid $4 a pop when I bought a fiver on special.
I found one written review and no video reviews. Gulp. Not even a press release. And it doesn’t show up on the Camacho Cigar web site. Double Gulp.
I found a couple of reviews from online stores but they don’t count. Generally speaking, online stores selling a product don’t give a cigar a bad review, or even a critical review. I find it’s mostly cigar speak, using vague terms, while withholding the intricacies of flavor profiles and sticking to the brain numbing descriptions of creaminess, earth, wind, and leather is about as far as most go. I think they do this due to backlash from smokers without trained palates. Any decent cigar should be flavorful beyond the same 4 terms used over and over. To be fair though, I’ve never read an online cigar review praising a really bad blend…which doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

According to Wikipedia, some useless info on Camacho:
“After five years of adopting Bayer’s standards for good agricultural and manufacturing practices, Camacho Cigars and Bayer CropScience signed a working partnership under the Bayer Food Management program. The new alliance established Camacho Cigars as the only tobacco company in history to be in compliance with strict international standards for Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). By complying with the practices set forth by Bayer CropScience, Camacho Cigars ensures the responsible management of natural resources, bio-friendly pesticides, industrial safety, and biosecurity.

“Camacho Cigars signed a three-year deal with the Orange Bowl and the NCAA for the 2012-2014 Orange Bowl games and the 2013 BCS National Championship. The sponsorship was pulled after several public health organizations raised concern, saying tobacco promotions have no place in sports and shouldn’t be allowed under federal tobacco marketing restrictions.”

7 X 70 Super Gordo $8.55
5 x 50 Robusto $6.55
6 x 60 Gordo $7.55

Big difference between the cigar in direct sunlight and indoor lighting. The sun shows the reddish tint and its glowing and glistening wrapper. Without the benefit of a natural klieg light, the wrapper is paper bag brown. Lots of veins. Some seams are visible. The stick is adequately filled without soft or hard spots. The triple cap is nicely applied. The feel of the wrapper is a mix of smooth and tooth; like me.

Aromas are faint. I detect some creaminess, cocoa, malt, cedar, barnyard, black licorice from the clipped cap…as well as a big dose of black pepper from that exposed cap and the foot. A couple of light sweet factors of brown sugar and honey. A tiny bit of floral seeps into the atmosphere of my nares.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, malt, raisins, cedar, licorice, black pepper, creaminess, and some elusive elements I can’t put my finger on quite yet; hopefully they spread out and show themselves during the review.

This is my second stick. Both saw the triple caps disintegrate during their removal using a backstop guillotine cutter.
The draw is spot on so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.

First up is a chocolate malt ice cream shake. Followed by some creaminess, cedar, smoky oak, and a touch of caramel.
One thing I noticed on my first stick that is repeating itself here…the stick isn’t that well made. I got burn issues from the first and the second is following suit. It also isn’t packed as well as I would like. It is a fast burner. This will only be a 40-minute cigar.

The stick is quickly becoming a pepper bomb. Eye watering power. But a touch of complexity seeps in and my hopes are it continues.
Strength is a solid medium.

The Camacho Scorpion Sun Grown has all the ear marks of what it claims to be: An inexpensive everyday cigar. I lit up another stick to check and found the exact same problems as the first two sticks…lousy burn issues and a quick burn. So, this is endemic of the quality of the rolling; or should I say, the lack of quality control. No. 9 rollers need not apply.

I chose this cigar to review because I have a weak spot for Sun Grown Habano wrappers. It appears that this wrapper is not enough to make up for the yard ‘gar quality at this early juncture. I did smoke one last night and thought it was pretty good but this morning, I’ve lit up two sticks and I find I am not getting the same experience.

Last night’s stick was interesting and flavorful. Not complex. Not what I’d call a premium blend. But I enjoyed it.
This thing is burning so fast that it reminds of some sort of cigar you buy in a joke shop. Or better yet, it is burning like a cigarette. I will not process my photos between puffs as I’m afraid the cigar will disappear during that time.

No shit, it took only 12 minutes to burn through the first third.

If I were smart, I would have taken the lack of reviews as a sign from above. But I did enjoy last night’s cigar; so, I thought it’s just a fluke no one wants to review it. This may be the first time that instead of getting one bad cigar in a fiver, I got one good one. Go figure.

The Camacho Scorpion Sun Grown is not going to become a complex entity. The balance is scatter shot. No transitions. And virtually, no finish to speak of. I’m bummed from being fooled by last night’s venture with this blend.

That solid medium strength diminishes to more of a mild/medium blend. Strange.

I really wish the Eiroa family hadn’t sold out to Davidoff. Remember the days when smoking a Camacho got you a nod from a fellow cigar smoker at the bar? Davidoff permanently changed all that.

The Robusto is $6.55. A quandary. Even at $5 like some folks are selling them for online, it does not represent.
A little perkiness appears. Flavors are distinct; which has been lacking. The strength re-amps up to medium once again. That’s good.

The black pepper is ever present but no longer overwhelming.
I’m now getting glimpses of the ‘good’ stick I smoked yesterday.
Blandness ran the 1K first third. The cigar is desperately trying to escape that state of entropy.

Even at the $4 I paid, it’s overpriced. This cigar should definitely be in the category of Camacho 2nds bundle for $45.

I’m all in at this point so the review is getting published. I had hoped to report a favorable opinion based on what I smoked last night to show my son in law that I liked this Camacho. I must admit I make fun of him for his enjoyment of these usurpers. I guess I will continue to make fun of him as the Camacho Scorpion Sun Grown is not redemption.

This is a linear blend in which changes do not occur. It starts out bland, shows a little misplaced hope in the second third, and relapses to mediocrity just past the halfway point.
Just prior to the start of the last third, there is a spark of life. It verges on becoming tasty but struggles.

It’s taken the cigar less than 25 minutes to get here.
Camacho under filled the sticks.

I’m relieved I only paid $20 for a fiver. But then in most cases, you get what you pay for. Although, that tried and true hypothesis ain’t always true once you get into the high-priced premiums. I’ve smoked my share of $20+ sticks that made me shake my head allowing moths to exit my ears.

I’m constantly touching up the burn.

The last third does show hints of my previous ‘good’ stick…but just can’t get there. The good stick was sort of impressive from the start. No warmup required in seeing decent response time to a flavor filled blend.

The three sizes see the price range from $6-$8 per stick. Even more from your local B&M once taxes are added. And lounges always charge MSRP.

Mustiness appears. Rats.

I can’t explain the discrepancy from one stick to the next. Davidoff just cranks out these sub-par blends using Joe Camel PR with the big flashy cigar bands and deceptive descriptions.

By the time I finish the stick, I will have devoted a total of 35 minutes in its world…approximately half the time I expect from a Robusto. The poor rolling deserves a spanking. It feels like Camacho just doesn’t give a shit. I really despise cigar manufacturers who feel their only duty is to flood the market with crappy cigars to make their investors happy.

And again, as I inch towards the end of the cigar, some life dredges itself out of the black lagoon. The cigar is a prick teaser. No consistency. Next time I see no reviews of a cigar I plan to write about, I will use my puny brain to figure out the reason.

In its last moments of life, I now taste what I experienced last night with the good stick.
I would call myself a semi-snob but I know a cheap cigar blend when I smoke one.
Carry on…

RATING: 75 (One stick out of 3 was good)

And now for something completely different:
The Byrds

In 1966, at the height of their short career, I got to meet and hang with them at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA.
The Golden Bear is a small venue. Maybe seats 250 people. The Byrds had a string of major hits. And were considered the American Beatles.

They only played two nights; two shows per night. It was impossible to get tickets. My buddy, Elliot Kushell, had an idea. We would pretend we were reporters for the Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper.
I called the Golden Bear and introduced myself as a reporter. I just knew they wouldn’t buy it.
An hour later, The Byrds’ manager called back and said he would get us backstage passes.
Elliot and I were ecstatic.

We were both 16. And hardly looked like real reporters.
We got there and not a single reporter was there. Unless they were in the audience. We were the only people allowed backstage with the band.
I brought along my Sony reel-to-reel that my grandfather bought me for my Bar Mitzvah. And I brought two cameras: A Kodak Instamatic and a Polaroid.

We met them as soon as we got there. We were invited into their dressing room. A drab and tiny room. Almost like a big closet.
Right away, they were friendly and generous.
I got a 45-minute interview with Roger McGuinn. I took lots of photos. During the concert, I just wandered to the front of the stage and took pictures with my Instamatic. No one bothered me.

Backstage, I used my Polaroid. David Crosby asked if he could use it and show me something. He knew how to get double exposures with the thing.
So, he took a bunch of crazy photos.

Strangely, I never saw them drink alcohol or smoke any weed. They were sober.
And neither Elliot nor I had tried weed at that age. Things were different then.

Now Roger went to a guru on a regular basis. This guru said his original name of Jim was wrong for him and changed it to Roger. How cosmic.

I asked for an autograph and, apparently, he wasn’t used to his new name. He started to write the letter J and then stopped and wrote Roger. I wish I still had that piece of paper but that was almost 50 years ago.

Roger let me hold the famous Rickenbacker 12 string that was the signature sound of The Byrds.
There were girls in the dressing room of course. And David made sure that they all sat on my lap. I almost passed out. And I was embarrassed because I had the wood of a horny 16-year-old.

The evening lasted for 6 hours. All of it exhilarating. When it was over, each of The Byrds gave me a big bear hug. I couldn’t believe it.
The next day, I wrote up an article from the interview, and submitted it to the teeny bopper magazine “Tiger Beat.”
A couple weeks later, it was returned to me, bleeding with red mark ups. I was told that my article was not “cuddly enough.” I swear to God. Those were her exact words.
That was the official start of my writing career.
I hope you find my cigar reviews cuddly.


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14 replies

  1. “…a working partnership under the Bayer Food Management program…” wonder is Camacho now Roundup Ready?

    I think the ONLY Camacho I respected right after the sale was I think called Machine Head? From cycles, not guitars, it was the only one in the lineup not wrapped in Corojo. Found a shop with inventory of the original triple Maduro; now there was treasure.

  2. Nice read, Kohnhed. As always.

    This one is a nice example of where you have to either know who to trust, or try it yourself.

    I just saw that Famous marked this cigar as top cigar of 2018:

    But I see some other funny choices there, so I trust this review more. Plus, this one is fun to read 🙂

  3. Thank you for the kind compliment.
    I checked out their best 10 cigars of 2018 list. I like the SD Cedrus. But the Indomina by AJ Fernandez is on there…an OK cigar but truly not worthy. Last on the list is the Macanudo Inspirado Red…what a dog turd.
    And the Alec Bradley Prensado Lost Art is their best cigar of the year? WTF?

    Lastly, if the Scorpion Sun Grown is such a great cigar, why is there only one review on the interwebs? Not a single review from the mainstream reviewers. No shortage of reviews for the Connie version…but the Sun Grown? Nothing. I believe that speaks for itself.

    I think the list is there primarily to move certain items out of stock. They are playing their customers for chumps. Not playing nice…
    So kids, remember not to take LSD before compiling a “best of” list. You’ve seen the results right on that link.

  4. Camacho cigars with constant shifting ownership makes it a tough cigar to follow or enjoy. I cannot keep up or want to with their 6000 blends.
    On the music front , my late wife at one time lived with Carol King back in the 70’s and got to meet many of the stars of that era. She told me that Crosby was one of the strangest dudes she ever met.

  5. I’d love to hear your ex-wife’s stories. Do you remember them? You should write about them on your phenomenal cigar blog!
    Thanks Frank,

  6. Thats a great idea. There are plenty of stories as you are quite aware in the crazy world of rock.

  7. Hi Phil.The photo of the old Scotch box tape caught my attention as I am a fan of the original Byrds. Did you record them in 1966?. Care to negotiate for the tape? Was it the original five man lineup or without Gene Clark?
    write me at Thanks.

  8. There is no music on the tape. It is strictly an hour long interview with Roger McGuinn.
    My buddy and I were allowed backstage because we pretended to be reporters for the Long Beach Press Telegram. I was 16 and I called the Golden Bear and left a message that I wanted to interview the band.
    Shockingly, their manager called back. He was gracious and invited us down. We were the only people allowed backstage for the entire two shows of the night that weren’t the band and immediate people.
    McGuinn was originally Jim McGuinn but his guru told him his name should be Roger…so he changed it. I got an autograph from him and it said, “Cool hanging out with you, Phil….Ji…Roger McGuinn. He wrote a big J…then stopped…and wrote Roger below it. I hung on to it for decades but eventually it evaporated into the ethos of life.
    Yes, it was all the original members. Gene Clark was there.
    David Crosby took my expensive Polaroid I brought along with my Kodak Instamatic camera…and showed me how to make double exposures with the Polaroid. I had all the boys together in a small dressing room and a few good looking chicks who were all enjoying the unadulterated respect and love for their music coming from a couple of fakes who had the balls to pull the thing off. Met Dylan backstage too…next time.

  9. Thanks so very much Phil, for the story. I am surprised and pleased that Gene Clark was there. As you know Gene left The Byrds about March 1966. Was he performing with the band at Golden Bear or just hanging out with his former band mates? Is there a way I could listen to the McGuinn interview, or even better have a copy? I am a collector / fan with no interest in exploitation of the interview, only having it for personal enjoyment. Thanks again. -Whin Prescott, Arizona

  10. Clark was playing bass at the time.
    The interview is on 1/4″ tape that is nearly 54 years old. While it looks fine, I have not played it since then. I would need to take it to a professional to make sure the tape is able to be transferred to something more modern; like a CD…or digital file.
    I still have the 1963 Sony reel to reel machine I recorded it on.

  11. That’s pretty far out – Gene Clark playing bass. Where was Chris Hillman? For archival transfers I use Penguin in Eagle Rock (Pasadena). Go to : Give owner John Strother my name and a hello. Very smart. Let me know how it turns out. -Whin

  12. Phil, Did you ever have the “Byrds” tape transferred for listening to? Whin ________________________________

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