30 Sep 2013
At one time, Miami was a hotbed for cigar production, especially among Cuban expats seeking to rebuild after the Cuban Revolution stole away their businesses. Rising labor costs eventually necessitated most of this production move overseas to countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic.
These days, Miami is witnessing somewhat of a renaissance in cigar making. Crémo Cigars, launched near the end of 2011, is part of this revitalization, proudly proclaiming its commitment to American production. Crémo’s blends are crafted at the El Titan de Bronze Cigar Factory on Miami’s Calle Ocho. The factory is “known best for its old-school Cuban entubado techniques, [and] is a family-owned and operated ‘fabriquita’ which employs level-nine rollers from Cuba,” according to the Crémo website. “These torcedores, like a painter to a canvas, handcraft each cigar with meticulous detail.”
Following up on the Crémo Classic (blended by Willy Herrera prior to his departure to Drew Estate) and the Crémo Classic Maduro, Crémo’s newest blend is Capa Caliente. It is intended to be a full-bodied, full-flavored cigar—and that’s exactly what it is. It features an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around a Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Capa Caliente comes in two formats: Robusto (5 x 50) and Toro (6 x 52). They cost $8 and $12, respectively. Each has a dark, reddish wrapper with ample oils and neatly executed triple-caps. The foot—a cross-section view of the entubado style of cigar rolling—emanates bold pre-light notes of earth and leather.
The Toro starts out as advertised. It’s about as full-bodied as a cigar can be with a bold, salty spice and flavors of espresso, black pepper, and charred steak. The taste coats the palate with a heavy, leathery texture unequaled in any cigar I’ve smoked in recent memory. The overall impact can be knee-buckling, even on a full stomach.
At the midway point the Toro becomes a little less aggressive, and at times it’s almost creamy. Still, the core notes are pervasive, and the strength is mostly unrelenting. All the while the construction is excellent. The gray ash holds firm off the foot, the draw is smooth, the burn line is straight, and each puff yields ample smoke.
If you’re a power-monger, the Capa Caliente from Crémo is one blend you absolutely have to try. If, like me, you’re more strength-agnostic and instead seek balance and harmony, this may not be the best selection. Like many things with cigars, it all depends on your point of view and personal preferences. For me, all things considered, while I prefer Crémo’s two previous blends, the four Toros I smoked for this review result in a rating of three stogies out of five.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys