Carmelo Primeros Robusto – Cigar Review

Honduras Caribbean Tobacco is a Cigar Company which opened in 2005 with their own farms and factories located in Honduras. We reviewed the Carmelo Blue Label Maduro in March 2012, here. Their newest introduction is the Carmelo Primeros which they have spent five years developing. In their press release they wrote, “Carmelo Primeros resurrected from a Cuban vista produced during the Gilded Age of the 19th century. Carmelo was recreated to maintain the decadence of this indulgent time while updating the brand to incorporate our past, present and future.”

The wrapper for the Primeros is an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro, which is exclusive to Honduras Caribbean and very limited in quantity. The Carmelo Primeros is available in five vitolas, (5 3/4 x 54) Belicoso, (6 x 50) Toro, (6 x 60) Gordo, (7 x 48) Churchill, and a (5 x 52) Robusto which I am reviewing today.

Size: 5 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduras
Strength: Medium
Body: Full
Flavor: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

Construction and Appearance: The wrapper of the Carmelo Primeros Robusto is a slightly dark reddish brown with slight veins. It is very consistent in color and looks very flavorful with a nice amount of oil sheen. It ends in a tight triple cap, and has a nice red ribbon at the foot. The band has a very classic feel, as well, with two women in the center, one carrying what appears to be tobacco leaves. The primarily blue and gold band was recreated from the early 1900’s and reflects the heritage of the Carmelo brand.

Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Carmelo Primeros Robusto has notes of sweet cocoa and a bit of coffee. The foot has the scent of grass, cocoa, honey, light spice, and a bit of a floral scent. I use a straight cut to prepare smoking the Carmelo Primeros Robusto and on the cold draw there are flavors of sweet cocoa, coffee, and woody note.

Smoking Characteristics: The Carmelo Primeros Robusto fires up with some nice sweetness which is a blend of molasses and cocoa, a light spice, wood, and an earthy finish. The spice fades in and out of the smoking profile during the first third, but lingers on the palate between draws, leaving a light tingle on the tongue. The flavors are quite delicious but not very intense. The draw is excellent and provides a nice amount of smoke which is rich, cool, and smooth. The strength is in the medium range.

Into the second third of the Carmelo Primeros Robusto, the aroma of the cigar starts to take over the air around me. It is quite pleasant and has everyone near by commenting on the enticing scent. In this third, the notes of molasses and cocoa dominate the flavor profile. The blend is very sweet and quite appealing. The ash holds firmly past the inch point and the burn line has remained sharp. I was sort of expecting an increase in strength in this third, however it remained in the medium range.

During the final third of the Carmelo Primeros Robusto, the spice has completely subsided, but the woody finish after each draw has returned. The notes of molasses, cocoa, and earth remain as the core flavors in this cigar. However, a new note of dried fruit, very close to raisins, has emerged. The construction continues to perform well, with a tight ash and a sharp burn. The Carmelo Primeros Robusto smokes cool to the nub with the same delicious flavors.

Conclusion: I enjoyed the Carmelo Primeros Robusto, it had a wonderful construction which performed well the entire time. The flavors were well blended, balanced, and enjoyable, but they lacked the intensity I expected. Would I pick up more of the Carmelo Primeros Robusto? Yes, I could see myself grabbing a few of these sticks. Although Honduras Caribbean is a small company, they have nice products with consistent quality. The have done a wonderful job with the artwork and incorporated both the Cuban and Tampa based elements of this cigar. To learn more, Stogie Review did a great video review with Desiree Udell from Honduras Caribbean at the 2012 IPCPR trade show..

Rating: 89

MSRP: $9.00