Today we’ll be smoking the CLE Plus Robusto, one of the newest products from Christian Eiroa. Most enthusiasts likely already know who Christian Eiroa is, but let’s take a second to examine the man for those who are unaware.
Christian Eiroa is a name that has commanded respect in the cigar industry for a number of years. Christian Eiroa’s family has remained prominent for nearly 20 years, having purchased the Camacho Cigars brand in 1995. Over time, Christian would become the brand owner for Camacho, and release some of the Camacho’s most famous cigars. In 2008 however, Christian sold the Camacho brand to the Oettinger Davidoff Group. After taking a bit of a breather from the spotlight, Mr. Eiroa opted to release a new brand of cigars, known as CLE, a name that bares his initials.
To date, CLE has only released several cigars. One of the newest editions is the CLE Plus, a Hunduran puro, described by Christian himself as “the full-bodied Corojo cigar the market has been looking for”.
We’ll be the judge of that, now won’t we?
Cigar: CLE Plus
Size: 5×50 Robusto
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo
Appearance and Pre-light Aroma:
The Honduran Corojo wrapper on the CLE Plus is smooth and finely toothed. Light brown in color, the roll is near seamless making for a very pretty cigar visually. Slightly firm to the touch, with a healthy weight to it.
Whiffing the foot gives you a healthy dose of brown sugar and cinnamon, in conjunction with softer earthy barnyard notes. You can pick up an ever so subtle bit of grass deeply layered in with the rest of the profile.
If you’ve previously smoked Christian Eiroa’s work with Camacho, you’ll encounter some familiar faces, alongside some new ones. The flavor starts off strong, smooth, and creamy with very little in the way of spice. A bit of ‘heat’ and a pinch of black pepper, sure, but by no means spicy in the conventional sense. A few puffs later and a hearty note of oak begins to define itself, with a bit of leather and soil on the back-end. There’s some definite brunt to the body, but it’s not jarring like some cigars can be. In an abstract sense, there is a lot going on in the low-end of the profile, and fair bit in the top end, while the mid-range flavors fly very under the radar.
Now we have some spice with some serious kick. The spice is most similar to that of red pepper, with a touch of acidity. The profile has dried up considerably, and has an almost chalky texture to it. Leather and a bit of cedar have picked up, particularly in the finish. A particularly subtle sweetness can still be found, and is fairly akin to the flavor of hazelnut coffee creamer. A thin layer of black pepper lingers in the finish, and is particularly noticeable alongside a bit of tang through a retrohale.
Whoa there, the CLE Plus as at full tilt in all regards. Raging with testosterone, the CLE Plus is bold, rich, and triumphant. There isn’t a huge change in flavor, but that isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes a slight evolution can be better than a revolution, and all the characteristics have indeed evolved to be at their peak. The CLE Plus is mostly defined by its earthy notes, with the rest of the flavors providing accentuation. The only new characteristic is that of dried meat.
Burn and Construction:
The CLE Plus was phenomenal in both of these categories. The construction is top-notch, and rivals the level of craftsmanship of any of the top-tier manufactures. The draw is excellent, delivering what seems to be a near endless supply of flavorful smoke.
The CLE Plus does require a fair amount of attention to stay lit, but provided that the Plus burns dead even start to finish.
If pressed to summarize the CLE Plus into one word, one might jump to terms such as “meaty”, “hefty”, or “bold”. One thing is for sure, the CLE Plus packs a wallop. The cigar emanates rich and bold flavor from every puff, and does so without a fuss. Three cigars were smoked for this review, and all were consistent across the board.
While there are dense layers of flavor present, the cigar is pretty straight forward. Writing the CLE Plus off as being one-dimensional wouldn’t be doing it justice. I’m a big believer that many great cigars shine brightest in specific settings, and there are plenty of times when a simple full-bodied and flavorful cigar fits the bill perfectly. For me, the CLE Plus is best enjoyed at the end of a long work day when you’re looking to kick back and melt into a chair.
It tastes great, it burns beautifully, and is at a price point that it can be enjoyed daily. What more can you want, really? I have a handful on standby to be enjoyed at any given time.
3.5 out of 5
If you’d like to pick up a 5 pack or a box of CLE Plus you can do so here. Be sure to come smoke and chat with Christian Eiroa himself at our event this Friday, April 11th.