Way back in 2019 we reviewed the Le Carême Canonazo on Episode 94 and it blew our collective socks off. So much so that it was declared our #4 Cigar of the Year! I’ve smoked several variations of this cigar after that first stellar impression and have enjoyed them all. Will that trend continue? Read on! It’s only around 600 words, dude, it won’t kill you…
Size: 5 1/2 x 52 (belicoso)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
From our good friends over at Famous Smoke Shop, I learned this backstory on tonight’s cigar:
“In the epicurean spirit, Le Carême cigars take their name after renowned 1800’s chef Marie Antoine Carême, made famous for popularizing the soufflé. Ernesto Perez Carrillo cooked up this culinary masterpiece with a complex flavor profile that brings chocolate soufflé, sweet cocoa, and rich tobacco to the palate. Le Carême comes garnished with a luscious Connecticut broadleaf Maduro wrapper, complimented by Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan filler – this cigar is truly the crème de la carème.”
The Le Carême Belicoso Fino 2022 features a dark, somewhat mottled broadleaf wrapper with a few soft spots along the body of the cigar. There is a faint milk chocolate aroma present and when sniffing the foot of the cigar directly both plain almonds and a raisin-like sweetness are detected.
After experiencing a naturally sweet cold draw, there is a crisp medium-strength white pepper that immediately presents itself through the nose while equal parts oak and dark chocolate arise via the draw. The aroma pouring off the Le Carême is quite nice, 2022 has been an unusually good year up to this point as far as great smelling stogies is concerned. A salty cracker note begins to creep in to the draw’s profile around the 1” mark just as a mineral component has developed alongside the retrohale’s pepper. With only a slight clip of the cigar’s pointed cap, the Le Carême is drawing beautifully producing copious smoke and no resistance whatsoever. Towards the end of the end of the first third, the white pepper’s strength and overall presence declines significantly.
The retrohale’s mineral is now shining brightly, far ahead of the once dominant pepper. The boldness of the oak has increased although both the dark chocolate and saltiness continue to linger in its woodsy shadow. The Le Carême’s burn line is a bit jagged now and the white ash is slightly flakey but it’s not interfering with my enjoyment of the cigar at all so who gives a shit. Around the fifty yard line an espresso flavor saddled with a slight creaminess joins the party on the draw and those additions tame the oakiness keeping it from being overpowering. Towards the end of the Le Carême’s middle portion, the white pepper’s presence and its strength both make a sudden resurgence as my nostrils begin to tingle and dance once again… yes, nostrils can dance. It’s a thing.
As we enter the final third, the ash finally drops and the Le Carême’s burn line has self-corrected to the point of it almost being perfectly straight now. A butter cream icing note is developing and it is complimenting the draw’s coffee and cream flavors wonderfully. The oak and dark chocolate have now downshifted, they are barely present as we approach the finish line. The white pepper and mineral are both coming through the retro in equal doses here at the end. All in all, it’s a very satisfying ending to a highly enjoyable cigar… I really should have purchased more than one of these dammit.
The slow-burning Le Carême Belicoso Fino 2022 smoked for 93 minutes and I wish that it had smoked for 93 minutes more. While both the intoxicating aroma and dark chocolate flavor that we all enjoyed back on Episode 94 were still very much present, the addition of several other notes and nuances throughout the smoking experience elevated tonight’s cigar to another level. Don’t sleep on these limited editions, grab as many as you can while you can.