Christian Eiroa, the longtime president of Camacho Cigars, has returned to the cigar business with the formation of CLE Cigar Co. His long-term plan calls for several cigar brands made in various countries.
CLE stands for Eiroa’s initials (his middle name is Luís) and the first cigar to come from his new venture will be the CLE. A small-production brand, CLE will be rolled in a familiar spot for Eiroa, the Tabacos Ranchos Jamastran factory in Honduras where Camacho cigars are made. (Eiroa owned the factory with his father before selling Camacho to the Davidoff group in 2008.)
CLE will come in two varieties: CLE Cuarenta, made with Habano-seed wrapper, and CLE Corojo, made with Corojo wrapper. The Cuarenta is named in honor of Eiroa’s upcoming 40th birthday, which takes place in July.
The CLE blend is intended to be medium to full in body, and Eiroa said it would reflect his changing tastes in cigars.
“The way I blend, and the way I taste cigars has changed a lot. Before I was so focused on Corojo, now I want to taste and try different areas,” said Eiroa. “I can also experiment with sizes. I’ve always smoked 50 by 5s. Now I’ve fallen in love with 46 by 5 1/2. So those sizes will be in our product line.”
Eiroa’s cigars will be vintage dated. “Tobacco changes every year, just like wine changes every year. I’m going to use the same varieties, but the cigars could vary, because it’s a different batch.” The dates, he said, will refer to the date of production, not necessarily the year of the harvest.
Eiroa will be using a variety of tobaccos for his new cigars. He said he was already buying tobacco from his father, Julio, who grows in the Jamastran Valley of Honduras, from Henke Kelner, the maker of Davidoff cigars, who grows in the Dominican Republic, and from ASP Enterprises Inc., a major grower in Ecuador and Nicaragua. “I’m buying tobacco from a lot of places,” he said.
While Eiroa said his venture has the blessing of Davidoff, he said the company does not have a stake in his company.
Rolling of CLE began about a month ago, and the plan is to have the cigars on market in July for his 40th birthday.