C. E. Beck y Compania was originally a Cuban label manufactured in the mid nineteenth century. Today the label has been co-opted by Cuban Crafters for one of their cameroon wrapped Nicaraguan cigars. I received a couple of Cuban Crafters samplers last summer (a great deal by the way) and have finally gotten around to this Beck selection, the toro sized “Buckaroo.”
Beck cigars are available in all the standard formats but run a bit on the large size — the churchill, robusto and toro all have a 52 ring gauge, and there is also a “super toro” with a 60 ring gauge. A bit much for me, but the super large format has its following. The Buckaroo included in the sampler is the standard toro size at 6 by 52.
This cigar has a Cameroon wrapper, of course, and a Nicaraguan binder and filler from Kiki Berger’s Tabacalera Esteli. Not to be undersold, the ad copy on the Cuban Crafters site describes the filler as “virgin sun grown Cuban-seed habano tobacco that was fermented 5 times.” Obviously a lot of time and care go into the making of these smokes.
The wrapper is dry and just slightly toothy. The prelight scent is very plain tobacco. Nothing to get too excited about.
But once lit this proves to be a solid medium bodied cigar. It starts out with a nice cocoa flavor over a subdued base of cedar. There’s a spicy tingle at the back of the throat and in the sinuses, but not enough to be called a bite exactly. The burn is even and trouble free and builds a solid ash. There is a hint of cameroon in the aroma — some mild kitchen spices, a smattering of cinammon in the cocoa maybe.
At about the middle of the cigar the subtle flavors lose prominence and are overpowered by the spicy aspects of the smoke. Still a good flavor at this point, but definitely spicier and less complex. Inching toward the last third and finale of this cigar is more of the same, until the last bit which turns slightly sour. I may have been smoking a little too fast, but I wasn’t getting anything at this point that warranted my slowing down. And besides, it was 25 degrees outside and my knuckles were starting to turn blue.
Overall I think the Beck Cameroon is a fine medium bodied cigar, especially the first half. It went a little downhill after that, but some cigars are just like that. Kind of like the friend who is interesting and fun to be around until he gets a few too many drinks in him and starts dwelling on his failed marriage…or something. Nice guy and all, but a little tiresome at the end of the evening.
These sell for around five bucks a stick, or you can pick up a sampler of all 6 sizes from Cuban Crafters for 20 bucks, which seems like a pretty good deal to me.
And if you figure out what these horses are doing, please let me know.