Released during the 2017 IPCPR, “Alma del Campo” means “soul of the field”. An unassuming and innocent-looking cigar, it should make for an interesting review!
In this article, you will discover the Plasencia Alma del Campo as we review it according to the following considerations:
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- Brand: Plasencia Cigars
- Range: Alma del Campo
- Reviewed Vitolas: 5 x 52 “Tribu” Robusto
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Esteli, Nicaragua
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium – Full
- Estimated Smoking Time: 80 Minutes
- Pricing: $15 / Single [Buy Now]
Aside from it being a Nicaraguan puro manufactured at the Plasencia factory, little has been divulged of the Alma del Campo and how it was blended. However, as a puro, we can confidentally say that it consists exclusively of Nicaraguan tobaccos at the very least!
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Plasencia Alma del Campo Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Milk Chocolate
- Rolling Consistency: Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Cacao, Zesty Leather, Earth
One thing you’ll notice is that the Alma del Campo has a very straight roll. Additionally, it’s almost rock hard that it’s so firm, but it isn’t too hard either.
Indeed, it’s beautifully crafted with very refined veins and a rich oily sheen. Its pale milk chocolate hue can be very deceptive. It gives the impression of a mild cigar but it’s actually quite the nicotine bomb. However, I’ll explain in further detail below.
The aromas of the foot consist of cacao, some moist earth, and a zesty acidic leather.
Plasencia Alma del Campo Review
As with all our cigar reviews, the Alma del Campo was stored using a Boveda acrylic humidor for a period of three weeks with 69% RH Boveda packs. We always follow this step in order to ensure that the cigars are properly prepared for a standardised review. Learn more about Boveda with our full guide.
- Draw: Slightly Tight
- Aromas: Black Cherry, Cacao, Earth
The draw can occasionally be a little on the tight side. Indeed, CP sampled one with a restricted airflow. However, he was able to massage it until it opened up to provide a pleasant draw. Otherwise, the Alma del Campo generally has a pleasant draw.
As for the dry draw’s flavours, it has a slight fruitiness, which I would liken to black cherry, as well as the same cacao and moist earth that were picked up on the aromas on the foot.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Coffee Beans, Sourdough, Anise
The first third reveals a beautifully straight burn line with a fine steely-grey and almost white ash. It’s not quite as full-bodied as expected, which may be thanks to a few months of ageing in a coolidor before being transferred to the aforementioned acrylic humidor.
The flavour profile consists of some notes of spices on the tip of the tongue, notably anise. Indeed, there’s just that slight aniseed tint, as well as some coffee beans and a yeasty sourdough finish, especially on the retrohale. That been said, that there seems to be a lot more going on. It’s quite complex, but those are the three most discernable notes.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Espresso Coffee, Charred Bay Leaf, Sourdough Bread
The transition from the first to the second third starts very slowly and it’s not until the halfway point that we really start to see any distinctive changes. However, once we get there, it is quite a distinctive evolution.
The body increases from a medium to a medium-full and the flavours will change, too. For example, the coffee beans turn into a shot of espresso. The anise transitions to a more herbaceous note that reminiscent of charred bay leaf. Finally, the sourdough has been baked into a nice big loaf of bread.
Not only is the cigar milder but it has a more complex flavour profile. Indeed, it appears that the cigar has greatly benefitted from an additional ageing period before it was prepared for the review.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Espresso Coffee, Charred Thyme, Pepper
The charred bay leaf has transitioned into more of herby flavour that would be better described as charred thyme. There’s a distinctive pepperiness in the retrohale and the body is overall medium-full. Otherwise, the coffee has persisted from the second into the final third.
As for the complexity, it can vary throughout the cigar. The second third is incredibly complex and the first third is quite intriguing as well. However, the final third doesn’t quite offer the same nuance as the first two.
The mouthfeel is quite smooth and velvety, leaving a nice almost copper-tasting texture on the tongue and the astringency is very balanced. You don’t have too much dryness or over salivation.
This leads on to this palate stimulation, which is quite balanced as well throughout the mouth. You don’t have any areas that overly-stimulated. That means that in the first third, the tip of the tongue does get extra bits of sweet spice, such as the anise.
The lifecycle is quite developed overall. You do have some distinctive evolution, especially between the first and second third. The final third doesn’t quite offer the same transition, though.
And finally, the finish is quite lingering, it’s going to stay on the palate for a while. You could consider accompanying this with a beverage just to cleanse it or to extend those final flavours. As for the residual scent in the room, it is quite fragrant, herbaceous, and not too strong.
- Ash Backbone: Mostly Strong
- Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
- Temperature: Cool
- Draw: Ideal
- Final Smoking Time: 80 Minutes
As mentioned earlier, the draw can occasionally be tight but this wasn’t the case for the cigars that I tasted. The temperature remains cool all the way through. The backbone is strong and reveals a beautiful ash.
Similarly, any burn issues tend to correct themselves and result in a straight line. There is some initial waviness, but it does sort itself out quite nicely.
As you can see in the photos, the cigar is decorated with three bands. That is the case with most Plasencia cigars. The band on the foot helps protect the cigar and as the main band is so large, the one near the rear retains some ornamentation when you remove it.
The box is beautifully made with excellent presentation. Furthermore, it comes with an inbuilt ashtray that you can remove and use separately. It looks great but it can be somewhat fragile as it fits over the box. Therefore, it may break during transit, which did actually happen to me on the edges.
Don’t hesitate to get it replaced if you can as it looks fantastic. Although made out of wood, a metal plate in the centre neatly captures the ash and makes it easy to clean.
If you’re buying the Alma del Campo as a single, it’s $15 per stick, which may seem a bit pricey especially for a Robusto. That being said, when you buy the 10-count box for $150, you also get an ashtray, which does add some pretty good value overall.
In terms of occasion, this is a very versatile cigar. It’s not going to be super beginner-friendly, especially unaged, as the nicotine powerhouse may overwhelm novice smokers. However, in terms of presentation, it’s a great choice for a special occasion.
Consider taking the whole box to a bachelor’s party or wedding and you’ll also have the ashtray to use during the event. However, I would suggest that you make sure that those who will have one are already avid cigar smokers.
Plasencia Alma del Campo Pairings
In terms of food, I’d first suggest something like a croissant as the buttery yeastiness may bring out those sourdough notes. Pretzels would be a good alternative if you prefer something more savoury. Otherwise consider a pork filet mignon that’s been marinated in herbs and spices to bring out the aromatic notes.
Given that it has a distinctive anise flavour, CP has suggested pastis like Ricard or Pernod. However, I’m not in a position where I can comment on that. Otherwise, you may need a long drink to help with the nicotine content. In that case, consider an IPA to bring out the yeastiness.
Finally, if you’d have a preference for spirits, a Speyside single malt will have the qualities that would pair well with the Alma Del Campo. And, of course, coffee is always a great choice. Opt for a long Americano rather than espresso, though.
The Alma del Campo drastically improves if you take the time to age it for a few months. When a little too young, its high nicotine content may be somewhat overpowering. However, a well-aged Alma del Campo is both milder and richer in complexity.
"Surprisingly full-bodied with a rich character and nuanced flavours, the Alma del Campo is definitely worth sampling."
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