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Staff Reviews

Plasencia Alma del Campo Staff Review

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Today I’m smoking a small-batch cigar from a family who has undoubtedly made cigars you’ve smoked before, even if you haven’t smoked this one: Plasencia Alma del Campo. I’m smoking a 6.5-by-54 box-pressed Toro called the Travesia. Alma del Campo translates to “soul of the country” or “soul of the field.”

The Plasencia family has been growing tobacco for generations, and they produce several cigars for big brands, including Romeo y Julieta, Rocky Patel, and Alec Bradley, on an extensive network of farms and factories in Nicaragua and Honduras. In 2016, the Plasencias debuted their signature line of cigars, and Alma del Campo came out in 2017.

Alma del Campo is drawn from a milk-chocolate-hued Nicaraguan wrapper leaf over Criollo-seed Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos that the Plasencias grow and age themselves. My fellow connoisseurs, Zack D. and Tommie O., recently reviewed the 1865 Alma Fuerte and Alma del Fuego blends. Let’s see how Alma del Campo measures up.

Plasencia-branded cigars are more expensive than the blends the family produces for other companies, an indication that they’re working with their rarest and most prized tobaccos. The Alma del Campo line sells for around $15-20 per cigar, and the cigars are packaged in elegant, brown 10-count boxes stamped with a large “P” logo on the top. The cigars are visually attractive and consistent when I crack the lid on a fresh box.

The soft box-pressed Travesia exhibits perfect density from head to foot. When I clip the cap and extract a few cold draws, Alma del Campo imparts promising flavor. Notes of sweet cedar, leather, and fresh bread mingle with hints of raisin. After sliding the white band off the foot and toasting the cigar, silky streams of smoke emerge, and the blend commences in a smooth profile of pepper and wood.

Alma del Campo develops with a creamy texture. Nutty nuances underly the cigar’s bready character with notes of hay and grass and a mineral component that is just a touch bitter. The draw is exquisite, as I would expect from a cigar at this price point, and a firm, white-and-gray ash forms as the binder, filler, and wrapper tobaccos burn in perfect step with one another.

As the Travesia unfolds into the second half, hints of caramel and cedar shuffle in and out, adding balance. Alma del Campo is medium-bodied and deceptively stronger than its light-brown wrapper would suggest. It’s not an especially peppery cigar, but spicy notes persist in the background with a swooning bitterness that is interruptive to the cigar’s warmer, sweeter qualities.

After roughly an hour of smoking, Alma del Campo culminates in a luscious, smoky finish of leather, cedar, and coffee bean. The Travesia is an approachable smoke, but I recommend it after a meal. I believe the Plasencias show much potential in their eponymous portfolio, and Alma del Campo is a solid addition. My only hangup is the intermittent but fleeting bitterness the cigar exhibited, considering the price. However, I believe pairing an Alma del Campo with a well-aged bourbon could reconcile the effect. Smoke it yourself and put Plasencia on the radar when you’re exploring today’s best Nicaraguan cigars.


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