This year marks the 13th year of the Camacho Liberty Series, an annual release made to celebrate freedom. Created by the company’s former owners, the Eiroa family, the Liberty is traditionally shipped around the July 4 holiday and has been almost exclusively offered in the 11/18 perfecto size (6 x 48/54/48) made famous by Camacho.
Last year, Oettinger Davidoff AG, Davidoff’s parent, revamped the entire Camacho brand, including new packaging for each of its regular lines. The Liberty Series also got the new bold-themed packaging. The changes have produced slightly less over-the-top boxes, while the bands have gotten monstrous.
In total, there have been 14 different releases of the Camacho Liberty series totaling 19 vitolas in 13 years.
- Camacho Liberty 2002 (Five Vitolas) – 25,000 Total Cigars
- Camacho Liberty 2003 (8 x 52) – 1,250 Boxes of 20 Cigars (25,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2004 (Two Vitolas) – 60,000 Total Cigars
- Camacho Liberty 2005 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2006 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2007 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2007 Executive Travel Bag Edition (6 x 48/54/48) – 5,000 Bags of 4 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2008 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2009 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2010 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2011 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2012 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2013 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Camacho Liberty 2014 (6 x 48/54/48) – 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
Given the extensive work Davidoff has done to its packaging, not just with Camacho, it’s a bit odd to see this year’s Liberty Series box, stripped-down wood with text and branding filled with individual coffins of the same wood. Like last year, the box is still incredibly well-made, although it’s hardly as striking.
Blend-wise, Liberty 14 is described as using an Ecuadorian habano wrapper from the 2005 vintage, a corojo binder from 2006 and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars are once again limited to 2,000 boxes of 20 cigars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Liberty 2014
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano (2005)
- Binder: Undisclosed Corojo (2006)
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48/54/48
- Vitola: 11/18 Perfecto
- MSRP: $17 (Boxes of 20, $340)
- Date Released: July 5, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
It’s a semi-dark earth wrapper, completely overshadowed by the two bands, including the main one which annoyingly doesn’t fall flat against the cigar itself. There’s some pepper detected from the wrapper, but it largely smells like damp leather. From the foot, I pick up a ton of cocoa and a sweet infused grain note that reminds me of Cap’n Crunch, and also a fair bit of pepper towards the finish. That being said, each cold draw I took from the Camacho was radically different form what I could have expected: fruity, with touches of twang and some pepper, because the trend needed to continue.
The Liberty 2014 begins with charred earth, a heavy mixture of green and harsh white pepper on the finish. There’s some cedar underneath those flavors, but it’s fairly minimal. While the white pepper fades, the green pepper remains and is joined by a red pepper over the cedar and an emerging creamy bitterness. I pick up sunflower seed through the nose, but it’s an afterthought given the overpowering pepper. Construction-wise, smoke production is above average and the burn avoids needing a touch-up. The Camacho is full, very full in strength.
By the second third, the strength is beginning to take its impact. The good news is, I do not have a ton of time to think about it because the profile turns harsher with the red pepper taking an even more dominant position. What’s shocking is the retrohale—a smooth mixture of nuts, saltiness and expresso before the pepper kicks back in to drown that out. Smoke production is much the same as the first third, the Liberty 2014 is not burning perfectly, but there’s nothing I need to do. The cigar peaks shortly after the halfway mark as far as the nicotine is concerned, but even while it’s retreating it’s still incredibly full.
For a few puffs, I pick up pie crust on all three samples, right around the transition point between the second and final thirds. The pepper is still dominant, although it’s the least forceful it has been since the Liberty started with the creaminess and cedar occasionally looking like they might actually challenge for the top spot. Elsewhere, the peanut and meatiness have a presence throughout the final two inches, although neither ever becomes much more than a secondary note. Strength is slightly reduced from the second third, although still noticeably beyond what many people would consider a full cigar.
- A few thoughts on the bands.
- I really like the foot band, which is extremely detailed and completely overshadowed.
- The text makes it hard to shoot a photograph of the band holding the cigar in your right hand, which is annoying.
- Camacho misspelled “E pluribus unum” on both the band and box, incorrectly spelling it as, “plurbis.” Jorge Ahued of Stogies World Class Cigars, who halfwheel purchased the cigars from, pointed that out to us. That takes away from what is otherwise a very well-executed design.
- I cannot really think of a Liberty Series release that has been particularly impressive flavor-wise, although this release is probably in my bottom half.
- This is the strongest Camacho I’ve smoked to date and one of the three or four strongest cigars I’ve smoked this year.
- I never mentioned the draw in the review because it was right in the middle. Definitely a good option for those who find perfectos to be significantly tighter than parejos.
- Davidoff currently advertises on halfwheel, Camacho has advertised within the last year.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 40 minutes.
I’ve smoked a few strong cigars this year, ones that were truly stronger than the pack, and the Camacho Liberty 2014 definitely falls into that exclusive club. If you ever were concerned that the company obsessed with “bold” was not bold enough—the Liberty 2014 should change your mind. Unfortunately, it’s an unbalanced cigar that seems more interested in delivering nicotine than the sensible flavors. For too long, the profile is a monotonous delivery of harsh pepper drowning out some otherwise interesting flavors. Camacho is making some great cigars, including one of my favorite new cigars of the year, but this is not one of them.