A couple months ago Davidoff of Geneva USA officially announced its latest project for the Camacho brand – Camacho American Barrel-Aged. The new line features an American-heavy tobacco blend and use of an ever growing popular trend, barrel aging, with filler tobacco being placed in Kentucky bourbons barrels for five months. In the press release Dylan Austin, director of marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA, had this to say about the new line:
This project marks the first time a Camacho core line has been made outside of Honduras and we are extremely proud of what our master builders in the Dominican Republic have brought to life. Barrel aging is a very tedious and hands-on process. We are aging around 2,000 lbs of Corojo filler tobacco and rotating the barrels one leaf at a time every few weeks. Each batch takes a full five months to complete and requires constant attention to ensure the proper journey for this special tobacco.
The cigar was launched at a week long event hosted at Corona Cigar Co. in Orlando, Fla. with three initial sizes.
- Camacho American Barrel Aged Robusto (5 x 50) — $10 (Boxes of 20, $200)
- Camacho American Barrel Aged Toro (6 x 50) — $11 (Boxes of 20, $220)
- Camacho American Barrel Aged Gordo (6 x 60) — $12 (Boxes of 20, $240)
- Cigar Reviewed: Camacho American Barrel Aged Toro
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: O.K. Cigars
- Wrapper: U.S. Broadleaf
- Binder: U.S. Broadleaf
- Filler: U.S. Broadleaf, Pennsylvania Maduro & Honduran Corojo
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $11 (Boxes of 20, $220)
- Date Released: June 8, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
The wrapper is a rich deep brown, is slightly rough to the touch and has a light oily feel. There is a bit of give when squeezed, but not enough to be of concern. Bringing the cigar up to my nose I inhale the wrapper’s aroma, which is mostly rich barnyard notes of earth and hay with the slightest hint of vanilla. The cold draw on the other hand is more complex, with a delectably light bourbon note made up of vanilla, caramelized sugars and oak – it really almost tastes just like the bourbon filling in those alcohol bottle-shaped chocolates, but less artificial. Following that is a bit of a peppery bite and some more of the barnyard notes from earlier.
Starting into the first third there is significantly less bourbon on the palate than in the cold draw. Black pepper, oak and some meatiness make up the forefront of the profile, with very light vanilla and burnt sugars showing up in the background. The draw is firmly in the middle of ideal with just enough give, while the burn is almost spot on even. Dense light gray ash is lined with darker creases and holds on to well over an inch. Black pepper has faded somewhat from the beginning, but is still quite strong up front. Most of the rest of the flavors have remained the same, though what I am getting now are hints here and there of the bourbon note that was present in the cold draw.
The second third doesn’t seem much change yet as the flavors seemed to have settled into a rhythm of pepper, oak, vanilla, some burnt sugar sweetness and a touch of bourbon. The burn however has gone from a mostly even to razor sharp without any intervention on my end. Ash is still dense and holding on firmly, almost resisting when I try to tap it off. Each draw brings plenty of smoke, with a nice steady stream long after each draw. The profile continues its earlier rhythm, not seeing any change throughout this section.
The final third finally has some movement in the profile, but interestingly it’s a reduction of the bourbon notes in the background. The pepper, oak, vanilla and burnt sugar are still mixing together nicely, but only every once in awhile do I get hints of the bourbon note. As in the second third, the burn continues quite evenly and sharp, not needing me to babysit it at all. With only an inch left, the cigar continues to burn cool and smooth, with the flavors continuing on their same path to the end.
- I really love the bands on these, with great contrast between the black, silver and bronze colors.
- Having had time to smoke the robusto and the toro there wasn’t much difference between the two except some additional smoking time. I haven’t had the chance to try the gordo, but unless they upped the amount of barrel-aged tobacco, the light bourbon note could potentially be lost in the mix.
- The two messages on the band that Camacho is emphasizing about the cigar are “Six year aged original Corojo” and “Bourbon barrel finish 5 months.”
- It’s interesting to note that this is the first Camacho line to be produced outside of Honduras, where the Camacho line is usually produced at the Agroindustria LAEPE S.A. factory.
- With the bold branding for this new line I was expecting a much more “in my face” kind of bourbon barrel aged taste, but it was a pleasant subtlety more akin to the Asylum Dragon’s Milk cigar than anything else I can think of. Opposed to the contrasting love-it-or-hate-it kind of response to the very pungent Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented Cigar, the Camacho American Barrel Aged has seemingly taken a more middle-of-the-road kind of approach that I’m sure will appeal to a wider range of people.
- Barrel-aged beer releases have become more and more popular, seeming to reach new heights this last “barrel-aged season” with tons of breweries releasing some sort of barrel-aged product, but the trend only seems to be starting to ramp up within the last year in the cigar industry.
- Camacho advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were given to halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged a little over an hour and a half.
- Site sponsors Emerson’s Cigars and JR Cigar have the American Barrel-Aged in stock.
As I stated in my notes, I was expecting something much more bold and in my face with its bourbon barrel aroma, but what I got was a subtle bourbon note wrapped up in a bold and strong cigar. As a pretty big fan of bourbon I was personally hoping for a bit of a stronger bourbon note in the profile, but I understand them not wanting to make it too bold and infusion-like as it could potentially turn off a lot of people from the cigar. Personal wishes for the blend aside, it had great construction and a good profile that despite its lack of development kept my attention enough. The final third seemed to taper off a little in my enjoyment factor, but it still finished with plenty of flavor. Though these weren’t packed with as much of a bourbon punch as I would’ve liked, I still liked the American Barrel-Aged blend and can easily suggest going and finding a few for yourself to try.