If there is one thing that 2013 will be remember for in the cigar industry, it was the massive rebranding and relaunch that Camacho undertook in hopes of breathing new life into the brand. Oettinger Davidoff AG seemed to spare no expense and leave no stone unturned when it came to what could be done to the brand, from new bands, new packaging, a new logo and an all-out new attitude for the brand to carry.
To cap off the brand’s reinvigoration, a new signature cigar was added to the Camacho portfolio that year, the Camacho Blackout.
The cigar brings together tobaccos from four different crop years that are then rolled and aged for an additional two years. The wrapper is from 2006, the binder from 2009, and filler from 2003, 2008 and 2009. In addition, the wrapper was press fermented, a process that involves adding weight to the pilones to intensify the internal temperatures and in effect work the tobacco harder, though it gets loner resting periods once packed for aging.
Five sizes were released in the inaugural edition of the Camacho Blackout, a 5 x 50 robusto, 6 x 50 toro, 7 x 48 churchill, 6 1/8 x 54 x 42 figurado and a 6 x 60 gordo, all priced between $11 and $13 per stick and all coming in 20–count boxes which were some of the boldest the company had release: thick wood boxes painted solid black with a big silver scorpion on the top. Each cigar came with a large primary band and a smaller footband, each with a black-on-black color scheme that further emphasized the release’s theme.
Here’s what I said about the Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 Figurado back in December 2013:
I can’t say that I was floored by what the Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 offered, though I wasn’t turned off by it either. If anything, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of transitions and flavor development, which seemed to come on suddenly as opposed to being developed, and were rooted more in the addition of pepper than the development of flavors. There is a fair amount to be said for the aroma of the cigar, which was average at its worst and captivating at its best, and often was the best gauge as to what the cigar offers. The additional rest has done a lot to smooth out the smoke and lets what flavors there are come through clearly, which make it a very enjoyable smoke, though not necessarily one I think will go down as one of Camacho’s greatest creations.
- Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 Figurado
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.
- Wrapper: Honduras
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua & Brazil
- Size: 6 1/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Belicoso
- MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250)
- Date Released: October 30, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 2
There’s a bit of imperfection on the cap of the cigar with a slight bulge of tobacco keeping the head from being perfectly smooth. I’d forgotten what a tactile sensation the Camacho Blackout offered with its ever so slightly rough wrapper leaf with a bit of tooth and a good bit of hair. It’s a very attractive wrapper, dark and slightly oily with small veins and not a single imperfection. The pre-light aroma on the foot presents touches of orange sweetness, a bit of chocolate and a good bit of pepper, not overwhelming by any sense but certainly not shy. Air flow is just fine and offers a slightly sweet cocoa powder note with earthy backing notes that bring you almost straight to the soil the tobacco in which the tobacco was grown.
The first few puffs of the Camacho Blackout are much more pepper-laden than I would have expected based on the cold draw and pre-light aroma, with an earthy Nicaraguan black pepper leading the way, though it’s by no means over the top. The flavor quickly picks up an oaky, woody taste, still with a good bit of earth but also showing a leaning towards what I think of as far as wine barrels, though retrohales haven’t picked up that note and stay earthy and peppery. My only complaint about the Camacho Blackout so far has been that the band appears upside down in the pictures, challenging me to shoot the photo with my left hand while hold it with my right, something that’s hard to do with the way cameras are configured.
Without missing a beat, the strength of the Camacho Blackout definitely ramps up at the midpoint, a quick uptick that is followed by a transition in the flavor as the earthy note has evolved into a duality of mineral and subtle metallic notes. After a bit of a retreat, the strength comes back with robust earth and pepper, a strong and slightly abrasive flavor that is perfectly palatable, much like how I think some would describe certain whiskeys or similar spirits. It’s not the most complex note, so make the comparison closer to rye, but it is still enjoyable. What sweetness I was able to pick out several months ago simply isn’t here now, though I can’t say I missed it terribly, as what the cigar offers after nearly nine months of rest is very enjoyable. The retrohale has gotten much more peppery and has to be enjoyed in smaller amounts in order to appreciate it, otherwise it is simply too much to be appreciated. The burn has remained solid and steady, with an even burn line and good ash characteristics. Smoke production has never been a problem and with a bit slower of a puff rate to avoid any issues from heat, the cigar can get taken down fairly far before it needs to be laid to rest.
Disclosure: Davidoff of Geneva USA is an advertiser on halfwheel.
While I stand by my original comment that the Camacho Blackout doesn't floor me, it has evolved into a cigar that gives me a bit more appreciation for what it offers. It's not the most complex cigar in the world—especially in the first half—and other than the bump in strength at the midpoint that continues to manifest throughout the second half, you won't be wowed by the journey it presents. Yet there isn't a single moment when the cigar isn't enjoyable, and even at its roughest spots shows more character than any kind of issue with the process. Certainly still a worthwhile cigar to try and add to your humidor.