When it comes to limited edition cigar series, few have reached the level and longevity of the Camacho Liberty Series.
The line was launched in 2002 by the previous owners of the Camacho brand, the Eiroa family, who released 25,000 cigars across five vitolas as a celebration of the freedom they found in the United States. It became an annual release appearing on store shelves generally ahead of the Independence Day holiday, occasionally coming in multiple vitolas but since 2005 it has stuck to a vitola that is synonymous with the brand, the 11/18 perfecto vitola, a 6 x 48/54/48 figurado that gets its name from the birthday of Christian Eiroa’s mother, November 18.
For the 14th installment of the cigar, Camacho once again used the 11/18 vitola and had the cigar released ahead of July 4th, but took the cigar in a completely new direction by using all Nicaraguan tobacco. It’s not the first time that Nicaraguan tobacco has been used in the blend, though it usually also includes tobaccos from Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Honduras, and has also used Cameroon and reportedly even pre-embargo Cuban tobacco in 2004.
In total, there have been 15 different releases of the Camacho Liberty series totaling 20 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)
- Camacho Liberty 2015 (6 x 48/54/48) — 2000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
It’s the third release of the Liberty Series since the complete overhaul of Camacho’s branding in May 2013—which is featured on the back side of the band—and is the lone member of a group that the company is calling the Brotherhood Series, which “pays tribute to the bond between like-minded men,” according to the company’s website, which goes on to say that it is for “those who stand tall on a foundation built from core values and shared beliefs. Just as our forefathers sounded the bell to declare their newly won independence, Liberty rings loud….free of limits and unbounded with potential.”
- Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Liberty 2015
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Agroindustria LAEPE S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48/54/48
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $18 (Boxes of 20, $360)
- Release Date: June 23, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
If you didn’t know that this was a perfecto, and in particular the backstory of the 11/18 shape, you’d swear this was a mistake from the rolling floor or some awkward experiement that the company was trying to pass off. But given that’s not the case, the Liberty 2015 returns in the familiar shape, offering a handsome, milk chocolate brown wrapper with a clean roll and just a few veins. A few small bumps are a bit of a visual distraction but nothing of concern as the slight sheen more than makes up for it. The band doesn’t quite make me love or hate it, the simplicity of the bell and year are great, while the red stripe feels like overkill despite its place on a cigar such as this. Because of the cigar’s shape, the band doesn’t lie flat against the wrapper, though it does slide off very easily and with no damage to the cigar. The prelight aroma is fragrant and complex, effervescent in one sniff and then rich and hearty in the next. Tree bark seems to stand out, but overall it’s much brighter and lighter than that thanks to just a bit of mint while also showing some nutmeg and earth. The cold draw skews to the loose side with air moving seemingly without restriction in one cigar and carrying a subtle hard candy flavor, at one point making me think of butterscotch while other samples have me thinking a bit of cake batter or a praline cream. It’s not an outright sweetness by any means, but it’s that profile that stands out most clearly.
There’s little on the prelight aroma or cold draw to indicate just how strong the first puffs of the Camacho Liberty Series 2015 are; there seems to be pepper almost in spades along with an backing note of slightly damp wood that provides a cushion to the other flavors. The pepper falls back a bit after about 10 minutes, giving way to more of the wood note and a less aggressive flavor profile, while still having enough body to offer a bit of gravitas to the palate. Retrohales through the first third are consistently peppery and offer an occasional metallic note that magnifies the sensation. Subtle hints of syrupy sweetness flirt with the tongue from time to time, never in enough quantity to warrant calling the cigar sweet, but helping take a bit of the edge off while adding some complexity. From a technical standpoint the cigar has performed beautifully, burning evenly with a decent if far from overwhelming amount of smoke.
While it wasn’t quite as apparent in the first third, there has begun a bit of back-and-forth in terms of the flavor, pepper and strength of the Liberty 2015; it will get a bit stronger for a few puffs before backing off a bit, with the pepper the primary component that comes in and out of the blend. Just ahead of the midpoint, the cigar has settled into one of its best spots yet, a smooth and slightly smoky offering; it has me thinking of a meat smoker at times based on both the texture and taste of the smoke. Not surprisingly, the pepper begins a return and sharpens up the blend heading into the final third, this time bringing a bit of harshness with it. Construction remains nearly flawless, with no touch-ups required and an even if slightly wavy burn line.
The pepper continues to build out of the second third and becomes dominant in the final third, almost to the point of harshness at points. I’m not picking up a ton of nicotine from the cigar, thankfully, as the combination would likely be too much for me to handle. If you questioned whether or not the Liberty 2015 would live up to Camacho’s overarching mantra to live bold, the final third should remedy that question fairly quickly, as it is by far the boldest portion of the cigar, giving off an agitating smoke that seems to settle deep in the throat. It continues to burn very well, though that is almost a moot point as it gets harder for me to enjoy each puff, and I find myself ready to hang it up with anywhere from an inch to two and a half inches left.
- On the back of the Camacho Liberty Series 2015 band are the same words found on the Liberty Bell:
- You’ll notice that Pennsylvania is spelled with just one n; at the time the Liberty Bell was commissioned it was an accepted alternative spelling and the one used by Alexander Hamilton on the Constitution.
- I love cigars that include the year of the release on the band. It’s a simple thing that gives the cigar a bit of place in history.
- I also love that the 8/11 vitola and Camacho are synonymous and that it has become the standard vitola for this release. There are only a handful of shapes that come to mind as being so closely tied as these two—La Flor Dominicana’s Chisel being one—and as such deserves to be used for this annual release.
- I still have fond memories of the 2012 edition that I reviewed.
- Camacho is distributed by Davidoff of Geneva USA, which advertises on halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar, JR Cigar, Serious Cigars and STOGIES World Class Cigars all carry the Camacho Liberty 2015. Elite Cigar Cafe (972-661-9136) and Cigar Hustler are also Camacho retailers.
I find myself a bit ambivalent about the Camacho Liberty 2015, something I really don’t like saying about any cigar. While there are no low points in the cigar other than the final third's pepper which comes across a bit harsh on my palate, there doesn’t seem to be many high points in it either. A decent entry in the Liberty Series, far from the worst I’ve ever had but also falling short of the high points.