To say 2013 was a year of rebranding and new beginnings for Camacho would be an understatement. Oettinger Davidoff AG, the parent company, finally made its changes to Camacho known, a nearly complete overhaul including new packaging, lowering price points, a reblending of four cigars, the discontinuation of some lines and the announcement of a new limited edition.
The bulk of the details about the rebranding and rebooting of Camacho can be found here and here, as well as in our coverage of Davidoff’s 2013 IPCPR booth. The new look Camacho products have been showing up on retailers’ shelves for some time now, so by now you should have also been able to get a look at them in person.
What has also begun showing up at retail is Camacho’s latest limited edition, Blackout. When Camacho announced the Blackout, they sent out the following information:
The New Camacho BLACKOUT Limited Edition 2013 utilizes tobaccos from 4-different years. Wrapper grown in 2006, Binder from 2009, Fillers from 2003, 2008, 2009. The rolled cigars where then aged together another 2-years, when the normal marrying process is normally just a few months.
Wrapper, which was picked from the top 2/3’s of the plant, was fermented differently than most tobaccos. A process known as “press-fermentation” was used by placing additional weight on the top of the “pilones” (piles where the tobacco ferments), which intensifies the internal temperatures. The tobacco is worked hard, but carefully, then allowed a longer than usual resting period once packed in bales for aging.
Leaves from the top 2/3’s of the plant get additional sun ripening, which boosts the level of sweetness with additional sugars being creating during the process of photosynthesis. The heavy oil noticed on this wrapper leaf is as a result of the plants natural defenses, protect itself by creating more oils to fend off the sun’s glare.The Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 is being released in five sizes, each getting 1,000 boxes of 20 cigars produced:
- Camacho LE13 Blackout Robusto (5 x 50) — $11.00 (Boxes of 20, $220.00)
- Camacho LE13 Blackout Toro (6 x 50) — $11.50 (Boxes of 20, $230.00)
- Camacho LE13 Blackout Churchill (7 x 48) — $12.00 (Boxes of 20, $240.00)
- Camacho LE13 Blackout Figurado (6 1/8 x 54 x 42) — $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250.00)
- Camacho LE13 Blackout Gordo (6 x 60) — $13.00 (Boxes of 20, $260.00)
The boxes have also received the new Camacho branding treatment, and look like this:
As noted above, the leaves for the Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 undergo a fairly strenuous fermentation process, and are then left to rest for an extended period of time. In this case, that rest amounted to two years, which would date their creation to summer or fall of 2011, well before the rebranding of the company. It should be noted, while it’s been just over five years since the Eiroas sold the company to Oettinger Davidoff AG, the family still has a long-term agreement with the company to grow tobacco.
While the cigars have been resting for an almost unusual amount of time, Camacho says they still deliver a good amount of strength, pegging them at a four out of five on their internal intensity ratings.
Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 Figurado
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: AgroIndustrias Laepe, SA
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua & Brazil
Size: 6 1/8 Inches
Ring Gauge: 54/42
MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 20, $250.00)
Date Released: October 30, 2013
Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (20,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
While not as dark as the Triple Maduro, the wrapper on the Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 is certainly dark, with a more matte finish that doesn’t glisten with oil or offer any crystallization. The vein structure is solid and pronounced without being distracting, there is a bit of tooth, and the cigar allows just a touch of give throughout its length. On the pre-light aroma, there are notes of both light and dark berry sweetness and a good bit of wood, which together create a surprisingly bright introduction to the cigar. The cold draw is easy and unrestricted, offering only a subtle note of beef jerky, leaving the mind guessing as to just what kind of flavors the Blackout will offer.
The Camacho Blackout opens up with fairly big flavors and varying amounts of pepper, as a woody bite hits the front of the tongue. The eyes get a fair amount of pepper through the smoke, though it’s not until the burn line has progressed about an inch and a half up the cigar that pepper starts to become a significant part of the flavor equation, and even then it’s more in the eyes and nose than on the palate. The bright white ash is fairly tight, and in one cigar, began to split down the middle, as if it had been hit with an axe. Smoke production is sufficient, often plentiful, and the burn line stays fairly even, if not always perfectly straight. A fragrant and pleasing aroma rounds out the cigar’s early offerings, and if anything seems to be where most of the sensory engagement is to be found, particularly when the cigar is enjoyed in still, uncontaminated air.
There isn’t a significant change in flavor or strength heading into the second third of the Camacho Blackout, with the addition of a touch more pepper being saved for the midpoint. The flavor is still good and plenty enjoyable, with an underlying sweet and aromatic nature, though a lack of transitions and development don’t have it singing or keeping my palate on its proverbial toes. If you’re able to enjoy this on a clean palate and in an environment that allows the aroma in the cigar to linger, you’re likely to get much more out of this cigar than you would in a crowded cigar lounge. A retrohale just past the midpoint offers a decent bit of strength through some tingling light pepper notes. The leading note in the aroma continues to be a bit of a puzzler, leading me at times to think of pine needles as the closest approximation I can pin to it.
The final third seemed to have the most discrepancy between the three cigars I smoked for this review—in the first, it was almost business as usual with no discernible transition point or notable developments. In the second, the flavors took on a pronounced woody bite that was enjoyable thanks to a sweet and tangy note that left behind a lingering white pepper note on the tongue, while the eyes get a much stronger black pepper note. In the third cigar, the aroma had the most notable transition, shedding the fragrant pine needle-esque note for warm baking spices. There is a notable concentration in the flavors as the cigar gets close to its conclusion, with an earthiness starting to step to the forefront, while one final retrohale shows an increase in pepper. Smoke production increased across the board in the final third, with copious amounts of silvery-white smoke being produced as the Camacho Blackout gets smoked down to the nub.
- The first question I had about the Blackout was its strength—was the name a suggestion as to what could do to me? The answer to that, at least in my case, was a resounding no, as while there is a good bit of pepper to be found, the strength was very tolerable.
- That said, the four-out-of-five on the Camacho strength scale seems a bit generous to me, though I have a feeling that my own scale probably doesn’t lineup with Camacho’s.
- One thing that is undeniable is how smooth the smoke is, even when it gets peppery. There have been discussions in the comments lately about pepper and harshness, and even when the pepper picks up, it isn’t harsh at all. The extra age on this cigar comes through very clearly in the smoothness of the smoke.
- After finishing each of the three cigars, I never picked up any nasty lingering odors from the cigar. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The third cigar’s lingering smoke and aroma were quite enjoyable.
- Limited editions are nothing new to Camacho—the company annually releases the Liberty, which was released in the brand’s new look this year, and there is the aptly named Camacho Super Limitado, a cigar created in 2007 that Christian Eiroa planned on hand-delivering to each of the first 40 accounts to carry the brand but that only ended up at Nat Sherman in New York—and more recently JR Cigars—and which he described as “the best cigar I’ve ever made.”
- For Oettinger Davidoff AG, limited editions have seemingly been the norm in 2013, with a near head-scratching amount of limited releases planned just for the second half of 2013, including the Camacho Liberty 2013, Davidoff of Geneva 25 Anniversary, Davidoff 25 Years Madison Ave., Davidoff Limited Edition 2014 Year of the Horse, the Davidoff Nicaragua Belicoso in the Davidoff Nicaragua humidor, AVO TAA, Camacho Blackout, Ditka 89, Room101 Master Collection One, Room101 Master Collection Two (since delayed to 2014), The Griffin’s 2013 Special Edition Club Series I and Zino Platinum’s “The Make of Los Angeles,” which was a follow up to “The Make of New York,” released in May.
- When you go to take the bands off, you’ll notice that they appear to be applied at an angle, partially due to the taper of the cigar, but also because they appear to be cut at just a bit of an angle.
- In addition to looking for the Room101 Master Collection Two in 2014, Rob Weiss’ project is also on the radar. It is tentatively called “Standard Issue,” per this story.
- Presumably, if there’s a limited edition 2013, there will be a 2014.
- The scorpions that were on display as part of the Blackout display during the IPCPR trade show this year certainly elicited a number of interesting responses from passers-by, ranging from amazed to outright terrified.
- One tip if you ever visit the Phoenix area, particularly the outlying areas that have a bit more natural habitat: check your shoes before you put them on in the morning. Scorpions have been known to favor them as resting spots and don’t take kindly to having your foot awaken them.
- The cigars for this review were provided by Camacho. Davidoff, an Oettinger Davidoff AG brand, is a site sponsor.
- Final smoking time is about two hours.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar and Famous Smoke Shop have the Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 in stock. Be sure to tell them halfwheel sent you.
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.