It was July 2002 when the Eiroa family decided to celebrate the freedom they found in the United States by issuing a limited run cigar called the Camacho Liberty Series. While it originally started out as a five-vitola release, it has since evolved into a single vitola release using Camacho’s signature 11/18 Perfecto. The 11/18 name references November 18th which is Christian Eiroa’s mother’s birthday.
The cigar itself has been seen in a number of blends with everything from barber pole wrappers to using tobacco from different countries. For example, the 2011 edition was primarily Honduran, but had just a bit of Dominican tobacco in the filler, while 2010 used a Cameroon wrapper with (reportedly) some Pelo de Oro Cuban tobacco.
Now in its 11th edition, the Camacho Liberty Series is doing something different when selecting the tobaccos for the blend. From the accompanying notes about the Camacho Liberty Series 2012:
Our annual Liberty Series is the crown jewel of the Camacho portfolio and developed using the best concept blend of the year. This year’s offering is quite a unique one. In the past, the Liberty has been comprised of tobaccos from a variety of different origins, as well as vintages. The 2012 blend uses four priming’s solely from our authentic Corojo crop of 2008, all grown on the same lot, specifically for this project.
This particular blend truly showcases the versatility and multitude of flavors that can be achieved when exploring this amazing varietal.
The packaging has also undergone a number of changes over the years, from patriotic boxes with stars and stripes to unpainted wood boxes to this year’s red box with gold lettering. Each box comes with 20 individually coffined cigars, making for a fairly sizable presentation on a retailer’s shelf.
As you’re likely aware, the Eiroas sold Camacho to Oettinger Davidoff Group in October 2008, though Christian Eiroa remained with the company until late 2011. It was in July of 2011 that Eiroa’s role had been changed from president of Camacho to an advisor to the brand. Christian Eiroa has since formed his own company, Tabacaleras Unidas, which just released its first line of cigars, making this the first Camacho Liberty Series cigar to be released without an Eiroa at the helm of the company.
Cigar Reviewed: Camacho Liberty Series 2012
Country of Origin: Honduras
Factory: Tabacos Rancho Jamastran
Wrapper: Honduran Corojo (Qunito Corte 2008)
Binder: Honduran Corojo (Quinto Corte 2008)
Filler: Honduran Corojo (Primer Corte, Tercer Corte y Corona 2008)
Size: 6 Inches
Ring Gauge: 48/54/48
Vitola: 11/18 Perfecto
MSRP: $16.80 (Boxes of 20, $336.00)
Date Released: July 16, 2012
Number of Cigars Released: 2,000 Boxes of 20 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Prelight aroma is bright and sweet with floral and apple notes, but also a distinct smell that makes me think of warm peanut butter on toast. The wrapper is smooth by and large with minimal veins and only the slightest seam line, a beautiful brown that is a real eye-pleaser. Once again, the peanut butter note shows up—this time on the just-firm-enough cold draw.
The initial puffs of the first third of the Camacho Liberty 2012 are soft and fluffy in the mouth with minimal spice or pepper, though there is some difference in the two cigars reviewed as the second starts off with just a bit more body than the first. There’s an oily vegetal note that starts to pick up in the first inch, where the cigar puts out a good amount of smoke and holds its burn nicely. The first third seems marked by a fairly gentle introduction to the cigar, a bit underwhelming—but a flavor profile that’s hard to argue with.
In the transition to the second third the burn line starts to go askew, which is where you see the 11/18 shape start to take effect. It’s also here where I realize that the flavors in this cigar are going to be harder to pick out than normal. They’ve been milder, more floral and fruit-oriented than what I’ve been used to in one, while the peanut butter on toast seems to really dominate the other. With the burn line past the midway point, a distinct flavor shift comes around as burnt wood enters the equation on both cigars. The light, airy, floral notes have absolutely left the cigar at its thickest point, replaced by a more medium-bodied, almost charred note.
The final third of the 2012 Camacho Liberty continues developing a medium body with flavors of wood and leather intensifying steadily. Spice and pepper remain a fairly minor part of the equation, though a much bigger part than they were in the first half. The burn line issues correct themselves nicely without any assistance. It changes once again in the final puffs—as the harsher wood notes are smoothed out by brown sugar, nutmeg and mild baking spices.
- There is no getting around how much this cigar changes from the first half to the second half. It is dramatic and very enjoyable.
- Something I keep thinking back to is the line about the cigar showing versatility and a multitude of flavors. That pretty much sums up my experience with these two cigars.
- The Camacho Liberty Series reinforces why I have a fondness for Perfectos, even in this slightly larger format. The changing ring gauge adds another dimension to the cigar’s flavor and gives the blender even more opportunity to showcase his or her talent.
- The release notes rate the Liberty 2012 as being “full” on a scale of mild to full, while the Camacho website says it ranks 5/5 in strength. Either this was written by someone with an incredibly sensitive palate—or my taste buds are shot. This is a 2/5 at best in the first half and a 4/5 in the second half on my strength meter
- One thing I love about the Camacho Liberty Series is that it’s now only available in one size. I wish more manufacturers would create size-specific blends instead of releasing cigars in the standard four-plus sizes.
- In 2004, two vitolas of the Camacho Liberty Series were made—one of which was called the Amendment XII. The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution spells out the process for electing the president and vice-president.
- That cigar was also in a format called 60/40, and while the specific dimensions have been a challenge to find, it looks to be a good two inches longer than the 11/18.
- It was also around 2004 when Camacho Liberty Series cigars were said to contain pre-embargo Cuban tobacco that had been left over from DWG Cigar Company in Lima, OH. That company was purchased by American Cigar, who liquidated the inventory. Pedro Martin then sold that tobacco to Simon Camacho, who didn’t use it all, so when the Eiroas bought Camacho in 1995, they found the unused tobacco and set it aside for special projects such as the Liberty and Pre-Embargo 1962. Read the full interview where he discusses it here.
- Single-lot cigars have become increasingly more common, with the Tatuaje La Vérité and Toraño Single Region as other examples. Still the most noted remain the Fuente Fuente OpusX and Litto Gomez Diez Small Batch.
- The cigars for this review were numbers 7,162 and 7,163. No special significance as to those numbers in my life, in case you were wondering. That’s just what I grabbed, not even thinking to look for a certain number.
- If we’re going to nitpick, the script on the 2012 coffins is just a bit hard to read. It says “Handcrafted with 2008 Vintage tobaccos.”
- Final smoking time is about one hour and 55 minutes.
Even with the varied flavors that came off the Camacho Liberty Series 2012, it was an incredibly enjoyable cigar and one that had my attention the whole way through. While there was a bit of harshness from the charred wood notes in the final third, I have a feeling that will subside with some time—or at least that's my hope as I plan on picking up a few more of these to stash away. While I won't go so far as to compare these to other editions of the Camacho Liberty Series, I will say that this seems like a fine showing and one worthy of picking up. Collector or not, at least one of these belongs in your humidor.