Ditka Throwback by Camacho Cigars

The Ditka Throwback is the fourth release in Mike Ditka’s line of cigars made by Camacho Cigars. It was prior to the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show where Camacho Cigars announced it had entered in a partnership agreement with NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka to produce a new series of cigars. The cigars would carry Ditka’s name and would be sold under the Camacho Cigars brand of Davidoff. At the end of 2012, the Mike Ditka Kickoff Series was launched – consisting of three distinct cigar blends.  Back in April, we learned of a fourth blend, the Ditka Throwback. This cigar has recently hit retailer shelves. I recently have had a chance to sample this cigar and this is another excellent addition to the Ditka and Camacho lines.

A week before this assessment, Camacho Cigars kicked off its “Bold Standard” campaign.  This essentially is overall a re-launch of the Camacho brand.  Ditka is playing an integral role in this launch.   Ditka, along with Room 101’s Matt Booth and screenwriter Rob Weiss are the formation of Camacho’s “Board of the Bold”. In a recent press release, Dylan Austin, head of marketing for Camacho summed up their role in the campaign by saying:  “Coach (Ditka), Booth and Weiss are guys that live the Camacho way of life, they do it pedal to the floor everyday and pull no punches. Each of them anchors what we stand for down to the core, all of them have accomplished great things in life because of their boldness.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Ditka Throwback and see what this cigar brings to the table:

Blend Profile

The blend features tobaccos from four countries.  It is highlighted by a Honduran Corojo Maduro wrapper.

Wrapper: Honduran Corojo Maduro (5th Priming)
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran

Vitolas Available

Unlike the other Ditka cigars, the Throwback is only available cigar in a single size – a 6 x 50 Toro. The cigars are packaged in individual coffin boxes. There are ten coffin boxes in a full box. Camacho has planned for this to be a limited production run of 5,000 of those full boxes of ten.


The Ditka Throwback’s Corojo Maduro wrapper has a classic roasted coffee bean color to it. There is some oil on the surface.  The wrapper also has some visible veins.  The wrapper’s dark color does a good job at hiding the wrapper seams and they are only visible upon close examination.

The band to the Ditka Throwback features a sketch of Coach Ditka on a gray thumbprint background.  On the lower part of the thumbprint it says “MIKE DITKA” in gold font.  Below that text it says “THROWBACK” in larger gold font on a thick black stripe.  There is gold trim around the black stripe.  Below the black stripe is a thick red stripe with the text “CAMACHO” in gold letters.  The Camacho text uses the new “Bold Standard” Camacho branding for its font.  In between the black and red stripe is a smaller white stripe with the text “SPECIALLY BLENDED BY” in smaller Black font.  There is some additional gold striping on red background.  There is a gold trim on the bottom of the band.

Open coffin box of the Ditka Throwback

The coffin box is in a natural wood color box. The text “THROWBACK” is in bold black font. To the right of it, it says “A SPECIALLY HANDCRAFTED LIMITED EDITION” in smaller black font.

Closed coffin box of the Ditka Throwback

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I normally do, I opted for a straight cut into the cigar to begin the smoking ritual. Once the cap was clipped I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a mix of coffee, leather, nut, and cedar. There was no doubt the wood on the coffin was influencing the flavor profile with this cigar. Overall it was a positive pre-light draw experience. At this point, I was ready to light up the Ditka Throwback and see what the smoking experience would deliver.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Ditka Throwback provided a mix of coffee, nut, and exotic spice. There was no dominant flavor to start. Within the first five percent, some of the cedar notes come into play again and the spice becomes more cedar-like. There are also some sweet cedar undertones. On the retro-hale, the cedar comes into play as well – providing a mix of light cedar and exotic spice. Overall, it definitely seemed like the wood box was contributing to the cedar notes in the flavor profile.

By about the 15 percent mark, a cedar sweet-spice took over as the primary flavor. The coffee notes became secondary – giving the cigar its”maduro” feel. The nut notes are more of a tertiary flavor.

In the second third, the cedar notes were still primary. The coffee flavors would enter the forefront from time to time. The nut flavors also increased and were now more of a secondary flavor. Toward the end of the cigar, the cedar spice was firmly in control. The coffee occasionally crept into the picture, but at this point played more of a diminished role. The nut flavors remained secondary.

The end of the cigar was spicy. On each smoke, there was a little bit of harshness to the spice. The resulting nub was a little warm and on the soft side each time as well.

Burn and Draw

From a burn standpoint, there was a little bit of unevenness at the start of each smoke of the Ditka Throwback. This fixed itself up rather early and for the most part the cigar burned straight requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. There was no flaking, but there were a couple of points where it did flower. The burn rate was ideal. The burn temperature was ideal – except at the very end.

The draw to the Ditka Throwback was outstanding. It had a touch of resistance (which I like in a draw). Overall, I found the Ditka Throwback a low maintenance cigar to puff on.

Strength and Body

The strength of the Ditka Throwback started out in the medium range. It remained like that throughout the first half. In the second half the strength progressed to medium to full where it remains that way for the remainder of the smoke.

The depth of the flavors followed a similar pattern. The Ditka Throwback started out medium-bodied. In the second half, the flavors increased to medium to full-bodied. The flavors continued to get bolder and by the last third the flavors progressed to full-bodied. For the first two thirds of this smoke, the strength and body are on par. In the last third, the body has a slight edge.

Final Thoughts

This might be totally in my mind, but I really think the coffin box played a key role in this flavor profile. The wood packaging had to play a role in a lot of the cedar qualities of this cigar. I found this to give this maduro some unique qualities over many other maduros on the market. The burn wasn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t say it was terrible either. I would recommend this cigar to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s a nice cigar for the novice to graduate to something a little stronger or fuller. I also think this is a nice cigar for maduro fans to try. As for myself, this is the second Ditka cigar I’ve smoked, and I’ve been impressed with the line. This is definitely a cigar I’d smoke again.


Burn: Good
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (later second third), Full (Last third)
Finish: Good
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from both Corona Cigar Company in Orlando, Florida and Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.