|Ditka Signature by Camacho Cigars – Toro|
The Ditka Signature is the sixth blend to be released under Camacho Cigars’ Mike Ditka brand of cigars. It was just prior to the 2012 IPCPR Trade Show that Camacho announced a partnership with the NFL Hall of Famer for a line of cigars that would carry his name. At the time, this move was a precursor of bigger things to come. Almost a year later, the rebranding of the Camacho line was launched that would include a team of cigar personalities known as the Board of the Bold. This would consist of Room 101’s Matt Booth, Hollywood screenwriter Rob Weiss (who would launch BG Meyer with Camacho in 2014), and Ditka. While the Ditka line has rolled out five blends, the Ditka Signature marks the first regular production cigar in the line. The partnership with Ditka has proven that a solid line of cigars can be branded with a celebrity personality. The Ditka Signature continues to strengthen this line. This cigar has recently made it to retailers. I’ve had an opportunity to sample this cigar and there is no doubt, this is an excellent regular production offering by Camacho.
Each of the releases of the Ditka line have paid homage to Ditka’s football career. It started in late 2012 with the launch of the Ditka Kickoff Series. This was a line of three limited edition cigars packaged in coffins: Ditka – The Player (a Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade), Ditka – The Coach (a Natural), and Ditka – The Hall of Famer (a Maduro). Mid-year in 2013, a larger production run of another coffin boxed cigar called the Ditka Throwback was released. Late last year, the Ditka 89, a non-coffin packaged (also more readily available) limited edition cigar coinciding with the retiring of Ditka’s number with the Chicago Bears was released. Now the Ditka Signature (also not packaged in a coffin) has been released. This pays homage to Ditka’s tenure with the Dallas Cowboys and now becomes the brand’s first regular production cigar.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Ditka Signature and see what this cigar brings to the table:
I found the blend to the Ditka Signature to be intriguing. Not only does it feature Criollo and Corojo tobacco, but it features a tobacco component from what I term the “Big Three” – Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Domincan Republic.
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo
Binder: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Fille: Dominican Republic
The Ditka Signature has been launched in five sizes – each will be packaged in 20 count boxes:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 48
Figuardo: 6 x 42 x 54
Gordo: 6 x 60
For this cigar experience I smoked the Ditka Signature Toro. The Honduran Criollo wrapper has a definite rosado coloring to it. Upon closer examination, there are some darker spots (not quite a marbing effect) on the wrapper. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface of this wrapper. The wrapper was relatively smooth although there were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
The band to the Ditka Signature is adorned with the blue and silver colors of the Dallas Cowboys. The upper portion of the band has a silver background. The text “DITKA” is in blue font while the text “SIGNATURE” is in a larger blue font. Below that text is Mike Ditka’s “signature” in white. There is a thicker blue stripe below the silver background. It has the Camacho logo in more of a chrome colored font along with chrome adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to kick things off. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw provided some notes of cedar sweet-spice, cream, and wood. I definitely was picking up the Criollo / Corojo connection on the dry draw. Overall, I considered the pre-light experience of the Ditka Signature to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up the Ditka Signature and see what the smoking phase would bring to the table.
The Ditka Signature started out with a short blast of black pepper. Once the pepper subsided, the pepper was joined by notes of natural tobacco, cream, and a prune flavored sweetness. As the flavor profile took form in the early stages, the prune sweetness and natural tobacco became the primary flavors. The cream notes were more distant in the background and the pepper was more present on the after-draw. As for the retro-hale, it had a combination of the pepper spice with some of the dry fruit sweetness that could be detected.
As the Ditka Signature moved through the first half, I found the sweetness to continue to prominent. The prune sweetness was not more of a sweet raisin flavor. The natural tobacco almost had a grainy taste to it. The pepper spice along with the cream was more distant.
In the second half, the sweetness dialed back. The pepper notes moved slowly out of the background toward the forefront. By the later part of the second third, the pepper was now on par with the raisin sweetness. In the last third, the pepper, raisin, and natural tobacco / grain notes were all present with no real dominant flavor. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The end of the Ditka Signature was flavorful. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The burn performed excellent on the Ditka Signature. The cigar had a mostly straight burn line. The burn was low maintenance requiring few touch-ups. The resulting ash wasn’t overly firm, but wasn’t prone to much in the way of looseness. The ash had a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the Ditka Signature by Camacho Cigars|
The draw was not too tight and not too loose. This was a low maintenance and enjoyable cigar to puff on and derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, this is not going to be a little more dialed back then when comparing some of the other Camacho “bold releases”. I pretty much assessed the Ditka Signature to be a medium strength cigar from start to finish. As for the flavors, these will provide more than enough depth to satisfy those Camacho / Ditka enthusiasts who have embraced the “bold standard” mantra. I assessed this cigar as starting out as medium-bodied, but by the end of the first third, it progressed to medium to full. Overall, when comparing strength versus body on the Ditka Signature, I give an edge to the body.
The one thing that stuck with me throughout this smoking experience was the role of the Nicaraguan Corojo binder on this blend. There is no doubt this was a key part to this cigar’s flavor profile. Much of the sweetness and creamy finish reminded me of cigar that uses this type of tobacco for its wrapper, but here its on the binder. At the same time, the Ditka Signature is going to deliver its own character. I believe the move of using a slightly dialed down blend for the first Ditka regular production line under Camacho was a smart one. In the end, with a line of cigars going between $8-$10.00, the Ditka Signature delivers a nice quality smoke. This is a cigar I’d recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is definitely a cigar I’d smoke again – and its worthy of a fiver.
Body: Medium (First third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver