The Camacho American Barrel-Aged line is the eighth regular production line to be released by Camacho Cigars since the historic makeover of the Camacho brand occurred. The makeover of Camacho Cigars is now two years old, and while there has been one new regular production line added with 2014’s Camacho Ecuador, many people have wondered what would be next for Camacho Cigars. It turns out the new American Barrel-Aged would be the ace up the brand’s sleeves. The American Barrel-Aged features a blend of mostly American tobacco. In addition. the blend incorporates a six year old Corojo leaf aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The result is probably one of the most unique cigars to hit the market in some time. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Camacho American Barrel-Aged in the Toro format. In addition to enjoying the uniqueness of the cigar, I found this to be an excellent (and fun) cigar to smoke.
2015 is a year where a theme in the cigar industry has been bringing together the world of spirits and pairings. The Quesada Keg and Perdomo Special Craft releases are designed to be enjoyed with a malt liquor beverage, while Dram Cigars is designed to be enjoyed with whiskey. Other releases have brought this somewhat of fusion of spirits into the production process. Late last year, Asylum Cigars released the Asylum Dragon’s Milk cigar which features the entire cigar being aged in a bourbon beer barrel. Drew Estate’s Pappy Van Winkle Cigar contains tobacco aged in whisky barrels.
While there have been other offerings, the Camacho American Barrel-Aged offering is perhaps the most unique. The brand goes back to its roots, taking a six year old Original Corojo leaf and aging that leaf in Kentucky bourbon barrels. and ages that one leaf. According to Dylan Austin, Director of Marketing of Davidoff, “Barrel aging is a very tedious and hands-on process. We are aging around 2,000 lbs of Corojo filler tobacco and rotating the barrels one leaf at a time every few weeks. Each batch takes a full five months to complete and requires constant attention to ensure the proper journey for this special tobacco.” The remainder of the filler contains American grown tobacco. American Broadleaf is also used for the wrapper and binder.
The American Barrel-Aged is also the first in a new series by Camacho called the “Master Built Series”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Camacho American Barrel-Aged Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As mentioned, this contains American tobacco in the wrapper, binder, and filler – including American Broadleaf for all three components. The Honduran Corojo tobacco is what has been aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels.
In another first, this is the first Camacho branded cigar to be made in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: American Broadleaf
Binder: American Broadleaf
Filler: American Broadleaf, Pennsylvania Maduro, Honduran Corojo
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Camacho American Barrel Aged-Toro has been launched in three sizes:
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Camacho American Barrel-Aged Toro’s American Broadleaf wrapper is milk chocolate in color with a little Colorado red mixed into it. There is some oil on the surface. I found the surface of the wrapper to be on the smooth side. There are some thin visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams are thin.
The band features the landscape styled Camacho band found across much of the rest of the line. The band has a black background with metallic orange and gray font. It is a quite a detailed band, but does an excellent job at conveying the messaging of this product. It is highlighted by wording such as “SIX YEAR AGED ORIGINAL COROJO – UNCOMPROMISED QUALITY” and “BOURBON BARREL FINISH 5 MONTHS”. The cigar also features Camacho-specific branding including the Camacho Scorpion logo, the “BUILT BOLD” slogan. Finally, it also includes cigar and series name “AMERICAN BARREL AGED” and “MASTER BUILT SERIES respectively”.
The footer band is also black, metallic orange and gray. The center of the band has the text “AMERICAN BARREL-AGED” in orange font surrounded by barrel images. To the left is the text “SIX YEAR AGED ORIGINAL COROJO” in gray font arranged similar to the primary band. To the right is the text “BOURBON BARREL FINISH 5 MONTHS” – also in gray font arranged similar to the primary band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Camacho American Barrel-Aged Toro, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. I then moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered notes of earth with some bourbon sweetness mixed in. I also picked up a subtle pepper. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light experience of the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. At this point, I removed the footer band, lit up the cigar, and awaited what the rest of the smoking experience would have in store.
One thing that I was surprised about was how many flavor notes came right out of the gate with the Camacho Barrel-Aged. There were notes of charred wood, earth, pepper, and of course some bourbon and corojo sweetness (which I define as natural tobacco with a slight cherry note). Even though it was only the corojo leaf that was aged in the bourbon barrel, I was still quite surprised that this flavor did not overpower the rest of the blend. The retro-hale had somewhat of a dulled pepper spice with some bourbon sweetness mixed in.
I found most of the notes to stay present throughout the smoking experience. During the first third, the charred wood was the note that seemed to stand out above the other notes. The char qualities diminished in the second third delivering more earth and oak like notes in the forefront. The bourbon and corojo sweetness, along with the pepper notes still kept things quite interesting.
During the last third, I found the bourbon sweetness and the pepper developed a nice fusion -creating an interesting sweet spice. This is the way the American Barrel-Aged smoked until the end. The resulting nub was outstanding – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Camacho American Barrel-Aged to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn the Camacho American Barrel-Aged took a straight path from start to finish. Early on, there was some curvature with actual the burn line, but this was easily touched-up with my lighter. There resulting ash was a light charcoal gray and came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
I found the draw to have a touch of resistance to it – which is something I like. This made the Camacho American Barrel-Aged a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
Over the past couple of years, Camacho has positioned itself as a brand of being “the bold standard” and I have felt it has done an excellent job of living up to that. The Camacho American Barrel-Aged also keeps to that reputation. From a strength perspective, I found this had some real kick. I assessed this cigar as having just enough strength to qualify as medium to full. The strength had a slight increase along the way, but it still was in the medium to full range. In terms of the flavors, they have some nice depth on the palate. I found this cigar started out medium to full-bodied right out of the gate. By the last third, I found the body had progressed into the full-bodied range. When looking at strength versus body, I found the body to have the edge with this cigar.
This cigar is a home run. It had excellent flavor, quite a bit of complexity, and top-notch construction. It wasn’t a surprise to me that bourbon barrel aged tobacco could deliver some very good flavor in a cigar. What I was surprised about was the level of complexity of this cigar – namely that the bourbon flavor that was present in the tobacco profile was not overpowering. In fact, I wouldn’t think infused here, but more like an external influence on the overall flavor profile. One final note, at least initially, I would not recommend pairing this cigar. This cigar stands so good on its own, it’s best smoke in an uninterrupted state.
This is something I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast very open to trying something different. While it’s normally a cigar that is a little stronger than I would recommend to a novice, there is so much happening flavor-wise that I would still do so. As for myself, this is a box-worthy cigar and definitely one worth checking out.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy