The Ditka Special Game Day Edition is the eighth blend to be released in Camacho Cigars’ Ditka line – a line of cigars that Camacho is doing in conjunction with NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka. The Special Game Day Edition release coincides with the “Big Game” being held on February 7th 2016 in Santa Clara California between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers. This particular matchup also is the 50th edition of the NFL’s signature championship game. For the Ditka Special Game Day Edition, it marks a return of a Ditka coffin-packaged cigar – something seen on the first four releases in the Ditka line. Today, we take a closer look at the Ditka Special Game Day Edition.
The following are the installments of the Ditka line since it was introduced in 2013:
- Ditka Kickoff Series – The Player
- Ditka Kickoff Series – The Coach
- Ditka Kickoff Series – The Hall of Famer
- Ditka Throwback
- Ditka 89
- Ditka Signature
- Ditka Game Time
- Ditka Special Game Day Edition
All of the cigars on the list were limited releases except for the Ditka Signature. The three Kickoff Series cigars, Ditka Throwback, and Ditka Special Game Day Edition were all coffin releases.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Ditka Special Game Day Edition and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Ditka Special Game Day Edition features a four country multi-national blend:
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras
Country of Origin: Not Disclosed
The Ditka Special Game Day Edition measures 6 x 48 x 54 x 48. This size is in the signature 11/18 size. This is the first Ditka cigar to use this vitola. Each cigar is packaged an individual coffin and there are twenty coffins packed in a box. A total of 10,000 cigars have been produced for this release.
The 11/18 name was established when Christian Eiroa owned Camacho – it refers to a unique figuardo shape and was named for the date of Eiroa’s mother’s birthday. This vitola is seen in many Camacho releases, most notably the brand’s annual Liberty Series release
The Nicaraguan wrapper to the Ditka Special Game Day Edition has a medium brown color. The wrapper has a light sheen of oil on it. This is also a wrapper that is slightly bumpy on the surface. There are some visible veins and visible wrapper seams. The 11/18 figuardo shape holds true to form with previous editions. The cigar is widest in the middle. There is a gentle tapering toward both the cap and the tapering toward the footer is even more gradual.
The upper portion of the band is blue and the lower portion is silver. There is a thin white pinstripe separating the two portions. The upper portion has silver font featuring: the text “2016” (in landscape mode); “50” (in landscape mode); Mike Ditka’s Signature with a football below it; and “SAN FRANCISCO FEB 7th 2016” with a image of the Golden Gate Bridge below it. Finally the text “SPECIAL GAMEDAY EDITION HAND BUILT FROM COACH DITKA” goes across the top of the band in silver font.
The lower portion of the band has the text “DITKA”, “CAMACHO”, and “HAND BUILT IN HONDURAS” – all in blue font.
The coffin box is similar in style to some of the recently released Camacho Liberty released. It is unfinished on three sides, but the top is painted blue – including the slide top. The text “DITKA” and the “CAMACHO” logo is printed in silver font. To the left of the text is “2016” in silver font. To the right (in landscape mode) is Mike Ditka’s signature. There is a green and white seal on the end where the slide top comes off.
The front of the coffin has a blue label that with silver font. The label has the text “DITKA”, “CAMACHO”, “HAND BUILT IN HONDURAS” arranged on three lines. Just below that is the cigar number (in white font) from the batch produced. For one of the cigars assessed, the number was “8.661 / 10,000” .
The cigar itself inside the coffin is wrapped in tissue paper.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with my choice of a straight cut to remove the cap of the Ditka Special Game Day Edition cigar. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. On the dry draw, I picked up a mix of sweet natural tobacco, cedar, and a touch of black pepper. Overall I considered the pre-light draw experience to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Ditka Special Game Day Edition and awaited what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the Ditka Special Game Day Edition picked up where the pre-light draw left off. I detected notes of sweet natural tobacco and cedar / sweet spice. In the more distant background there were some herbal notes. During the early stages, the sweet natural tobacco developed into the main primary note. Meanwhile the cedar notes were prominent on the retro-hale.
The second third saw the cedar notes increase in intensity and move toward the forefront. The herbal notes remained in the background. A slight floral quality also emerged in the background. Meanwhile the retro-hale changed up and now had a combination of cedar and pepper.
By the last third of the Ditka Special Game Day Edition, the cedar notes were now in the forefront along with the sweet natural tobacco notes. The background notes still produced a combination of herbal and floral notes. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The burn of the Ditka Special Game Day Edition wasn’t the prettiest burn, but still scored well. The burn path remained straight from start to finish. The burn line was on the jagged side – especially during the early phases. This was remedied with some touch-ups and I found that this wasn’t an excessive pattern. The resulting ash had a charcoal gray color. The ash itself was on the firm side. The burn temperature was ideal. I did find this cigar to burn slightly quick, but the only negative was that it shortened the smoking time.
The draw was open, but not loose. This was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
When it came to strength and body, I found the Ditka Special Game Day Edition to fit in nicely with Camacho’s mantra of “bold smokes”. The strength came out of the gate medium to full and pretty much stayed in that area of the spectrum from start to finish. Meanwhile, when the retro-hale was factored in, I found this to be a full-bodied cigar. When it came to strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
In terms of the Ditka Special Game Day Edition, I found this to be different than most of the other releases in the Ditka line. This one is going to have more in the way of cedar and herbal notes. It had some Davidoff-esque qualities and it had some Camacho Liberty-esque qualities. The cigar satisfied me from a flavor standpoint, but to me it did lack a little “wow” factor that I would expect from a Ditka cigar geared for the “Big Game”. Because this is a bolder smoke, I’d gear this cigar toward the experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again. It’s one I would recommend a “Try One” and advise smoking first before making a multi-cigar purchase.
Strength: Medium to Full
Assessment: 2.5-Try One
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