At the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show, Camacho Cigars unveiled a new limited edition cigar called the Camacho Shellback. Since the brand’s historic re-launch in 2013, Camacho Cigars has unveiled a limited edition cigar at each IPCPR Trade Show. This year’s edition is the initial release in what has been dubbed a new series called the “Brotherhood Series”. The term Shellback refers to a sailor (or Marine) who has crossed the equator for the first time. Typically the milestone is done as a rite of initiation. Given this is something that often goes to an armed forces role, Shellbacks have often served as freedom fighters. As we will see, this is a theme that has also been incorporated into the blend itself. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Camacho Shellback. Overall I found this to be an impressive and unique release by Camacho.
We list the three annual limited editions since the re-launch below. Of the three annual limited editions, only the Shellback is a part of the Brotherhood Series. Another note is that Camacho has continued to release its annual Camacho Liberty release in parallel to these limited releases.
- Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013
- Camacho DoubleShock Limited Edition 2014
- Camacho Shellback Limited Edition 2015
As mentioned the concept of the Shellback has been incorporated into the blend. This is because the Shellback uses an Ecuadorian wrapper (Ecuador is a country situated on the equator) and Nicaraguan tobacco (Nicaragua is a country north of the equator).
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Filler: Nicaraguan (Esteli)
Country of Origin: Honduras (AgroIndustrias Laepe S.A)
The Camacho Shellback is being released in a 6 x 50 Toro. The cigars are packaged in twenty count boxes. The total production for this release was 4,000 boxes (80,000 cigars).
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of the Camacho Shellback has a medium brown color to it. There is a light coat of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper itself was quite smooth with some thin visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams. The cigar itself had a nice tight pack to it.
There are two bands to the Camacho Shellback. Each have a mostly black and lime green color scheme to it. The primary band design is arranged in the horizontal style that is prevalent throughout the Camacho line. It captures both the theme of the Shellback and the theme of Camacho. We outline the details below:
Looking at the band horizontally (landscape mode) from top to bottom, there is a top component on the band that is black with a gray contour map in the background. The “CAMACHO” text logo is in bold lime green font toward the bottom of the component. Below that compartmentt is a lime green divider with the text “BROTHERHOOD SERIES” in black font. There is another component on the lower part of the horizontal band. The upper part of that lower compartment is arranged in a traditional vertical mode. It has a lime green scorpion inside a radar design, a gray trident, with the text “OUR BROTHERHOOD SERIES CROSSES THE LINE FROM BOLD TO FEARLESS” in line green situated between the images. The lower part of the compartment is arranged horizontally. It also has a gray contour map design in the background. On that band is the text “SHELLBACK” in large lime green font with the text “CROSSING THE LINE SINCE 1962” in a smaller lime green font. The band has lime green trim with the text “FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD” in black font on the lower border.
There is a secondary band on the footer. The band is also black with lime green trim and has a shape of a navigation arrow. On that band is a lime green Camacho scorpion with twogary tridents pointing at it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of the Camacho Shellback. Once the cap was successfully removed, I commenced with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered subtle notes of natural tobacco and wood. From time to time there was a fruit sweetness that crept in. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be satisfactory. At this point I removed the footer band from the Camacho Shellback, lit up the cigar and awaited what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Camacho Shellback began with a mix of wood, fruit, and red pepper notes. The wood notes went primary early on while the fruit and red pepper notes became secondary. By the midway point some natural tobacco notes emerged in the background. Meanwhile there was a subtle, but not overpowering red pepper note on the retro-hale.
Toward the end of the first third, I began to pay attention to the after-draw and finish on the palate. One thing was abundantly clear to me is that this cigar had one of the cleanest finishes on the palate I ever had.
In the second third of the Camacho Shellback, I found the natural tobacco, fruit, and wood notes began to alternate in intensity as a primary note. By the midway point, the natural tobacco and fruit seemed to have more of the edge and the Shellback was at its apex in terms of delivering sweetness
By the last third, some of the sweetness diminished as the fruit sweetness dialed back. I found the wood and natural tobacco notes remained in the forefront. There was a slight increase in spice, but it never became overpowering. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Camacho Shellback performed quite well when it came to burn and draw. While there was a slight curvature on the burn line from time to time, the burn path remained straight from start to finish. This was not a burn that was ever in danger of tunneling or canoeing. The resulting ash had a silver gray with some dark speckling mixed it. The ash was on the firm side and came off the cigar in clean chunks. Both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
While the cigar had a firm pack to it, I found the draw to be more on the open side. This made the Camacho Shellback a low maintenance cigar to derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
From both a strength and body perspective, I found the Camacho Shellback started out medium. Both attributes stayed medium throughout the first two thirds. There was some gradual increase along the way. By the final third, I found both the strength and body to be in the medium to full range. Overall I found both attributes balances each very nicely with neither having a significant edge over the other.
From a non-scoring point, one thing that impressed me quite a bit is the whole theme of the Camacho Shellback cigar. I loved the Brotherhood and Shellback’s maritime theme. I also loved the analogy of using Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan tobacco to the analogy of a Shellback crossing the equator. Scoring-wise, this was a very enjoyable cigar. This cigar had nice flavors and the after-draw / finish was one of the more unique ones I’ve had on a cigar. This is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast, but it is also one that is a good for a novice to move to something medium / medium plus. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and it’s worthy of a fiver in my humidor
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver