The Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged is the third installment of Camacho’s Master Built Series. The series launched two years ago with the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. This was a cigar that was a unique project that built a blend around a corojo leaf that was aged in a bourbon barrel. The Nicaraguan Barrel Aged takes a different spin on this concept in that this time it builds a blend around a corojo leaf that was aged in hand-selected old Flor de Cana rum barrels. Just prior to this year’s IPCPR, Camacho would officially put the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged into market. Today, we take a closer look at the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged in the Toro-sized format.
While the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged borrows a concept from the first installment of the Master Built Series, the American Barrel-Aged, it also borrows a concept from the second installment – the Camacho Powerband. With the Powerband, Camacho introduced a proprietary bunching process that was geared to create a more robust and intense flavor experience. This process is also used in the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged.
There has also been another release that ages corojo leaf in a barrel used for spirits. This was a limited release done in collaboration with Cigar Dojo and South Florida retailer Smoke Inn known as the Camacho Imperial Stout Barrel-Aged. With that release, the blend was similar to the Camacho Triple Maduro, but a corojo leaf in a beer barrel was used. In this case, the beer was Ten FIFY by Oskar Blues – a beer the is bourbon barrel-aged itself.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged includes tobaccos from five countries. The filler consists of Estelí Corojo, Honduran Corojo Ligero and the Piloto Cubano. The cigar is produced at Camacho’s new Diadema Cigars de Honduras S.A. factory located in Danlí, Honduras.
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador
Binder: Negrito San Andres, Mexico
Filler: Honduran, Corojo ’99 (Nicaragua), Piloto Cubano, San Vicente (Dominican Republic)
Country of Origin: Honduras (Diadema Cigars de Honduras S.A.)
The Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged is available in four frontmarks. Each is packaged in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Robusto Tubos: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 50
Gordo: 6 x 60
There is also an assortment pack featuring each of the three formats (Robusto, Toro, Gordo) available.
The Habano Ecuador wrapper had a medium brown color to it. Depending on how the light hits it, there may be a slight cinnamon-colored tint to it. There was a light coating of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper was relatively smooth with some thin veins and thin visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands to the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged. Each band has a mostly black, rust, and gray 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 Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged and the theme of Camacho. Looking at the band horizontally (landscape mode) from top to bottom, there are several components:
- The top component has a black background with mostly dark gray text. It contains words related to the project such as “ORIGINAL COROJO”, “WILD FLAVORS”. “POWERBAND BUNCHING PROCESS”, “A RELENTLESS QUEST TO PUSH THE LIMITS”, and “PEAK PERFORMANCE”.
- The next component has a black background has the Camacho logo/slogan “CAMACHO INFAMOUS SINCE 1962” in rust font. This is followed by a divider that is rust in color with the text “MASTER BUILT SERIES” in black font.
- The third component also features a black background. The right side features the Camacho scorpion logo in rust color. It features the words “EXTRA OLD RUM BARRELS”, and “NICARAGUAN COROJO”
- Finally, the lower component is black with rust-colored font. It has a side view of a barrel with the text “NICARAGUAN BARREL-AGED” draped over it. Just below that component is rust trim with the text “BUILT BOLD” in black font.
The secondary band is black with rust trim. It features the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged logo in rust font and also features the words found on the primary band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of earth and some subtle rum-sweetness. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The start of the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro picked up right where the pre-light draw left off as I detected more notes of earth and rum sweetness. These became the primary flavors early on. Simultaneously there were some classic wood, char, and red pepper notes in the background. The red pepper remained prominent on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first third of the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro, the rum sweetness and earth notes varied in intensity. Even at the points the rum sweetness prevailed, it was not an overpowering sweetness. During the second third, there was an increase in the char, wood and red pepper notes.
By the midway point, the char and wood joined the earth notes in the forefront. Meanwhile, the rum sweetness dialed back and joined the red pepper in the background. These were not distant background notes and provided a nice amount of sweetness and spice to the flavor profile.
The last third of the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro saw the char and wood notes primary. The earth notes receded joining the red pepper and rum sweetness. There still was a nice amount of sweetness and spice being delivered. This is the way the flavor profile of the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall, I found the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely on the draw. The burn maintained a straight burn path and relatively straight burn line from start to finish. The ash wasn’t overly firm, but it was not loose or flaky either. This was an ash that had a classic gray color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw of the Camacho Nicaraguan Barrel Aged Toro is what I would describe as open, but not loose. It was easy to maintain a nice combustion level.
Strength and Body
When comparing this to the Camacho American Barrel-Aged, I found the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged to be slightly dialed back (but not much). The Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged Toro is one that started out medium in terms of strength and body. Both attributes increased in intensity. The strength increased more gradually and by the last third, it had moved to medium to full. Meanwhile, the body had more of a spike at the midway point and moved into medium to full territory in the second half. In terms of strength and body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
Back when Camacho announced the Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged, they pointed out some differences in the flavor profile, along with an associated diagram.
For the most part, I agreed with this assessment, although I picked up more in the way of char notes. The comparisons between the American Barrel-Aged and Nicaraguan Barrel-Aged are hard to ignore. In the end, I found that the American Barrel-Aged did a better job at showcasing the complexities of the blend. Some of the rum sweetness wasn’t necessarily suited to personal preference, but I can still see this appealing to many cigar (and rum) enthusiasts. I still found the overall flavors to be good, but a little muddled in the last third.
This is a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. I also wouldn’t discourage a novice from trying this blend. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again and it’s worth picking up some multiples for your humidor.
Key Flavors: Rum Sweetness, Earth, Char, Classic Wood, Red Pepper
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.0-The Fiver
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted.