Every year on July 4th, for the last 7 years, my father and I have smoked a Camacho Liberty. The name alone is perfectly fitting, and each year is a different blend so it keeps things interesting. Now since these cigars are typically released after the Fourth, we usually smoke last years with just about a year of age on it. This year, we didn’t have any of 2015’s blend, so we mixed things up a little and went back to a couple of our favorites.
My father, the hoarder that he is, smoked my personal favorite from the Liberty Series, the 2009 Camacho Liberty.
For myself, since I couldn’t manage to hoard any myself, I instead chose a 2014 Camacho Liberty.
A little backstory,
Originally released in 2003 in a few limited production sizes, it has since been produced in a single size known as an 11/18. This is a specific “toro-esque” size created in the Camacho factory(It has since been used by Tabaclera Unidas A.K.A CLE as well). What makes this size interesting to me is that it is like a cross between a toro and a perfecto, it has a very slight taper on both ends but no real “point” to either. Since the switch to this size the Liberty Series has been produced as a single run of 2,000 boxes or 40,000 cigars. Each year is blended differently and each cigar is placed in its own coffin. After Camacho’s acquisition by Davidoff and later rebranding of the lines we see the scorpion appear on the Liberty’s from 2013 on.
Now for the cigars,
On the 2009, my Old Man had this to say,
“I opened my last Camacho 2009 Liberty on Independence Day anxious to see how 7 years of aging had treated it. I opened the coffin, unwrapped it and it looked beautiful. The dark wrapper now was oily and smelled wonderful. The pre-light draw was perfect, in truth I can’t recall ever having a Camacho that didn’t draw well. Its taste before I lit it was of cedar and perhaps cinnamon. After toasting the foot I took my first puff,over the years this stick has mellowed. I was
extremely glad it was my first cigar of the day as I generally smoke strong cigars. As the cigar progressed I noticed a slight bitterness that was not unpleasant. The band was sliding freely so I removed it with no worries about damage. In addition I like to save bands and am always happy to get them in good condition. As I started the second third, I noticed a little bit of a honey like sweetness. The Liberty produced a strong gray ash, it would make an excellent choice for those more patient and less clumsy than me. Moving into the last third, each of the individual flavors became less pronounced and blended into a complex taste difficult to identify. I truly enjoyed the finish and its complexity. As I said before, I typically smoke stronger cigars but I enjoyed this stick a lot. For me it is an excellent first cigar.”
And for my 2014…
It started off filled with leather, but with each puff, a new note was revealed in increasing quantity. A pleasant nuttiness here, and sweetness there, it evolved almost out of the gate into this wonderful blend of nuances. The cedar note, much to my surprise, was initially only on the retro-hale(something I always recommend doing). Unfortunately for me, I set the cigar down about 5 minutes in to answer my phone and the first bit of the ash was knocked off; however, this did not discourage me from trying to hold what remained of the ash. As I progressed through the second and into the final third, I noticed a waxing and waning effect with the flavors rather than a true transition. It is my belief that what would
have been a singularly one-dimensional smoke was guided into this by that shape we talked about earlier. I think the
slight tapering helped to draw out some of the cedar notes in first and final third and more of the nuttier ones in the second. Again nothing ever went away or was introduced later, just each of those two notes had a high and low point while the others built along side them. At the finish the leathery flavors had smoothed out and a sweeter cedar taste took the forefront. This was by far the biggest transition point in the cigar. Unlike some of the other Liberties I’ve smoked, and despite some care, I was unable to hold the ash past the start of the final third. By no means was it unpleasant from start to finish, and what shocked me most was how smooth it was overall.