As a rule, I never look at another review prior to writing my own. I don’t want any preconceptions. During a review of a Patel cigar I did recently, I stopped writing and read a couple of good reviews because I was coming out snake eyes on the cigar. An expensive one.
To my surprise, I was reading reviews describing the cigar exactly as I reacted to it myself. Which was a not very impressed reaction. So, for this time, my gut told me to read two reviews..I was right to read them. I think. I will explain later.
From the Camacho web site:
“The New Camacho BLACKOUT Limited Edition 2013 utilizes tobaccos from 4-different years. Wrapper grown in 2006, Binder from 2009, Fillers from 2003, 2008, 2009. The rolled cigars where then aged together another 2-years, when the normal marrying process is normally just a few months.
“Wrapper, which was picked from the top 2/3’s of the plant, was fermented differently than most tobaccos. A process known as “press-fermentation” was used by placing additional weight on the top of the “pilones” (piles where the tobacco ferments), which intensifies the internal temperatures. The tobacco is worked hard, but carefully, then allowed a longer than usual resting period once packed in bales for aging.
“Leaves from the top 2/3’s of the plant get additional sun ripening, which boosts the level of sweetness with additional sugars being creating during the process of photosynthesis. The heavy oil noticed on this wrapper leaf is as a result of the plants natural defenses, protect itself by creating more oils to fend off the sun’s glare.The Camacho Blackout Limited Edition 2013 is being released in five sizes, each getting 1,000 boxes of 20 cigars produced.”
And then the cigars were aged an additional 2 years before being packaged.
Construction is terrific. Tight seams and little veins. A solid piece of the rock. The right amount of give. A deep, dark coffee bean colored wrapper that feels exceptionally toothy. And one of the most flawless triple caps I’ve seen.
The band is difficult to read being in all black. So in my photos, I’ve had to lighten them so you could see the writing on the bands; which unfortunately, lightened the color of the cigar wrapper as well.
I clip the cap and find aromas of sweetness, wood, smoky BBQ, fruit, and spice.
Time to light up.
The first puffs are sweet. A nice combo of berries show up. There is blackberry with just a wisp of strawberry. The draw is a bit labored. Feels like there is a plug right underneath the cigar band. I use my trusty cigar awl and it fixes the problem toot suite.
Smoke pours from the foot like coffee flows from a coffee maker backed up by a misplaced carafe.
Black pepper arrives. Not very strong but gives the cigar some oomph. The cigar is very meaty at this point. A MAN’s cigar!
The natural tobacco flavors are exceptionally nice.
Sweetness is driving the bus at the half inch mark. The burn line needs a minor touch up to nip things in the bud early on. I hope.
Here are the flavors in order: Earthiness, sweetness, berries, spice, and hay.
The hay worries me. I was gifted this cigar by a follower who wants to remain anonymous. Good ol’ Bobby C. LOL. A month ago. I figured that should be enough for the Big and Bold new Camacho blend.
The char line is running away. Now I’m getting annoyed. I’ve smoked all of the New Camacho blends and all of them had burn issues. While the price spectrum goes from $6.00-$13.00 a stick, enough effort should have been placed on this issue.
An aside; I bought a beautiful two cigar lead crystal ashtray for my photos. To break up the monotony of the same old shots.
I tried it out this morning. Good Gawd ! Huuh! Get on the good foot! You can see the reflection of my hands and the camera in the shots.
It’s still a nice ashtray.
I’m well into the second third when the air brakes are applied. I knew it.
Flavors are not bright. The black pepper and tobacco earthiness replace the other leading flavors. It is dull now.
Back to the beginning. I said I read other reviewer’s notes on this cigar and they said the same thing. They found flowery ways of putting it because they are tied to the hip with Davidoff and Camacho, but in essence, said the same thing….the cigar is going nowhere fast. That must be a real art to tell everyone the cigar is good and go on and on about the natural tobacco flavor; instead of doing what I am doing…telling you this stick ain’t worth $12.00.
It is beginning to canoe. And if I fix it, it will burn away a solid inch of cigar..Fuck it. I am not going to fix it.
There is too much glue on the band ruining any type of nice photo. Being a figurado, it was easy to slide the band off so very easy to unravel. But the remaining white residue is ugly.
Mind you, I am smoking this cigar on a completely fresh palate. God knows what it tastes like by evening.
The cigar is beginning to really bore me. I don’t get off on only natural tobacco flavor. I want some zing. Even the spice has gone away.
Fingers crossed that the last third does a loopy-loop.
This has turned out to be a pleasant cigar at best. I feel bad for buddy, Bobby C. for spending the dough on this stick for me. The actual price point should be half of its retails price.
But then again, maybe Davidoff is still clinging to old school mentality where it takes months and months before the cigar is ready to be smoked. Really stupid. They rev up this ginormous “Bold” PR machine tactic to give the whole line a new feel and look. And then they stick to the old school type of blending. This has to be the reason for the lackluster performance. No one in their right mind charges $12 a pop for a cigar that is mediocre.
The strength has been medium bodied throughout. Now with just a couple inches to go, it moves to full bodied.
The flavor becomes a bit harsh and hot.
The cigar finishes out nicely but too little, too late.
And now for something completely different:
I was at George Martin’s recording studio, AIR Studios, in London participating in the mixing from the previously recorded “Live” album. For those of you who know, and for those that don’t….half the fun of recording an album is just hanging in the control booth watching and listening to the exciting mix of the music. It beats staying home and watching TV. You never know who you will run in to.
Since it was a live album, the recording was done. Now it was just watching the producer and engineer mix it. At age 24, I didn’t have any producing experience yet so this was pretty much Alice looking through the Looking Glass. I asked a lot of questions which annoyed the producer who was a real ponce. I kept telling him that he was mixing the bass line old school. In the background. He hadn’t caught up with the times, especially from the likes of the jazz fusion bands breaking through. I played well and I wanted to be able to hear it pounding away. He kept telling me to be patient which was his way of saying, “Get away from me boy, you’re bothering me.”
I am proud to say that while the others in the band had to come in to overdub their mistakes, I had one single dub. One note. Just one note had to be fixed on a live recording. The others gave me the stink eye because I sat back and watched them struggle with placing new notes in an already recorded song.
I was the new member. And I played some very complicated bass lines. So my near perfection caused some temporary jealousy.
Besides having a good time in the studio, acting only as an observer, we also got fed.
One night, Sonja and I were sitting on the floor with our backs against one of the plush sofas. We had just smoked a doob and were conversing about life. The sofa was in the farthest location from the door.
I noticed the door opening and looked up. The studio was dimly lit. For mood, I guess.
In walks a man who I can’t quite make out. As he looks our way, he heads toward us. The closer he came, the more my jaw dropped. It was Pete coming over for a visit with Sonja. Curved Air was a legendary band in Europe from the late 60’s to the late 70’s.
He sat down next to Sonja making it a Sonja sandwich. They hugged and exchanged kisses. I was close to shitting myself.
Now if you want to be taken seriously in any business, you must act natural at meeting anyone of note or your presence is ignored, so I did my best to be cool.
A minute or two in, Sonja nodded in my direction and introduced me to Pete. We shook hands. I was literally shaking. I muttered something unintelligible.
We sat there for a couple of hours, rolling and lighting one joint after another. I normally did not chain smoke joints.
Before long, all three of us were laughing like idiots and Pete told Sonja that he thought I was an all-right chap.
Pete got to listen to my playing on the play back in the studio and when he felt it was time to leave, he stood above me, shook my hand, and asked if I wanted to jam tomorrow night?
Of course I said yes and told him I would make sure our drummer, Stewart Copeland, was there.
I barely slept or ate in the next 24 hours in anticipation. The night came and we played for countless hours. Time had no meaning except when we stopped to light one up. We were in their studio and I was touching distance to Keith Moon’s drums, John Entwistle’s basses, and a mic stand belonging to Roger Daltrey with a schmata/scarf wrapped around the shaft. But the band hadn’t even come into the studio that day.
We didn’t play one Who song. We just jammed. And because I was into the jazz fusion scene which really hadn’t made it the English shores quite yet, I had the responsibility of providing pounding Stanley Clarke-like riffs for us to woodshed on.
At one point, he teased us with the offer to produce our next album, which never happened. My only regret was that we didn’t record anything we played. I was in the mode of: “I will always be in the music biz and this was only the start.” The strange musings of a naïve 24 year old.
I’m no longer a minor rock star, but boy, do I cherish the memories!
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS