Mike Ditka Throwback Edition Toro by Camacho Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Honduran Corojo Maduro (5th Priming)
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 6 x 50 “Toro”
Body: Full
Price: $10.00
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I previously reviewed the Camacho Ditka 89 on Feb, 8 of this year. I was less than impressed. Two options made themselves available to me at the time. The first being that the cigar was no big deal after a month of humidor time, and second that this was an old school blend that needed much more than a solitary month of humidor time. I had two to smoke and both left me unsatisfied; especially due to the price point.

The Throwback version is a few bucks cheaper than the “89.”

The presentation is very fancy shmancy. Each stick comes in its own cedar coffin and only 10 coffins to a box. A total of only 5000 boxes were produced.

This is from the Camacho web site:
“Introducing the latest installment of the Mike Ditka line of cigars by Camacho, the new Mike Ditka Throwback Edition. This new release is a tribute to Ditka’s years as a coach in the National Football League. The flavor profile of the cigar is bold an unapologetic. The fifth priming Authentic Corojo Maduro wrapper adds a deep level of richness and complexity to this smoke. The new Mike Ditka Throwback also features filler tobacco from three different points of origin, making this release the most intense and flavorful smoke under the Ditka brand.”

I have two cigars gifted to me by Billy R. Thanks. Construction is good to excellent with slight inconsistencies from one cigar to another. The wrapper is a gorgeous, oil soaked, dark coffee bean. Seams are mostly invisible on one cigar and gaps in the other. One has just a modicum of veins while the other has some pretty large ones. The triple cap is nicely done on both. Both cigars have a sandy touch.

I clip the caps and find aromas of cedar, cocoa, spice, coffee, nuttiness, and the slightest hint of lemon zest.
Time to light up.

The first thing that hits me is a searing red pepper. It reminds me I have an often used palate throughout the day. The draw is excellent. The cedar is very strong. Most probably from being stored in those coffins.
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The spice tames well the hell down. And allows other flavors to come forth. There is a pleasant coffee flavor. And some herbal notes. The nuttiness is raw, sweet cashew.

If I remember correctly, the Throwback is starting out better than the “89.”

The char line needs a minor tune up.

Some creaminess climbs on board. Not a lot but still a nice addition.
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So far, this cigar has it heads and tails above the 89. It appears that the Throwback is heading towards flavor bomb status. I’m guessing by the second third.

As the end of the first third is nigh, flavors are real show offs. In order: Creaminess, cedar, spice, cocoa, coffee, sweetness, and nuttiness.

It feels like the flavors are jockeying for position. And then the second third begins and it is official; flavor bomb status has arrived.

The flavor profile is overly abundant in very definitive elements. All those listed above are there and accounted for. This is a much better cigar than the more expensive Ditka 89.

The char line is behaving.

The coffee component makes a dash for the most potent flavor. With cedar and creaminess right behind. The spice has moved to middle ground.
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There is an Indian spice. I can taste cumin, cardamom, clove, and allspice.

I near the second half and this is quite the enjoyable cigar. It is becoming very complex and it has a nice chewy long finish.
The spiciness has returned to the forefront. I can’t stop my eyes from watering.

Now why wasn’t the Ditka 89 blended in this style? It was dull and unappealing.
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The strength started out at classic medium but now is in the medium/full range. I see the nicotine spins in my future.

The sweetness level rises along with the creaminess. Coffee and cocoa team up. The exotic spices of the Orient are potent. And the citrusy flavor is getting stronger.

The last third begins and I remove the cigar band. It comes off cleanly leaving a small amount of residue on the band. This is a big cigar band. Almost poster sized.

The stick is just a great cigar now. It is smooth and balanced. And just plain delicious. While I prefer robustos, this stick comes in only one size. And for this blend, that’s perfect.
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The cigar is just cruising now. With a couple inches to go, the strength hits full body. But no sign of nicotine.
The cigar finishes with a bounty of flavors. Same order as earlier but now very bold.

I like this cigar but is it worth $10? You can probably get it for a buck or so cheaper if you look around….but still.

I’ve smoked some fine cigars that match the quality of the Ditka Throwback tit for tat. And they cost several bucks less. So, it’s strictly up to you. It is a limited production cigar and the presentation is interesting. But then, I have a corner in the basement stacked waist high in interesting presentations.
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Addendum 3-7-2014:
I lit up my second Throwback and it was terrible. I couldn’t get past the 1″ mark. It was musty, bitter and nasty. Clearly, this is a very old school type of blend that needs extensive humidor aging. 5 days after this review and it is a different cigar. Thankfully, I only bought two sticks. If I had bought a box, I’d have to hang myself in the shower. Or wait a year and try again.

And now for something completely different:
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Way back in 1973, I played with a drummer named John and a guitarist named Tim. We would jam at John’s house all day long. Smoking doobs and playing. And never playing a single song. Strictly woodshedding. This had an enormous positive effect on my chops.

John played out in a couple of country bands. I was a rock and roller. Country did not interest me.

One day, John invited me to come record with him at a small studio in Newport Beach, Ca.

Only movie-files and old guys will remember this name: Chill Wills. He was a cowboy movie actor. And in just about every western made in the 1940’s and 1950’s. And always in every John Wayne movie. They were buddies.
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I was star struck when I met Mr. Wills. His studio was strictly a vanity project. He got some good players together to record songs he had written on guitar. And they needed a bassist. I got the gig.

I was nervous but at the end of the night, Chill took me aside and told me, “You did good, kid.”
I was invited back once a week.

Now these fellas could drink. I mean really drink. Strictly whisky. I’ve never been a drinker and disappointed everyone. But John always brought some weed and we all imbibed, including Chill.

This man looked exactly like he did in the movies: scruffy, unshaven and never combed his hair.

I did this for a year. And then I left for Europe.
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But you would not believe the people I met while hanging with Chill Wills. All the cowboy movie stars of the time.

John Wayne even showed up a couple times to sing with Chill. It was hilarious. Neither could hold a note. But they got drunk and they didn’t care.
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I was never allowed to keep a cassette copy of what we played. Chill was pretty hip about that.

Wayne always showed up without his toupee. And I never got used to looking at him this way.

Once, Wayne invited all the musicians to entertain on his yacht docked in Newport Beach. He bought a Navy mine sweeper and converted it into the biggest yacht I had ever seen. This was one cool boat.

I met a lot of stars that night as Chill introduced me to everyone. They were polite but I was just a musician and therefore; beneath them.

On the last night we recorded in April, 1974, Chill Wills gave me the biggest bear hug. He wished me well on my journey to Europe. And we both shed a couple of tears.

I never saw him again. But one of those once in a lifetime experiences.
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