Camacho American Barrel-Aged | Cigar Review

Wrapper: American Broadleaf
Binder: American Broadleaf
Filler: American Broadleaf, Pennsylvania Maduro, Barrel-aged Corojo
Size: 6 x 50 “Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $11.00 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the new Camacho American Barrel-Aged.

BACKGROUND:
From the Camacho Cigars web site:
“An intense smoke that sets the tone for a life without limits. Inspired by the uncompromising craftsmanship of Kentucky bourbon makers, our master builders have blazed new frontiers in complexity. Aging Camacho’s legendary Corojo leaves for six years and then locking them in charred bourbon barrels.

“Built the American way with pride and ingenuity. Our master builders work tirelessly, rotating 2,000 pounds of aged Corojo leaves for five months straight. Eighty pounds per barrel. Layer by layer. One leaf at a time. An arduous process to ensure that each leaf receives an even finish. Extracting the characteristics of Kentucky bourbon and American oak from the depths of the charred barrel.

“Our Original Corojo leaves have a unique intensity that has defined their legacy for over half a century. By aging them for six years, this intensity is amplified while other flavors are allowed to emerge. But what sets American Barrel-Aged apart from any other cigar is the secondary aging process. Using carefully charred Kentucky bourbon barrels to build on the already immense character of Original Corojo.

“After their dance with the devil’s cut (Bourbon aromas and fumes that are locked inside the charred oak), our Original Corojo leaves take on a multi-layered complexity. With sweet bourbon aromas and oaky flavors combining to form a richness that is sweet, but with a fiery disposition. A truly exceptional taste profile that is 100% unique and yet undeniably Camacho.”

From Cigar Aficionado:
“A new brand from Camacho has arrived at retailers, and it’s the first line in a project the company calls its Camacho Master Built Series. The debut line is called American Barrel-Aged, and as its name suggests, a component of the blend contains tobacco aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels.

“The Master Built Series is a new pillar for us,” Dylan Austin, director of marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA, told Cigar Aficionado. “It centers on the fusing of our master [blenders] with those in other categories, in this case, Bourbon makers. Working collaboratively to build experiences that break the chains of convention. This series will also be the top of the pyramid for Camacho.”

“The only barrel-aged component was the one leaf of Corojo tobacco, which spent five months in the barrel,” Austin said. “The barrels were sourced through a close partner of ours, but we are not disclosing what Bourbon house they came from.”
The American Barrel-Aged is the first blend in a new Camacho line called the “Master Built Series”

This is a first for Camacho. Cigars are being produced at the Occidental Cigar Factory in the DR.
This blend will be a regular production cigar.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Robusto: 5 x 50 $10.00
Toro: 6 x 50 $11.00
Gordo: 6 x 60 $12.00
Robusto Tubo 5 x 50 $10.50
barrelpic1

DESCRIPTION:
The wrapper’s color changes depending on the amount of light hitting it. There is a medium brown which seems to be its natural color. But in the light of day, it is lighter with more of a russet brown baked potato look.
The samples are all rustic in appearance. Large tree trunk veins. One stick has invisible seams and another has exposed seams. It is a lumpy and bumpy stick. It also appears to have a touch of Colorado red on the wrapper with the right light.
The triple cap is impeccable on all samples. The wrapper is semi-oily.

The cigar bands are eye catchers. Less focus on the new Camacho Scorpion and more of a classy look with the scorpion only showing up once on the main band.
I smoked one last night to check that the cigar was ready for review and was dismayed to find that there is too much glue on both cigar bands. Always makes for a shitty photo.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet floral notes and the bourbon’s warm caramel and toasted vanilla innate aromas.
From the clipped cap and foot, I can smell the same as the shaft and in addition: subtle notes of cherry and charred oak.
From the cold draw, I taste charred oak, strong cherry, sweetness, toasted vanilla, spice, and leather.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is excellent. Billows of smoke surround my puny head.
Flavors waste no time in being explored: a gorgeous charred oak flavor, spice, sweetness, cherry, leather, vanilla and with very earthy tobacco notes.
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The charred wood flavor is a real treat. The vanilla and cherry make for perfect bed mates.
The combo of black and red pepper slowly sneaks up on me until I find my eyes tearing up and my sinuses totally clear.
I’m not a bourbon drinker. Never was. I like Scotch. And I used to like tequila until I spent too many years in my youth wrapped around the toilet on the bathroom floor. Can’t stand the smell of it now. I also like premium vodka.

I was leery about this blend from the start. Sometimes there is a very fine line between special barrel aged blends and cheap infused blends.
But the Camacho American Barrel-Aged jumps the shark and comes out with a very distinct and exotic blend.

The cigar is packed pretty tightly. I’m surprised that there are no issues with the draw. This should be a slow smoke. I’m ¾” in and it’s taken over 10 minutes to get here.
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It’s curious that Camacho didn’t dispel any info on the kind of bourbon they used. Some bourbons use wheat mash and therefore, you get a gentle flavor of wheat in the bourbon. As an example: E-Mashbill is 75-percent corn, 20-percent rye, and 5-percent malted barley. B-Mashbill is 60-percent corn, 35-percent rye, and 5-percent malted barley. The rye-heavier B-Mashbill has a spicier, full bodied flavor.
The recipes are ad infinitum. So it’s anyone’s guess the type of bourbon used in this blend.

The smokiness of the bourbon barrel comes through loud and clear now. But the spiciness is all but gone. Sweetness has taken a big hit as well.

SECOND THIRD:
The char line has been a bit wavy but I choose not to touch it up.
The second third sees the flavor profile blossom: Charred oak, vanilla, cherry, the sweetness returns, as does the spiciness, leather, and earthiness.

Creaminess appears for the first time. Actually, it is a mixture of warm caramel and heavy cream. The two intermingle as one.
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I’m a heavy critic of the “new” Camacho. It has been two years since Davidoff bought Camacho and the brand suffered. The only sticks I enjoyed, and I’ve smoked them all, are the Diploma and Triple Maduro. Both in the same price range as the Camacho American Barrel-Aged.

Flavors are so bright now that it tastes like smoking a fresh rolled stick. I’m not talking about those $1 bundle fresh rolled sticks, but the real McCoy blends. If I had a memory, I’d give you a list of those blends. Maybe I can find them amongst thousands of reviews and add them at a later date.
Such a lovely blend.

I’ve been remiss in discussing the strength. It has been a classic medium body this whole time. One thinks of Camacho, at the least, medium/full bodied cigars. This is a nice change up. But then, I’m not even close to the end of the cigar.
The char line has corrected itself.
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And my last few photos show the wonderful color of the wrapper now that the sun is out. When the light hits the wrapper, it almost looks like a deep rust color. I found that Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a similar color.
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Color schemes of bourbon are affected by the corn, water, wheat, rye, and malt content.

The photo below gives you a hint of the different hues of bourbon:

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It is here that the Camacho American Barrel-Aged finds its complexity and balance. The finish is only partially long with flavors of charred oak and earthiness.
Very smooth. Nicotine rears its ugly head. Damn.

HALFWAY POINT:
Strength moves to medium/full; egged on by the nicotine poison.
I should take a moment to thank a reader for sending me three sticks. He wants me to keep his name a secret as he doesn’t want the news to spread to his friends who, in his words, are all big moochers.

The Camacho American Barrel-Aged is on cruise control now. No transitions. It keeps on chooglin’ in its current format.
Smoke time has been around 45 minutes.
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A tart Granny Smith apple element shows itself for the first time. It helps boost the sweetness factor.
If the “Camacho Master Built Series” is going to follow in the footsteps of the Camacho American Barrel-Aged, then I say kudos to Camacho/Davidoff.

This is clearly a quantum leap for the blenders at Camacho.

I reviewed the entire new line of blends and found them lacking. Yet a couple got some very high ratings by Cigar Aficionado. So either it is what we all suspect or they allowed their sticks to humidor age way past the couple months I allowed my reviews cigars to rest.
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The Camacho American Barrel-Aged is on a quest. It keeps getting smoother and tastier with each puff. Such a delicious cigar. I’m ruined for the rest of the day.

LAST THIRD:
The cigar needs its first major touch up at the char line.
The malt component becomes very strong. Nearly knocking the charred oak flavor off its first place in the flavor profile list.

Here they are one last time: Charred oak, malt, cherry, sweetness, spice, tart apple, leather, warm caramel, and vanilla. Quite the unique flavor profile.

The Camacho American Barrel-Aged I smoked last night didn’t present the subtleties and nuance I taste this morning. This is a first cigar of the day blend when your palate is fresh.
Yesterday was the first day I felt well enough to smoke a cigar. And even then, I only smoked a review cigar and one in the afternoon and the Camacho American Barrel-Aged after dinner.
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Something new has been added. Wheat. Reminds me of Wheatena cereal. Back when I worked for a living, I always had hot cereal in the morning before I headed out for a cold Chicago day in the field. You needed something warm in the belly when work started at 5:30am. Even thought I was a project manager, I had to be at the shop before the field headed out to a job site. Had to make sure they had everything for the day. If I didn’t do that, I would get a call around noon asking where the bolts were? So I had a crew of union ironworkers sitting on their ass with the cash register banging away.

Where was I?
The Camacho American Barrel-Aged finishes perfectly. No harshness or heat. It remains smooth to the end.

How many brands have you smoked where the PR said that the leaves were stored in some sort of liquor barrel and you found yourself asking “Where’s the beef?”
Not here. The Camacho American Barrel-Aged is everything, and more, than the Camacho description.
Final smoke time was one hour and 35 minutes.

PRICE POINT:
I have no qualms about the price of the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. Based on the current price structure of premium cigars lately, Camacho could have charged more. It easily could have fallen into the $14 range.
After perusing all of the online stores, it appears that this blend is price controlled. I look forward to seeing them show up on the stores that allow a coupon code for a discount.
I did find a few stores that sell them for a buck less than the MSRP.

SUMMATION:
I’m extremely impressed with the Camacho American Barrel-Aged.
I’m impressed with the New Breed manner of blending. Your normal Camacho takes at least 6 months of humi time. Not the Camacho American Barrel-Aged. I gave it a month. I will save my last stick and allow it to rest a few months. Can’t wait to taste with 6 months on it.

The blend is perfectly balanced. Except for the early part where transitions were minimal, this cigar has really kept my interest…anticipating where it would go next.
As you know, I don’t rate cigars. But it clearly belongs in the 90’s. I look forward to reading what Cigar Aficionado has to say.

Thankfully, this is a regular production cigar. So no hurry to buy it now or miss out. And just about every online cigar store carries them.
Unfortunately, the Camacho American Barrel-Aged only comes in boxes of 20 making the expenditure of over $200 a tough row to hoe.
Snag a few sticks, buy a 5 pack, and if you’re flush, get the box.
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9 replies

  1. Thought I would let you know that I found some Camacho Corojos in Churchill with the old label at Holt’s for a pretty good deal in their 6 packs. Figured it was worth sharing since you reviewed these favorably a couple of years back.

  2. Katman

    This cigar notwithstanding, this “new” Camacho is kind of a disaster, isn’t it? The “old” puro corojo and the 10th Anniversary were phenomenal smokes; nothing they make now even approaches them to me. Any chance you think they right the ship?

    • I agree Chris. Davidoff tried changing the brand with kitschy presentations while not really putting out good cigars. The original Camacho brand was light years better than the new Camacho.
      But I must reiterate that if this new Master Built Series shows the same promise that produced this cigar, I am hopeful. I’m sure Camacho is very aware that their new blends are not doing well via word of mouth. So making a change with a new blend series makes me feel they want to right the boat. It appears that they are going after the market of boutique blends and experienced smokers.
      I saw some video reviews and read some reviews and it amazes me that some reviewers did their thing with this cigar ROTT. And therefore, did not get to really enjoy everything this cigar has to offer.

  3. Katman, just want you to know. I started reading your reviews about a year ago. I have never been a fan of musicians, writers, actors, hell, anyone for that matter. (Dr says its because I’m only a fan of myself) But in reading your articles I have not only found great information on a past time i enjoy. I have also found the writings of a man that allow my mind to break free from my body and wander in stories like never before. Your ability to take written words and spin them into brilliant visual images is astounding. And no I am not currently on anything that allows me to hear colors or taste sounds. Although, that might just make your writings even more of an experience. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to post reviews for others enjoyment.