Unicorn Alert ~ 2007 Camacho Vintage Liberty | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Honduran Corojo/PA Broadleaf (Barber Pole)
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Honduran & Pre-Embargo Cuban Tobacco
Size: 6 x 48/54/48 “11/18 Perfecto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $Go Fish (Was $16.50 in 2014)



Today we take a look at a Unicorn Alert ~ 2007 Camacho Vintage Liberty.
Thanks to a good friend for the stick. It was sealed in its coffin for 13 years. I dislodged it and allowed it to marinate.

I reviewed this cigar over 6 years ago. I am anxious to see if it sees daylight after all this time. 13 years confined in a coffin. How Dracula-like.

No background info is required. You can’t buy one. You can’t steal one. But if you know a real connoisseur, he might have a couple in his stash. Kill him with a Xikar cutter, chop up his body, put him in 6 contractor sized trash bags and send him to Dr. Rod Kurthy at Terminal Island Prison B Block Cell 238. Make sure you put his name on the package clearly. Rod’s cell mate, Big Titus, likes to steal Rod’s shit.

I also made it a point of not reading my 2014 review so as not to be influenced.

APPEARANCE:
It is a beautiful oily stick that just shimmers. Seams are tight. The shape has maintained its integrity. I did dry box the cigar for two days. That means out of the humidor and either leave it on top of one of my humidors or stash it in a travel humidor with no humidification…allows the cigar to dry out and smoke better.

Either the dry boxing or the age of the cigar has made it shrink a tad. The cigar band flows up and down the stick with ease. So, you must excuse my photos if the band keeps appearing in different positions. This is not an I.Q. test, so relax.

If I remember correctly, the 11/18 name for the shape is Christian Eiroa’s mother’s, or grandmother’s, birth date. I’m too lazy to spend half an hour researching this so if I’m wrong, feel free to correct me. And the shape is an amazing feat of rolling. Sort of the hallmark of fine Camacho cigars…not the Joe Camel Davidoff brands…the original and better Camacho. The new blends can’t lick the foreskin boots of the original Eiroa family-controlled business.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are very faint. There is floral, milk chocolate, white pepper, creaminess, cedar, salty caramel, very rich and aged tobacco, and melon.
The cold draw is impenetrable. I whip out my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and fix the problem. As is usually the case, the plug occurred around the cigar band area.
Once again with feeling…I taste cloves, white pepper, barnyard, chocolate, cinnamon, cedar, and that aged tobacco again.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is still a little tight for my preference, so I grab my PD tool and find another plug about ¾ down the shaft near the foot. Now it’s perfect.

First up is the aged tobacco…very rich and heavy. Then followed by black pepper, creaminess, a bit of cocoa, cedar, a touch of molasses, candied lemon peel, licorice, and Ritz crackers.

This stick has some weight to it. It is going to be a 2-hour smoke.

The black pepper mutates to Thai seasoning. Black pepper always hits me in the back of the throat. This new spiciness is on the top and tip of my tongue…like red pepper.

I’ve got it on the Led Zep channel…some very nice tunes.

The cigar starts out with some tasty notes but doesn’t knock me off my feet. No signs of complexity at this early stage. It does provide those aged tobaccos in a spotlight that makes the cigar so appealing now.

Oh no…”Stairway to Heaven” is playing. Raise your hands if you had to play this song a million times in your band because audiences demanded it. One of the reasons I switched to strictly blues bands in the late 80’s.

Creaminess begins to warm up…it opens the door for other flavors to peek out. There is a fruitiness floating around but I cannot identify it; only that there is a sweetness.

Malt appears which causes the flavor profile to open even more…sweetness coming from faux chocolate covered malted milk balls. And I’m not talking about that bout of STD you encountered in college. Know what absolutely fucking amazes me? All those years of playing music, coming from the Peace & Love generation, and staying single til I was 35…If it moved, I poked it. And not once…let me repeat…not once did I ever get the slightest hint of a sexually transmitted disease. Of course, I had to have my tongue bobbed. Women are so demanding. Can you remember that one girl who really didn’t give too much attention to hygiene down there and the wafting aroma hit you like a sledgehammer? And then the excuses start flying out of your mouth as to why you won’t do the nasty. I liked to use the excuse that Jews were not allowed to perform cunnilingus…worked every time. I didn’t care…after that, I never saw the woman again.

The blend is beginning to warm up nicely now. I’m getting serious hints of complexity. The cigar is expanding its horizons now with 1-1/2” burned. A slow start.

Aged tobacco is always a treat on the right cigar. I am enjoying that feature more so than worrying about various distinct flavors. The tobacco is doing the job and that’s all I need.

So, there is Cuban tobacco in this blend. I have no idea how much Camacho inserted into the filler. It could be several strands or just a whisper of a single thread. Who knows?
It is so much richer now. I’m going to bet a buck that this will be the dominant theme throughout the cigar’s last moments on the earth.

SECOND THIRD:
Move over, Rover. Let Jimi take your hand.
Strength is a solid medium. I believe age has mellowed the stick enormously, which might explain the lack of bold flavors.

Yet, I am truly enjoying the experience because this is a true unicorn. And harkens back to the day when we all took it for granted that Eiroa would always helm Camacho.

Sip of water time…just the tobacco…no ancillary burst of other flavors.
Despite that, it feels like I’m very much smoking a grown up’s cigar. There is an unmistakable substantial depth to the blend.

I’m betting this is nothing like the cigar I reviewed in 2014. I want to sneak a look at my review, but I use all my faculties to hold the line.
The cigar is making incremental improvements to its overall performance the deeper I get into the stick.
It is also getting stronger.

“Suzie Q.” I remember playing in a band where the leader inserted this into another song in the middle. Except the guitarist only knew the first few licks and after that was a water fall of clams. I always had to turn away towards the drummer, so no one saw me laughing. Of course, no one in the audience seemed to notice.

I’ve not reached the end of the first half and it’s been over an hour. But since the cigar tapers off into a descending ring gauge where I am now, it should speed up.

Medium/full on its way to probably kicking my arse.

And then flavors erupt. Creaminess, malt, cocoa, espresso, dried fruit, molasses, cedar, graham cracker, cloves, and citrus. It’s alive, I tell you, it’s alive!

I want to live to be 90. I began a diet two weeks ago. It’s called The Laker’s Diet. The doc that spent 6 years as nutritionist to the Lakers came up with it. It’s pretty strict. No seed oils, no sugar, no flour, no carbs, and very small portions 4-5 times per day. I’ve lost 10lbs. I can only control what I can control. And what I put into my body, I can control. If something terrible happens, well then so be it…but I’m doing what I can to take care of myself so I see my grandsons graduate high school….and then I can drop dead.

The balance of the blend is more amenable now. Transitions finally begin. The finish is limited to spice and cloves.

This is nothing like the original release. It has morphed into something different; good, but different. It just proves that the Eiroas knew what they were doing. Imagine what a new Camacho will taste like in 13 years…oy gevalt.

LAST THIRD:
The cigar kept the best for last. The blend has really blossomed and pulled its resources together. It is extremely well rounded. A wonderful balance. Nuances and subtleties really are in sync. The complexity reaches an apex. And the nicotine is giving me an aneurysm.

Full strength and climbing.

Starting tomorrow, I’m working 5 days in a row. All day shifts except for Sunday. I will spit a review out on that day, but I won’t be back til the 10th.

I wish the cigar had started with the composition I am enjoying now. It is top notch and mouthwatering.

“Outside Woman Blues” by Cream. They never play this on terrestrial radio. Great tune.

Creaminess steps up and does the Bo Jangle. The cigar is now strutting its stuff. Everything is coming together. Pure cohesiveness. Drat. This would have been a different review if it happened much earlier.

The construction has been immaculate. Not a single burn issue.
The new Camachos aren’t built like this brick shit house.

The cloves have maintained their presence throughout. This is a first for me. And I do not like the taste of cloves. But this is a mild presence. I remember going to friends’ homes for dinner and when I saw a giant ham festooned with cloves, I fainted.

I like the taste of pig snouts…but then I gave up bologna decades ago. As a treat for lunch when I was young, my mother would fry up some for a sandwich. I loved those. I probably would have exceeded my 6’ height if I hadn’t eaten them. Yes, smoking and fried boloney sandwiches will stunt your growth. Google it. Between my skydiving accident and my age, I’m now only 5’10. If I do live to be 90, I will be a Hobbit.

I know that, basically, reviewing a unicorn is a waste of your time. But I enjoy using Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine. And I have a dear friend who keeps feeding me the unicorns. I have more…that was a warning.

This has been a delightful treat. I’m very grateful I was able to smoke this cigar. And bore you to tears with my thoughts.

The nicotine is diminishing a bit. It does really blur my vision. I know…what a wuss. But at my age, I am so glad I’ve never smoked a cigarette.
I’ve honed the cigar down to ¾”. Time to publish this tome.

RATING: 93

And now for something completely different:

I told you about my oldest friend, Skip. And how we went to Europe together in the 70’s. I have another tale of friendship and music.

I was a child of the folk music era of the early/mid 60’s. I picked up the 5-string banjo. Skip picked up the guitar and we taught ourselves how to play. We loved music. Mostly, rock and roll. So, we were in the right place, at the right time, for the period of peace, love and understanding.

There was a great venue for musical concerts in Anaheim. It was called Melodyland. It was a theater in the round. Skip and I always bought front row center seats for around $3.50 each.

And we saw everyone. Our first concert, after I got my driver’s license at 16, was Buffalo Springfield. I had never heard a band play so loudly and I was hooked. Melodyland always had a full evening’s entertainment. No band played longer than 30-45 minutes so there were always 5-10 bands to watch.

Buffalo Springfield had just scored a top 10 hit with their “Clancy..” song. And there we were watching these soon to be icons of the music world.

One night, we saw the greatest concert of all. The Mamas and Papas opened and played for a full hour. We were delirious. And after that, Simon and Garfunkel came on and did 90 minutes. Just the two of them and Simon’s guitar. No backing band. We sat there rapt in wonder.

At 16, The Byrds played at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach. It was a small dive that seated about 150 people and getting tickets was impossible. So, I called the place and pretended to be a reporter from the Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper. Their manager bought into it and my friend, Elliot, and I took a tape recorder and camera and we spent the whole evening backstage.

We literally hung out with the band in their dressing room the whole night while they played three sets. I wrote an article and submitted it to Tiger Beat magazine, but it was rejected. Full of red marks correcting me. It was like fucking English class. I still have the reel from the interview we did with Jim McGuinn.

And then the craziest of all: Jimi. The place was half full. It was before Woodstock. We watched as this guy, who had been living in London and killing them over there; had come back to America to play shit hole gigs.

The volume was so loud that a rep from the theater actually walked up to Jimi while he was playing a solo and used his hands to show that the volume had to come down. We laughed hysterically. And since we were only 10 feet away from him, Jimi saw us laugh and he looked at us and smiled.
So what did Jimi do? He turned up, of course.

Things were very informal in those days. Especially at a small venue like Melodyland. Skip and I always hung out and talked to the bands afterwards. They were all gracious and kind to us. They never shooed us away.

We endeavored to talk to Jimi, but we realized he was really high. Didn’t know on what. But he was out there. Maybe he wasn’t high. Maybe he was just being Jimi.

When I was 19, I got tickets to see the Doors at the L.A. Forum. I was shocked at seeing the stage. This place was huge. But the stage was completely set up like a fortress of Marshall amplifiers. At least 15-20 feet tall. And they stretched across the stage not allowing one inch for anything else. If I had to guess, I would say there were 50 amps up there.

Now this was surreal. The Doors’ opening act was Jerry Lee Lewis. Everyone loved this guy but who thought this would be a good opener? And to make things worse, Lewis was going through his country phase. So, all the musicians in his 8-piece band wore the exact same three piece suits. And Lewis wore a different colored three-piece suit.

After about three songs, the audience started to boo. Lewis must not have heard them. He did a torturous 45-minute set. And when he came to the last song, he approached the mike and asked the audience, “You wanna’ hear more?”
And in unison, 20,000 people yelled, “NO!!!!!”

Lewis was in shock. And then told the audience to go to hell and stomped off the stage to thunderous applause.

Morrison was a known drunk. He held a bottle of Southern Comfort the whole time and about 15 minutes into the music, he grabbed an empty box and puked into it. In one hand he held the liquor and the other, the box. So, for the entire set, he was either drinking or puking. He got booed as well. It was disgusting, especially when he missed the box.

Not long after that, Led Zeppelin came to the Forum. I saw them play every single time they hit L.A. Right up until the death of Bonham. I must have seen them play 4-5 times. My new girlfriend had never gone to a real concert before and when Bonham started sledge hammering the drums for the start of the song “Rock and Roll,” my girlfriend lifted out of her seat like a helium balloon and never sat back down for the entire concert. She was mesmerized. I got laid that night. If you never saw the original Zep, well…that’s a real shame because it was like watching the thunder of the gods.

Who else did I see in L.A.? I saw The Who. With drummer, Keith Moon. I saw Cream. My first bass was a Hofner like McCartney. But watching Jack Bruce play his Gibson made me change axes. I bought a brand-new Gibson EBO and juiced it up with fancy electronics. In fact, I used that bass on the Curved Air Live album. It was after that that the band convinced me to switch to a Fender P.

My bass playing style completely changed as I mimicked the improv style of Jack Bruce. I got really good which held me in good stead when I auditioned for Curved Air. But the great jazz fusion bassist, Stanley Clarke, also had a huge influence on me and the combo of the two made me a special player over in England.

I know I am missing a shit load of bands that I saw as a young man but it was so long ago and I’m so decrepit, it is hard to remember them all.
But it was quite an era.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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10 replies

  1. Thank you for another enjoyable review. I find I have a long list of sticks to try because of your solid work here, and your candor is awesome. I particularly appreciate that you are about the only reviewer who mentions nicotine. I like to stay on the lower side of that consumption, so your comments are particularly helpful. If you ever want another project, I’d certainly enjoy seeing a list of your favorite pics for sticks with lower nictotine content. Thanks again, Jim

    • Thank you Jim…such nice, but undeserved…this is me being humble.
      No one writes like me. They are all afraid. God forbid they ruffle the feathers of their advertisers…plus I’m the only reviewer in the top 10 cigar web sites who isn’t deeply entrenched in the cigar industry. This started out as just fun for me 10 years ago.
      I imagine it pisses the top 30 cigar web sites that I am #7. Surprised the shit out of me too.
      But those fuckers all read me. Everyone reads me. They just won’t admit it. Don’t want to give me the satisfaction of thinking I count.
      I’m just plain a weird anomaly or oddity in the world of cigars. I was told the first 5 years, I’d be destroyed by my betters. Most of them are gone now. Like a cockroach or a Twinkie, I’m still here.
      You do know I am an elderly gentleman? You want me to go through thousands of reviews to see which ones have potent nicotine and which ones don’t? You are bloody mad! I don’t ever read my reviews after I’ve published them. And the Prevagen ain’t working.
      Good rule is that if a cigar is shown as medium/full or full strength in my leaf stat breakdowns, you can be sure they have no shortage of nicotine. Only the medium strength and mild strength cigars, as a whole, have little nicotine effect.
      Any more info than that and I will have my people contact your people to work out a contract to hire me as a consultant. But then I’m very lazy so that won’t work.
      Best regards, Jim,
      Phil

  2. Actually, I’m working my way through your past reviews (List of Great Cigars) and taking notes. Not systematically, but it is fun, and I’m working on an awesome list of “must try” smokes thanks to you. I’m letting some Southern Draw Lustrums sit in my humidor for a few months now because of your review. Anyway, glad you are recovered and back at it.

    • Thanks Jim,
      You know I haven’t updated my lists of best cigars for a year.
      I should apply myself. I also want to be rich and good looking.
      I’m smoking a 2017 Davidoff Limited Art Edition a reader sent me. $40.
      It is kicking my arse from here to next Tuesday. It is a nicotine bomb. And I still half to go.
      I think I shall snort some crushed cat kibble to mellow out.
      Good luck on your hunt,
      Phil

  3. OK…you left a couple things out. As we’ve talked about so many times, you ‘n I have frequented places in Long Beach where we both grew up, and other places in So. Cal.

    The Doors concert at the Forum. I was there that night too. Jerry Lee — maybe we were in seats with a different angle than yours, but he DEFINITELY knew he was being booed — but he persevered. After he was done and asked if we wanted to hear more, and we all booed and yelled NO!, he didn’t only tell us to go to hell. He had quite a rant, and if you think back you may remember that before he stated on his rant, he got up onto and stood on top of his piano to then issue his angry rant. Man was he PISSED!

    Now for Morrison. Remember there was a long catwalk (as compared to a Katman). The lights went out. Everything was black. Then slowly a single spot appears on Morrison, sitting on that catwalk with his legs crossed…just staring up at the audience. It was what seemed like forever before there was ANY noise whatsoever. As he just sat there looking up at us, we were all thinking, “Woah man. Far out. Cool. Dude!” But then after what seemed like an eternity, we all started excitedly stomping our feet, and then chanting. Then he did it! He looked up at all of us and shouted, “Shut Up!” We were shocked. Dead silence. We hoped that was going to lead into something “far out”. But it didn’t. THAT is when the booing started at Morrison.

    And the Doors music…TOTALLY sucked. I was a big Doors fan — but not after that incident. Still pisses me off to this day.

    I wonder what other concerts we both attended.

  4. Another great review! As a new smoker I learn so much. Also thank you for turning me onto the PerfecDraw. I’ve saved so many plugged cigars and had a much more enjoyable smoking experience with this amazing tool. Keep up the great work.

    • Thank you, Christine…
      I apologize upfront for my distasteful and inappropriate comments. Most women think I’m a pig…but I’m not. More of a ferret.
      I”m happy that you are able to glean some useful info from my rants.
      The PerfecDraw is a lifesaver. So is the PerfecRepair Glue. I show it to customers at the cigar lounge I work at and they all want one.
      All the best,
      Piglet Phil

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