Simon Camacho created the Camacho cigar in Miami in 1961 after fleeing Cuba. Small production and great quality soon made the brand a favorite among cigar lovers world wide including Winston Churchill. Upon his death, the Eiroa family acquired the brand in 1995. Over the next fifteen years, the brand has catapulted into one of the most popular brands of our time.
During the late 90’s as taste still tended to favor milder smoother cigars, the Camacho cigars were full-bodied rich Honduran masterpieces, developed and marketed as cigar smokers’ cigars. I recall a conversation I had with the company’s president, Christian Eiroa during a visit to their home just outside of Danli, Honduras back in 2004. He said, “To me, our cigars don’t taste like leather or meat or spice like some of the reviews say. To me our cigars taste like tobacco; great rich wonderful tobacco.” It was a simple genuine statement, one that has always stayed with me. The philosophy has always been clear- to make great cigars that are true to the heritage of the brand, the honor of their family and the land from where the tobacco is grown. If the smoker experiences subtle nuances of black pepper or roasted nuts, that’s a bonus- but for Camacho, the dominant experience should be very simple; excellent tobacco.
In 2002 the Camacho brand offered its first limited edition; the Liberty Collection. Every year since the Liberty has been a one time limited release- one size one blend- using the best tobaccos available to create a one time experience, never to be repeated. Just as a particular wine’s vintage runs its course- so too do the annual limited runs of Camacho Liberty. Over the years some have been milder, others stronger; some with more unique shapes, others with double wrappers creating a “barber-pole” like effect. But this year’s Camacho Liberty epitomizes the Camacho experience. Straight forward, rich, complex fabulous tasting tobacco.
The shape of the cigar is one unique to Camacho. The 11/18 is a format that debuted in the Camacho “Diploma” line. It is a reference to the birthday of Christian’s mother. A “figurado” (shaped cigar), it is more like a “perfecto” than any other shape, but rather resembles a snake that has just swallowed a rat, instead of a classic zepelin-like perfecto. It is the fullest bodied Liberty edition of late and is composed of a blend of Honduran and Dominican filler tobaccos, a Honduran binder and Honduran wrapper. Each stunning cigar is packed in individual coffins (each numbered) in boxes of 20 cigars for $16.60 per stick and are available for a limited time at premium tobacconists. Take my advice and stock up. Not only do these cigars sell out quickly, but they are always sought after by collectors long after they’ve been released.