Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Camacho 1962 (Sampler Pack)
1. 7.0 x 48 (churchill)
2. 6.0 x 43 (corona)
3. 4.5 x 50 (perfecto)
4. 5.0 x 50 (robusto)
5. 6.0 x 54 (torpedo)

Wrapper: Criollo
Tobacco: Honduran (cuban seed)
Price: $5-$6.0

I read somewhere the Camacho 1962 was unveiled at the Retail Tobacco Dealers Association annual conference in 2006 and was expected to be a big hit. B&Ms sold most of them at or above their $6 MSRP. When I saw a sampler listed on CigarsInternational six months ago, containing four of each vitola, for less than $40 shipped, I imagined the spiciness of a CAO Criollo, paired with the rich "cuban dirt flavor" of the Camacho CI Legends and the potency of the Camacho Coroylar Puro. I aged these cigars all winter, deciding to wait until the first day of Spring to test them out.

Boy, was I disappointed. At least a third of these cigars had significant construction problems--usually, the tobacco was rolled loose which caused a very hot draw and lots of annoying canoes. Not a single cigar in the whole sampler was able to hold an ash past a quarter inch; in the past month, I've dropped more ash in my lap than in the ashtray with these cigars, especially from the perfectos.

Even the cigars that weren't plagued with shoddy craftsmanship did not taste very good. They did have that distinctive Camacho flavor that isn't found in any other brand, but they lacked any sophistication or richness at all. They were no where near the quality of the SLR or CI Legends. In fact, the tobacco in the 1962 tasted cheap. There were a few exceptions---namely the first torpedo and the last two robustos had a nice spice profile and I caught something similar to the grassy, oily taste I miss from my beloved, now-defunct Peterson cigars.

I smoked them with scotch, with beer, with water... anything to find some way to pair them to bring out any hidden qualities... But all in all, I'm sorry to say these cigars were an almost complete waste of time and money.

Postcript April 2009: I aged my last churchill 16 months, hoping the extra humi time would improve these dog rockets. That last cigar didn't have any construction problems, and the flavors were a little more prominent. But it wasn't any better, the cigar had a bitter aftertaste like rotten brussell sprouts.

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