Camacho’s Ecuador has been touted all over the place within the cigar community as of late and I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a few. The new design, new blends, and word of mouth had me seeking these out.
The Good Stuff: As most of you know by now Camacho Cigars decided to completely revamp their portfolio last years consolidating their portfolio, reblending their core lines, and completely revamping their marketing and design. The Ecuador is the seventh release in their core line and probably the most talked about out of the bunch. The Camacho Ecuador gets its name from the obvious, the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper the cigar is embraced in and fits perfectly within their new campaign which simply entails “The Bold Standard”. The Camacho Ecuador comes packaged in 20 count boxes and in 5 different sizes: the Robusto (5 x 50), the Toro (6 x 50), Gordo (6 x 60), Churchill (7 x 48), and Figurado (6 1/8 x 54 x 42). I picked up a handful of these from Cigarhuslter.com. Thanks goes out to them for the top-notch service.
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Corojo, Criollo Ligero, Pelo de Oro from Honduran and Dominican Republic
Pairing: 21st Amendment Lower DeBoom (11.5% Barleywine)
Prelight: The Camacho Ecuador sports a crazy shiny, oily wrapper. Seriously it looks like someone waxed this thing. I can practically see my reflection off the tobacco leaf. Along with the gleam the wrapper is a medium to dark brown with lots of darker areas around the medium sized veins and the natural webbing in the tobacco. The wrapper feels really fragile and thin as it leads up to a round triple cap. This may actually be a double cap as one of the cigars I have on hand looks to carry a double cap while this one has a triple. Not too sure, but either way the caps are flawless. The Camacho Ecuador is packed incredibly tight with tobacco making it as hard as a rock all over. This is fine with me as long as it doesn’t plug up the draw. The Ecuador is polished off with the new Camacho band design which I absolutely love. Each blend has a different color, the Ecuador’s is a bright, turquoise. The band has the Camacho brand printed largely across it with the statement “Infamous since 1962” and “Ecuador” with the brands scorpion mascot as well.
The wrapper on the cigar gives off a really musky, leathery aroma while the foot of the cigar carries nothing more than natural tobacco with a bit of dirty earthiness. The cap was surprisingly easy to clip using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw produced a lot of the musk I was picking up along with a really grainy, natural, doughy mix of flavors.
First Smoke: Right off the bat I was greeting with a big pepper rush that I wasn’t expecting at all which quickly faded away after the first few draws. The Camacho Ecuador then presented me with some bold musk, leather, spice, raisin and hints of clove and sweetness. The body is full right away and it will be interesting to see how it keeps up later in the experience. The draw on this beast is perfect kicking out a whole mess of thick smoke with every little puff. The burnline is razor thin and dead solid leaving behind a tightly compacted medium and light gray ash which held on for and inch before tumbling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: Into the second third of the Camacho Ecuador the flavors began to subside a bit as they all started to mix in with one another. It makes for a creamy experience but the body became just a bit muted here for a while. But as I continued into the second third the flavors began to ramp right back up leading off with lots of musk and tons of woodsy flavors backed by the raisin and leather with bits of espresso and spice. The retrohale showcases large amounts of wood flavors with some nice, subtle spice. I found it incredibly easy to retrohale this cigar .The draw is still perfect, some very sight waves have formed in the burnline (which don’t bother me one bit), and I am actually feeling some slight nicotine as I close out the second third.
Finish: The Final third of this Camacho Ecuador is finishing just as bold as it started although the flavors have switched up quite a bit. Now the cigar is leading with some REALLY strong spice, lots of clove with musk and espresso backing along with some slight fruit and sweetness. I love the changeups, the boldness, and the complexity this cigar offers. It’s taken me about an hour and a half to take it down to the nub and never once had to reach for my torch as it’s burned solid the entire time. I do feel a bit of a nicotine kick, but it’s not real bad. The last inch carried no harshness, a bit of heat, and a whole lot of spice with little hints of the pepper I picked up in the first third.
Overview: What can I say about this cigar other than it rocked. First of all, I am a huge fan of what Camacho has done with their branding. The old branding was just a bit too flashy in my opinion and now they are letting the cigars speak for themselves. The Ecuador is complex, bold, smooth, and incredibly affordable. What else can you ask for? A box maybe? That’s where I’m going. This cigar fits perfectly in anyone’s rotation whether you are a seasoned smoker who enjoys complexity or a novice looking to break into premium cigars without breaking the bank. This is by far a box worthy cigar and knowing Camacho, they will be pretty easy to come by. On a side note, I have smoked a few of the other Camacho reblends and have enjoyed them a lot. That being said, the Ecuador has to be my favorite core line Camacho cigar that I have smoked in a really long time. Don’t be surprised if it’s a contender in this year’s top 10 list not only on our site, but many others.
Pairing: A cigar with as much flavor and body as the Camacho Ecuador needs a beer that can hold it’s own and 21st Amendment’s Lower DeBoom handled itself quite nicely. Lower DeBoom is a flavor powerhouse of a Barleywine Brewed in California coming in at a whopping 11.5% ABV. I can’t get this brew in Texas but was able to score it in a beer trade with my buddy Patrick. Big thanks goes out to him for the hookup. Lower DeBoom starts out with some really strong citrus and spice which transforms into a bold fruitiness before finishing off with some lingering spice and malt. The spice, fruit, and malt paired up perfectly with the spice, fruits, and natural flavors in the Camacho Ecuador. A word to the wise though as Lower DeBoom, and most other barleywines for that matter are almost always too strong in body and will easily overpower almost any cigar unless they are maxed-out in the body category like this Camacho Ecuador was.