Camacho Liberty 2012
Now that we have a new writer I gotta make sure I set a good unslacker-like example. This week, I decided to take a look at Camacho’s Liberty 2012.
The Good Stuff: Camacho releases it’s “Liberty” blend year after year since 2002 to celebrate their new found freedom in the United States. I myself, have only had the pleasure of enjoying years 2005-2012 with the exception of the 2006. Every release is an entirely different blend. Here is a description of the 2012 from the Camacho Website:
“Our annual Liberty Series is the crown jewel of the Camacho portfolio and developed using the best concept blend of the year. This year’s offering is quite a unique one. In the past, the Liberty has been comprised of tobaccos from a variety of different origins, as well as vintages. The 2012 blend uses four priming’s solely from our authentic Corojo crop of 2008, all grown on the same lot, specifically for this project.”
All of the Liberty blends that have been released in my time sport the same 11/18 format that these cigars are famous for. The 11/18 name comes from the day November 18h which symbolizes Christian Eiroa’s mother’s birthday. The format is basically a perfecto that starts with a 48 ring gauged foot, blows into a 54, then back to a 48 with a nice, round cap. I got these cigars over at TrueTobacco.com. Great Mail-Order site with a ton of different sticks. Check them out by clicking their ad to the right. You can find them from True Tobacco by the box, 5-pack, or single. They come in boxes of 20 and run $16 a stick. Only 2,000 boxes were released for a total of 40,000 cigars.
Size: 6 x 48/54/48
Pairing: New Belgium Lips of Faith Biere De Garde (9% ABV)
Prelight: The first thing you notice about any cigar in the Camacho Liberty series is the packaging. Year after year Camacho pumps out these beautiful, elegant coffin boxes. Every year the design and color is different. The 2012 Camacho Liberty sports a glamorously shiny, deep red paint. Both the band, and foot band on the cigar match the red deign on the boxes as well as the standard black, white, and gold Camacho crest. Gotta love all the detail they put into the packaging of these releases. The cigar starts off with this amazingly consistent. Milky brown wrapper. The wrapper feels really delicate to the touch and carries only a few extremely seamless and minor veins. The 2012 Liberty also carries the infamous 11/18 perfecto format.
I’m assuming that it’s not just each of the blends, but the cedar coffin boxes that make these cigars smell so potently of straight up cedar. Seriously, I can’t think of a better smeller, stronger cedar scented cigar than each of these releases. I picked up a few subtle spices as well, but that cedar just overpowers everything in the scent department. The cap cut very clean and easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. As expected the cold draw released lots of cedar flavors as well as some really nice grain and oats (almost like wheat bread) and some subtle spice.
First Smoke: The Camacho Liberty 2012 starts off with a nice bit of black pepper masked by strong cedar, citrus, oaty, woodsy flavors. It might be the beer but I have this crazy pickle taste on my lips. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s the beer. Anyhow, the draw on this cigar is magnificent and one of the many reasons why I love this format. Each little puff kicks out massive, thick clouds of smoke. The more I draw the strong the black pepper grows on the tip of my tongue. Another reason why I really enjoy this format is how comfortable it sits in my hands. It’s not too out of balance that it falls out, but the weight and the location in which the cedar begins to taper are perfect. The burnline on this cigar is razor sharp with a few waves, but nothing concerning yet. The ash left behind is a medium to dark grey. While it’s tightly compacted there is an area around the very tip of the ash which fell off right away while the remainder of that ash held on for about an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: The cedar and spice have really came out into the second third of this Camacho Liberty 2012. The cedar was already up front, but now it’s mixed with the spice to create this absolutely wonderful taste. Along with that, there was a really nice, sweet raisin flavor introduced while some of the oaty flavors began to drop off. The burnline has completely corrected itself and is now burning perfectly even and razor sharp without any help from my lighter. The retrohale on these Liberties are always amazing as they coat your nasal passage with some of the smoothest, and strongest cedar from any cigar I have ever smoked. I am not feeling anything at all in the nicotine department as I close out the second third.
Finish: The final third of this Camacho Liberty 2012 is finishing much creamier and smoother than I imagined it would. The cedar is still the main contender in the flavor department, but it’s really taken a step back along with the spice while the sweetness remained making for a very smooth finish. I am still retrohaling the hell out of this cigar. Love it. All in all it took me about an hour and a half to take this whole cigar down. It burns much slower once you get to the “hump”. The burn line suffered a few waves after that hump, but I didn’t have to relight or touch-up at all. I am only feeling a tiny bit of nicotine and I encountered no harshness nor any heat into the final inch of this cigar.
Overview: I look forward to the release of the Liberty 2012 every year and I have to say, this was one of the best releases yet. I still think the 2009 and 2005 are tops in my book with the 2012 just behind them. This cigar had more body and even a tad more strength then the other annual releases that I have had in the series. The cedar is always the main flavor but it was much more tame and the backing flavors were strong enough to keep my palate entertained without getting burned out form the cedar. I am still a strong believer that the price tag on these cigars are justified. These are the perfect cigar to have around to celebrate items like New Years, Forth of July, or your freedom in general. Pick a few up, enjoy them. I always do.
Pairing: This wonderful cigar was paired up with an equally wonderful beer. New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Biere de Garde. Instead of typing it all out here is a run down from the New Belgium website of the 9% brew:
“New Belgium, and Michigan’s own, Brewery Vivant, each stuck a hand in the mitten for this wonderful collaboration. A bright Biere de Garde with a pale copper sheen, this beer is brewed with pale malt, and some oats for creaminess. Hopped with Sorachi Ace to reinforce the citrus bite from the bergamot addition, the Brewery Vivant Collaboration is refreshing, and strong. A hint of clove from Vivant’s house yeast brings a spice bite to the extra dry finish. Enjoy with friends.”
There you have it. This beer starts off with some nice bitterness right off the bit witch quickly fades into a sharp citrus, finishing with a very smooth malty hoppyness. I’m not big on all the hoppy flavors that have been surfacing in a lot more of New Belgium’s beer but I am happy to report that the Hoppyness in this particular brew was welcomed and subtle enough not to take over the citrus or malt in the flavor profile. Sometimes I pair with a experience that will help compliment the cigar with a similar flavor profile, but other times as in this case, I will pair the two with flavors that don’t necessarily match up in hopes to fill voids in the experience. This isn’t an easy task and I screw up more times than I’d like to admit, but it worked very well in this case. The one thing that was missing from the Liberty was the citrus and this beer filled that gap perfectly while complimenting the malty/oaty and spice flavors.