Cigar Geeks Geek Critique
Cigar Geeks Rating
Welcome to a Geek Critique of a cigar generously provided to us by David at https://www.egars.com/" target="_blank">egars.com. This year marks 19 years of Camacho Liberty, a series that is one of the most highly-anticipated annual releases for collectors and aficionados of bold, full-frontal cigars. Launched ahead of the July 4th holiday to celebrate and honor the birth and history of the United States, this special series is like no other. The blend in this series has been comprised from tobaccos of a variety of regions and vintages, making it a knockout cigar for Camacho. The 2021 Liberty Series blend captures the strength and character of four distinct regions. Our blenders have harnessed these daring qualities into the classic Churchill format. It's bold and explosive, yet also balanced in its depth. Only 1,500 boxes available nationally. Special thanks goes out to David at https://www.egars.com/" target="_blank">egars.com for providing the cigars and to Wescat (Kevin) for coordinating this!
|This cigar was enjoyed with Topo Chico Lime|
Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible
The wrapper has a nice appearance, but appears less oily than previous runs of the Liberty series. The cello may be adding to this effect.
One overly prominent, and ugly, vein runs down the wrapper. Pre-light smell is heavy hay and has a light cocoa taste on cold draw.
Lighting and Burn: 9 Points of 15 Possible
The burn started off a little wavy, and canoed in the second third. It was able to be corrected, but it remained a more wavy smoke throughout than I was used to for a Liberty.
The ash fell off early in first two thirds. These aren't typical issues I've had with my Liberties, so this is a bit of a let down. By the final third this issue seems to have gone way.
Smoke production was good for the duration of the smoke.
Construction: 28 Points of 30 Possible
I tend to expect great things from Liberty construction, and this was no exception. The cap took a v-cut well, no tearing at all.
The draw remained stable throughout despite the ash issues and wavy burn line. Despite repeated need to touch this up in the second third of the smoke it never ran too hot or sped up too much. Ultimately that proves to be one of the most important things about construction, notwithstanding the burn notes that I deducted for above.
The 2021 sports a much more traditional 7x48 construction, compared to the more common 48/54/48 that Liberties have used almost every year since their inception. It gives me the opportunity to say that it makes the band fit better, although I preferred the old style branding of the Liberties separate from the new modern Camacho version. Regardless, the 2021 construction in the Churchill vitola works well.
Flavor and Aroma: 37 Points of 45 Possible
First Third: This kicks off with a pepper kick and some oaky cedar flavors. I note a subtle hint of dark chocolate and leather, but it seems a overwhelmed by the pepper. The pepper is fairly dominant here that it knocks almost all flavors to the side.
Second Third: More leather and cocoa flavor come into the smoke now. The pepper remains, it's stronger than expected but not overwhelming the flavors as it did in the first third. It starts meld into a peppery nutmeg/cinnamon flavor that is quite nice with that undertone of dark chocolate.
Final Third: The flavor smooths out a little bit, and the pepper flavor comes back into the dominant forefront, but not as aggressive as the first third. A little leather undertone, and this final third is the smoothest portion of the smoke, though not as flavorful as the middle third.
Overall, I didn't get any of the hay that I smelled pre-light, but did get a good amount of the cocoa from cold draw. Usually I enjoy the kick of the pepper but the first third of this really pushed everything else aside. It settled down in the second and final third for a nice smoke overall.
The Camacho Liberty 2021 was a bit of a disappointment given the high bar I have for the Liberty series. But that might also just be about resetting expectations about what the Liberties are going forward. The construction issues and almost overwhelming pepper at the start - even when I was expecting a good amount of pepper - created a smoke that was good, but not great. I'm glad to have more to check out and hope the burn issue was just a one-off. There's not a lot of them so definitely worth picking up a few.