For the past three years, Camacho has released a rare, "Factory Unleashed" blend to "...honor the finest craftsmen that fuel where bold is born."
Every year the blend is different, yet every annual offering bears certain similarities to each cigar that came before.
Each blend is offered with an unfinished "shaggy" foot and is only rolled in a toro-sized vitola. The banding is also damn near identical every year, with subsequent releases being branded with a bold red digit on the band but little more.
Packaging and release counts have been equally similar, with online stores receiving paper-packaged 10-count packs, and storefronts getting 100-count crates. All told, only 125,000 of these sticks are released every year, so it is pretty limited to begin with.
Forever in search of snagging something special, we recently scored a few packs of the original Camacho "Factory Unleashed 1" from 2021 and added them to the Klaro website. Bold and bursting with flavor, this vintage corojo blend is a rarity that fans of that Camacho attitude are sure to appreciate.
Look beyond the shaggy foot, and bold black and white branding, and you'll see one hell of an oily Ecuadorian corojo wrapper. It smells a bit barnyard-based, with twinges of tangy lemon pepper and hay along the way.
The foot is all vanilla and raisin aromatics though, and very dark smelling.
Construction is fair, with all of the cigars smoked showing some flat spots and soft points in places.
Intense, and definitely dark in flavor, the shaggy foot folds one flavor after another into the first five minutes or so. Earthy, chewy, sweet, tannin-backed, and leathery to a fault, this "fully exposed" teaser of what is to come offers more intrigue than style points.
Ecuadorian "cloud-grown" corojo wrapper is brought into the mix, and the cigar starts to form this tangy, lemon peel and peppery taste. That creamy, toasted nut flavor is still present though, and so is all of the leathery, earthen tastes from before, which jockeys for the spotlight within the cigar flavor profile.
Recognizable corojo spice tastes and intensity are mellow and metered. Perhaps due to being "cloud-grown," or maybe because an additional two years of age have been placed upon them since they were unleashed upon the public's palates.
Either way, it's a medium-bodied, medium-strength first half for sure, with medium-full flavors fighting for your attention at every turn.
As the corojo wrapper kicks in, and the flavors (and strength) of the cigar climax at the 66.6% yard line, a single thought hits me: Grilled jalapeño poppers.
Tangy cream cheese spiked with lime or lemon juice and black pepper. Sweet, brown sugar-based BBQ sauce. Spicy and bright jalapeño flavors. And that signature, smoky bacon-wrapped salty and meaty umami finish.
Awwww hell yeah...
Like the other sticks that I smoked, the last portion of this blend tasted a bit bizarre to me. There was a moment there, where the citrus zest taste had melded into a minty, lemon verbena note. It was bright, herbal, and very enjoyable.
But as this flavor lingered, and the taste of the tobacco blend turned progressively darker and charred, it developed this medicinal taste. This was true in all of the samples that I smoked and made for a very strange final stage of the cigar.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Oh, how I loved the draw and smoke these cigars produced. The ash wasn't half-bad either, and not once did I detect a lot of heat during combustion.
But while the construction and burn on one of the samples wasn't ideal but still acceptable, the other was a bit of a burden. Five touch-ups all told, and an increasingly flakey ash all the way to the finish were noted.
Still, even with the annoyance of having to torch the cigar every fifteen minutes or so, the blend tasted pretty damn delish.
I really loved the first third to half of the cigar and liked most of what I tasted from there all the way up until parting puffs. The shaggy foot is unrefined and fun and makes for a uniquely earthy start to the stick.
Corojo tastes were tempered and tasty, with splashes of heat here and there being blended with that refreshing citrusy note that becomes herbal toward the final third.
It isn't a very stinky cigar either, despite the barrel smelling a bit farmhouse funky. So don't let unlit impressions deceive you in that regard.
There are just enough familiar corojo tobacco-tasting notes here to keep fans of this type of leaf pleased. But it's not very traditional in a sense either. Especially with a bit of age on the blend and the wrapper being from Ecuador. Perhaps I should smoke another...
Camacho "Factory Unleashed 1" (2021)
Honduras, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
6" x 50 "Toro"