A place in El Paraiso, Honduras

Camp Camacho, the heart of where BUILD BOLD is born. Located just outside the city of Danli approximately 60 miles south east of the Capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa.  Camp Camacho was built by Oettinger Davidoff who purchased the Camacho brand and factory from the Eiroa family in 2008. This four-day, three night tour involved everything that has to do with hands-on Camacho Cigars. This was not only an educational trip, but also a collective experience that one can only get by spending time when visiting the tobacco fields (La Finca la Merced), the stunning factory, and of course the cigar tasting session given by Manuel Batista, General Director of Camacho Cigars for Central America in Danli, Honduras. With his knowledge and experience in the tobacco industry Batista has able to oversee and manage the everyday business of the factory.

This new facility is divided into two areas that include the guest house, and the Camacho production factory. Both facilities are adjacent to each other. The guest house contains 11 rooms along with 13 bathrooms. It delivers all the comforts that a guest house can provide including large picture windows, a very bright open area concept living/dining room, open bar, a large full-service kitchen and an outdoor sitting area where one can enjoy your morning coffee along with a Camacho cigar of your choice.

Exterior of residence and outdoor sitting
Interior of residence

On the first night one will experience a Cigar Tasting Seminar given by no other than Manuel Batista.  One will eventually understand more about the cigars by putting it to the test and following some of the categories such as: External impression before lighting a cigar: one can evaluate the Wrapper/Construction/Color/ and Taste(cold). General impression after kindling: how does it light up, the draw, strength, taste, etc. General impression of smoking: the aftertaste, aroma, flavor notes, etc. Furthermore, one will learn the anatomy of the cigar plant including what leaves are used where in a cigar. Also, you will learn the parts of the cigar as well as the three components of the cigar.

Cigar Tasting Seminar

The most incredible thing a cigar smoker can experience is going to a cigar farm and seeing the farm in action. The trip to La Finca La Merced offered all of that. La Finca La Merced is located in Valle de Jamastan southeast of Honduras, approximately 41 Kilometers from the border of North of Nicaragua. “In the high season La Finca (the farm) usually has 150-160 people working in the fields… La Finca usually grows Criollo 98, Corojo 99, and Corojo (original), and currently working on Honduran Connecticut” explained Manuel Batista. As I walked and looked around La Finca I couldn’t stop thinking, this is where it all starts: THE MAKING OF A CAMACHO CIGAR. The tobacco nursery is where I had a hands-on opportunity to transfer a couple of tobacco baby leaves into their tray to grow strong for 55 days before going to the field.  I got to experience all 81 acres of tobacco field as far as you can see, the tractors, the curing barns and most importantly the hard-working people that made it happen. It was all there!

Nursery and full grown tobacco
Tobacco leave string together for curing process

The next day was a tour of the Camacho Factory. The whole facility area is around 450.000 square feet.  It is divided into three buildings: The Shop, Cafeteria (can hold up to 300 hundred people), and the Main Building  that is divided into many rooms, for example: The warehouse, a fermentation room, a cold room, another large rooms for prep operation such as; separation of the tobacco center vein, receiving and separating the tobacco from boxes coming from the fields, sorting of the leaves, selecting of blends, and among other rooms. There is the second floor where one can find the administration offices, and also bright large room filled with 300 cigars rollers.  It’s fascinating to be in this room to watch a master cigar roller at work. One has to appreciate their devotion, and technique that goes into the making of a cigar. “…In overall the Camacho

factory is a complete cigar operation” …said Patricia the Master Blender for Camacho Cigars who has been working for Camacho for 24 years. I had an opportunity to meet and talk to Patricia during my tour and although she seems very pleasant lady I’m sure she has her work cut out for her. Did I mentioned already that you are giving an opportunity to roll a cigar? Yes, you do!

Cigar stripping machines (removing center vein) Sorting the tobacco/Cigar rollers

During my 4 day tour I had the pleasure of being side by side with Manuel Batista, I also had an opportunity interviewing him for my Cigar Blog as well asking him a few questions during the tour. I asked if Camacho is working on any new project he responded, “Yes, there are future projects, it is in the works, but I cannot reveal it” said Batista. I truly can’t wait to see what Camacho Cigars will come out with next!

Manuel Batista and Myself

In final words, I must say the 4 day tour experience was filled with “Live Loud” and “Build Bold” voyage. I would like to thank the Camp Camacho staff for their awesome hospitality, as well as the Camp Camacho team Manual Batista, Lynn Hawkins, George Rami, and Scott Kolesaire for taking their time in putting the Camp Camacho tour together. You guys are great!

George Rame, Myself and Manuel Batista

“Camp Camacho is a cigar journey like no other. We’ve dialed up every aspect of what Camp Camacho was in the past, focusing on the unique experiences we can bring cigar aficionados and adventure lovers from across the globe. Camp Camacho is an experience that not only grows your appreciation for premium cigars, it is also a platform that forges life-long friendships – once you’ve been to Camp Camacho, you become part of the brotherhood forever. It’s a truly remarkable and exhilarating adventure for anyone that is passionate about cigars,” said Dylan Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Davidoff of Geneva USA in a press released.

I welcome you to visit Camp Camacho website to learn more about their cigars at: https://us.davidoffgeneva.com/camacho

Join the fight to protect your right to enjoy premium cigars, and add your voice to the thousands of other CRA members committed to fighting unfair smoking and unjustified tax increases. Please go to the website, and become a member.

Live Loud!

Hello my Cigar Connoisseurs, I’ll be on the road to Dali, Honduras the rest of the week. I’m invited to go down to visit Camp Camacho “To the heart of where Bold is Born” and see how the Camacho cigars are created. I’m looking forward to visiting the tobacco fields, specially the factory where all those premium cigars are made.

Happy Smoke!

(__[O]______}}} ~~~

Alec Bradley Filthy Hooligan Barber Pole 2019

As a cigar connoisseur I have always enjoyed Alex Bradley’s cigars such as the American, Black Market, Nica Puro, Prensado, etc. However, Alan Rubin the founder of the company has returned once again for his sixth straight year bringing back the Black-Market Filthy Hooligan in which he is only releasing 2000 boxes. This cigar is presented in a green and black box containing 22 cigars.  This is a St. Patrick’s Day annual Limited Edition. Also adding to this collection is the Limited Shamrock Edition. This unique cigar also goes by the name of the barber pole cigar due to the intertwined leaf wraps. The Limited Shamrock Edition is presented in a grey box with a large shamrock on the top of the lid containing 10 cigars.

Alex Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Alex Bradley Filthy Hooligan

Wrapper: Candela (Honduras), Nicaraguan                                                               

Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra                                                                

Filler: Panamanian, Honduran

Size: 6” x 50

Strength: Mild-Medium

Size: Toro

Description of the cigar: The Alex Bradley Filthy Hooligan (AKA) The Barber Pole has noticeably two involvedly wrappers: Candela and Jalapa. It comes with two bands; one band is large green with a smokie border showing a barber pole with the cigar name on top along with a banner running across with the name of Alex Bradley. The second band comes in a smokie color with the words Black Market. Once lit: The beginning starts with some early pepper, and a few minutes into it you will notice some grassy notes showing up due to the Candela wrapper. Following minutes later some coffee, and sweetness will kick in. The cigar draws very well, and my ash still on through. During my final first third, the Candela is burning at this point and grassy notes are showing up.

Image of the Filthy Hooligan (Toro).

Entering into the second third my ash has dropped. By now I’m getting a combination of roast coffee, earthy and grassy notes. I have retrohale a few times during my smoke, and I have been getting a clear mix of some pepper and more grassy notes.

On the last third my cigars still maintaining a consistent smoke. The earthy and grassy notes are still around.  At this point I had to remove my band to make room to finish enjoying my Filthy Hooligan Toro. I managed to smoke it until the last 2” of the stick.

Last third of my cigar.

I invite you to grab one for yourself. I had a lot fun smoking this cigar. For sure I will be having another one come St Patrick’s Day. It’s the cigar for the right occasion. Plus, I’ll be celebrating my mom’s 82nd birthday on the same day. 

I welcome you to go and visit Alec Bradley’s website to learn more about their tobacco history at http://www.alecbradley.com

Fratello Navetta Inverso

Omar de Frias, born in Puerto Rico, and grew up in the Dominican Republic. Most of us know him as the Founder of Fratello Cigars. He comes from a background of working at NASA for 12 years, before going into the premium cigar business in 2013. The Washington Post July 2017 states, “This NASA analyst left a $200.000 job to sell cigars”. According to the article what draw de Frias to the tobacco business was the following, he said: “I like the culture…I have been smoking cigars for 20 years and have been fascinated by the industry…I liked how I would see my grandfather smoking a cigar. It was such a fine thing to do. It seemed classy”. The honesty of de Frias is appealing in his comments, as goes for most of us, the appeal of a beautiful cigar draws us in, and before we know it we wonder what another one would be like. 

Navetta Inverso Corona Gorda

Fratello Navetta Inverso Corona Gorda

Country of Origin : Nicaragua

Wrapper : Nicaragua

Binder : : Dominican Republic & Nicaragua

Length : 5 7/8″

Ring Gauge : 46

Factory : Fabrica de Tabacos Joya de Nicaragua S.A.

Strength : Medium

Navetta Fratello Corona Gorda up close

Description of the cigar: As I look around in my humidor today I decided to select the Fratello Navetta Inverso Corona Gorda. The unique presentation of this cigar it appears to have come from out of space.  The standard Fratello band comes with a silver and black band along with two small symbols of rockets on one side. At the foot of the cigar the same colors appear on an approximate 2” band. The box comes in white with NASA standard fonts, however the most interesting is the interior top of the box; it looks like protective tiles used as a thermal protection system on the actual space shuttle . This cigar is a flawless oily wrapper built to perfection, with small veins; it makes a very beautiful cigar to hold and show off.

Image of the Shuttle protective tiles at interior of box top

Once lit: The cigar starts with an oak, pepper, and earthy notes. I must say that it has a great draw, a nice aroma along with a nice white ash.  As I continue to enjoy my Corona Gorda it opens up to a medium, but nothing stronger. On my retrohale I find some pepper, hint of chocolate and some nutty. Still very consistence smoke. While approaching my second third of my cigar the ash still white and holding on.

Burn of the Navetta Inverso (Corona Gorda)

Approaching my second third I cannot stress enough that my Inverso Double Corona continues to burn the same as before. I’m picking up some earthy, and some leathery notes as well. The ash dropped upon entering my last final third of my smoke. I must say that the leathery note is very influential toward the end. I really enjoyed smoking this cigar.  My credit to Omar de Frias for taking the chance in reversing the leave process. Job well done!

Final Burn of the Navetta Inverso
Omar de Frias and myself at Old Virginia Tobacco Co., March 2018

I welcome you to visit Fratello’s cigar website to learn more about Omar de Frias and his cigars at: http://www.fratellocigars.com

Camacho Connecticut Cigar (Toro)


 “Boldness meets Balance”

Camacho Cigars was founded by Simon Camacho in 1961, who was originally from Cuba. He began his cigar business in Miami, Florida, where his cigars soon gained a significant reputation in the United States, and history was made. From the early beginnings, the factory in Miami flourished quickly and became well-known in the cigar industry thanks to the experience he gained in his homeland, Cuba. Since Simon Camacho’s death, Camacho Cigars have become a member of the Swiss Oettinger David Group. In 1995 the Eiroa family acquired the company. Today Camacho Cigars offer a variety of sizes and styles using the best blends that are grown in the richest soils of Honduras.

Camacho Cigars
Country: Honduras
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Honduran, Dominican Republic
Size: 6” x 50
Strength: Medium

Description of the cigar: From my humidor today, I chose the Camacho Connecticut Toro. When you think Camacho one can only think that rich flavor with powerful aroma; however, in this case you will get the opposite. This beautiful appearance of Connecticut shade wrapper is a mellow smoke along with a smooth, creamy body with a little of sweetness to it, with Lijero tobacco.  So . . . let’s light it up! Once lit this cigar starts very medium body blend with nutty, slightly sweet earth, and a touch of pepper. Not too overwhelming with a nice white ash. There are three phases of this cigar.

First third – it burns very well, still keeping the same consistency note, and with a nice aroma, due to the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper, Corojo binder, and a perfect blend of Honduran and Dominican long fillers. The ash still holds on to my cigar.

Burn of the Camacho Connecticut (Toro) cigar

Second third – halfway through, my cigar shifts to deep sweet earthy note with little pepper that will continue all the way to the final third. The ash from my cigar still refusing to let go.


Final third – the smoke remains smooth and creamy leaving some of the pepper behind. Even though the ash was still hanging on, I had to let go of it to remove the cigar band and continue the smoke. Consequently the new developed ash managed to stay on as well. Overall a very satisfying cigar till the end, which delivered a nice and straight burn.

Final burn of Camacho Connecticut

Camacho Connecticut is a medium – bodied cigar, and I would recommend it at any time of the day. Enjoy!


Cornelius & Anthony “Señor Esugars”(Toro)


I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Steve Bailey, and his son Nick Bailey September 2018 at the Cornelius & Anthony tobacco farm in Keysville, VA. I understand where the passion to make Señor Esugars came from. After five generations one could feel the family care and desire for the tobacco farm to grow their finest, and after a century and a half they have done just that.

Steve Bailey, myself, and Nick Bailey

Señor Esugars was a mission of the heart from Steve Bailey’s three years in the making at La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua named after Steven’s pet Dachshund (aka Oscar). This addition to the Cornelius family line is one that impressed me tremendously,  specially the strength of the cigar. I have kept my cigar in the humidor for quite some time now, and has aged quite well. 

Country: Nicaragua

Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)

Binder: USA

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: 6″ x 50

Strength: Full

Description of the cigar: This stunning cigar is well made in construction as it comes with two bands. One being their Cornelius & Anthony band, and the second in black representing the cigar’s name Señor Esugars. Once lit a noticeable sweetness appears from the wrapper. The first third, the cigar opens up well with a few notes  of black pepper, sweet, earthy, and raspberry. After a few minutes the strong bit of black pepper will disappear.

Burn of Señor Esugars (Toro) cigar

As my cigar takes over the second third I can feel some woody notes, mix of earth, and a small hint of pepper. However, on my retrohale I must say that you will still feel some of the earthiness note along with a good amount of pepper.

As I continue smoking the last third, my cigar still gave me a combination of sweet earthiness, wood notes, and more of the black pepper. I really enjoyed “Señor Esugars” to the end.                                            

Final burn of Señor Esugars (Toro) cigar

Like many cigars of this strength I would definitely recommend having a meal beforehand in order to prepare your palate for this cigar.  

I also welcome you to go to Cornelius & Anthony’s website to learn more about Steve A. Bailey’s unique family tobacco history at:  http://www.cacigars.com

 “Sometimes the road to a great cigar is the road less traveled”    

                                     Steve Anthony Bailey  

DAVIDOFF – 2019 “Year of the Pig”


Greetings my Cigar Aficionados, are you looking for a cigar to welcome 2019?…
Davidoff 2019 “Year of the Pig” (Limited Edition) 

As predicted once again, Davidoff has released a limited-edition cigar in relation to the Chinese zodiac calendar, The Year of the Pig. This beautiful cigar comes with two bands. One being the classic Davidoff white label, and the second band representing the Year of the Pig. This production is limited to only 9000 boxes of 10 displayed in a lacquered red box.

2019 “Year of the Pig’ with it’s Habano wrapper, and unique pigtail cap.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador Habano 2000
  • Binder: Mexico, San Andres
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli Ligero), Dominican Republic (Piloto Visos, Hybrid Plor Piloto Visos, Piloto Seco)
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Size : Gran Toro

Description of the cigar: This elegant cigar is wrapped with a shiny and oily Habano 2000 from Ecuador. It smokes medium to full. Once lit, it starts with a nice smooth draw with a creamy note of oak and pepper. Together with the San Andres binder from Mexico, the filler tobacco from Nicaragua, and Dominican Republic creates a complex note of sweetness, oak wood, hazelnut, leather, and pepper.

Smooth draw with a beautiful ash.

Second third I’m still maintaining a nice draw, with the same consistency of creaminess as before. As I retrohale I could find some pepper notes along with a touch of earthy leather. So far, my cigar is burning evenly.

Final burn of Davidoff 2019 “Year of the Pig”

 As my cigar comes to a finishing note, I found the oak becoming more dominant along with a touch of some pepper; however, it finishes moderate. I truly enjoyed smoking the Grand Toro size (6″ x 56). So remember, these are a limited edition, don’t wait too long, or you may not have the pleasure of enjoying one fine Davidoff cigar.

Wishing all of my Cigar Aficionados a Happy 2019!