The Mike Ditka Kickoff Series is a new line of cigars from Camacho which honors the football legend, Mike Ditka. Within the series are three separate blends, which each honor a different stage of Ditka’s career. There is The Hall of Famer, The Player, and the Coach which I am reviewing today.
Each of these three blends are available in four sizes, a 5 x 50 Robusto, a 6 x 50 Toro, a 6 x 60 “Super” Toro, and a 6 x 54 Torpedo. The packaging used for the Kickoff Series is similar in design to that used for the Camacho Liberty, except the boxes are limited to 10 count. While the boxes are only half as deep, label aside, it looks almost exactly the same as a Camacho Liberty box. Also much like the Camacho Liberty, all of the Kickoff Series blends are packaged in individual cedar coffins.
To celebrate the launch of the Ditka Kickoff Series, Mike Ditka himself is touring various cigar stores across the country. If you attend an event where Ditka is present, you can get your box signed by him, and a picture with him as well. Recently, one of these events took place near me at Mickey Blake’s in Southington, CT.
Wrapper: Honduran Criollo
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Strength: Medium to Full
Flavor: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: Each Ditka The Coach comes in a cedar coffin which features a stained wood finish on the top. On the cigar coffin is written The Coach 6 x 60 in black, Ditka in large black letters, and Specially blended by Camacho in black as well.
The Coach features one large single band, the top is grey and features a side profile shot of Mike Ditka. On the right of his picture is the year ’85, which is when he led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl victory and won the Coach of the year award. On the left is written “Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX Champions awarded NFL Coach of the Year honors.” Below the grey portion of the band is a black one with Ditka written in gold. Below the black portion is a red one with Camacho written in gold.
The wrapper of The Coach is a medium brown with a light reddish hue to it. The wrapper has some moderate veins to it, and a very rich oil. The cap is a bit generous, yet very neat, and the construction quite seamless.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of The Coach has notes of cedar, spice, and a little earth. The foot has a scent made up of cedar, wood, earth, spices, and a little grass. To prepare smoking The Coach I use a slight straight cut across the cap, on the cold draw there are flavors of leather, spice, cedar, earth, and a light sweetness.
Smoking Characteristics: The Coach kicks off with a rich blend of spices, pepper, earth, leather, cedar, and a light graham flavor. The first few puffs are a little airy, and leave a coating of spice, pepper, and earth on the palate. After the first few puffs the draw tightens up and the smoke production is wonderful. The spice and pepper loses a little bit of its intensity and a nice rich earthy sweetness presents itself within the blend. The strength in this first third is solidly in the medium range, with a nice light buzz setting in.
Into the second third of The Coach, the pepper fades completely from the smoking profile and a new rich coffee flavor joins the blend. There are now notes of leather, spice, earthy sweetness, coffee, graham cracker, cedar, and a very light floral tone. The strength increases during this third into the medium to full range. The draw remains excellent in this third, easily producing a full body of rich, cool, thick smoke. The ash remains firm, well past the inch point, and the burn has not required any corrections.
During the final third of The Coach, the flavor remains much the same as the second, just a bit less sweetness and spice. The notes of coffee, leather, earth, graham cracker, cedar, and spice all remain. The floral tone fades out of the smoking profile at this point. In this third, the flavor has lost some of the “pop” that it had in the last third, I don’t know if it is just the lack of transition between thirds, but it just isn’t as enjoyable. The strength remains medium to full, and the construction quite excellent. I’ve yet to have any problems with the burn or ash, and I’m just about at the nub. The Coach smokes cool to the finish, and remains quite firm.
Conclusion: The Coach started off wonderfully, the first two thirds were quite enjoyable. Yet, the lack of evolution towards the end made the smoke a little boring. Out of all three of the new Ditka Kickoff series blends, the Coach is my least favorite. Like the other two, it displayed excellent construction, and wonderful packaging, yet the flavor just didn’t progress enough towards the end. Would I buy it again? Likely not, I like the other two a bit better, out of the three I’d smoke the Hall of Famer first.