According to the Emilio Cigar website, “the cigars are produced in Esteli, Nicaragua and named in honor of our friend A.J. Fernandez, blender and manufacturer. Two years in the making, the cigars are loaded with flavor from the Nicaraguan tobaccos of the filler, and clothed with a slow fermented maduro wrapper, dark and rich with spice and sweetness. Available in shelf-friendly cabinet boxes of 20 in four sizes: Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, and the massive BMF, a 6×58 powerhouse.”
I got these from a friend while hanging out recently and I was extremely hesitant to smoke them. A lot of cigars that were new to me have disappointed over the last few months and have left me jaded. Would this cigar buck the trend or continue down that same path?
Cigar: Emilio AF1
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: San Andreas Maduro (Mexico)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Appearance and Construction: The Emilio AF1 features a dark Mexican Maduro wrapper that has some minor oils present. The cigar is rolled well, with a simple looking cap. In the hand the cigar is very firm with a decent weight to it and no soft spots. There are minimal veins present and a slight tooth as well. The band is black and gold and states Emilio AF1.
Flavor & Notes: Prior to cutting the foot I got lost on the nose from the foot of the cigar. There is a caramel, raisin present that is very enjoyable. Once I clipped the cap with my Xikar Scissors the cold draw served up some well-defined cocoa with a touch of caramel notes. I was definitely intrigued at this point, and could not wait to smoke these. I decided to go the traditional route and lit the cigar up using a cedar strip and thankfully my sample lit nice and easy. As I progressed through the first third I was treated to some cocoa notes that developed from the get go. They were joined by a slight raisin, and coffee note as well. As I enter the second third of the cigar coffee notes slowly become the focal point as some nut notes develop. The cocoa lingers in the background, but it isn’t as developed as previously. As we enter the final third of this cigar some rich chocolate notes develop with some lingering spice and a relatively short finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The San Andreas Mexican Maduro can burn a bit funky, or at least that is my experience with the wrapper. The Emilio AF1 did not experience such a problem on any of my samples. Although it burned slight jagged it never got worse than the photographs show on any of my samples. The draw was idea and the cigar produced a nice volume of smoke with an enticing aroma. The ash was a light medium shade of gray to the naked eye and held on for a third at a time.
Conclusion: Lately I have gotten a lot of samples of new cigars that left me wondering when the next Tatuaje, or illusione would emerge. It looks like Emilio Cigars could be that brand. The AF1 took 2 years to reach the market as Gary Griffith wanted to make sure to do it right. In June 2011 the cigar will come out with a Oscuro wrapper and be known as the AF2. There is also another cigar in the works for the near future from another major player in the cigar world but that is all that has been disclosed. Emilio is going to be the next major boutique brand to work its way into the mainstream and you can take that to the bank.
Disclaimer: A friend of mine gave me a few samples of the Emilio AF1 as a gift and these samples were not paid for. I also recently began speak to Mr. Griffith to rep his cigars as an independent in the Northeast after the review was written.