A couple of months ago I reviewed the Emilio AF1 cigar and was really impressed. This time around, I review the AF2. Emilio is a new brand from Gary Griffith who owns a few cigar shops in Delaware and they are pretty damn good. In my last interview I referred to the brand as the next boutique cigar to work its way into the mainstream and I still believe that to be true today.
According to the company website,
Our AF2 blend, produced and blended by A.J. Fernandez is certain to delight. Crafted from rich Nicaraguan fillers combined with the strength of Pennsylvania ligero and a beautiful Ecuadoran Habano Oscuro wrapper. These cigars are available in cabinet boxes of 20 in four sizes: Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, and BMF.
Cigar: Emilio AF1
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano Oscuro
Filler: Nicaraguan, USA (Pennsylvania)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Appearance and Construction: One would think the Emilio AF2 would be darker then it is with an Oscuro wrapper, but the AF1 is darker. The wrapper has some veins and has a nice amount of oils under light. The cigar is well rolled, and under the fingers the wrapper feels slightly rough. The stick is well packed with no soft sports other then a slightly spongy foot. The band is bronze and black and denotes Emilio AF2.
Flavor & Notes: I used a double bladed cutter to snip the cap off and once I did the cold draw was a bit musky which seems to be a trait with Pennsylvania tobacco, and there was also a hint of sweetness. The foot of the cigar served up a nose that consisted of a slight spice and tobacco notes. I sett in for the evening after watching Derek Jeter get hit number 3,000 and caressed my cigar with the flame from my triple torch lighter. Once the cigar is lit, there is a nice amount of pepper spice, especially though the nose. However, I find it to be refined and smooth to the point where my nasal passaged do not feel singed. As I continue to work my way through the first third the spice remains with some notes of dark chocolate lurking in the background like a shadow. As we enter the second third of the cigar the complexity really begins to kick in. The pepper remains, but the dark chocolate picks up progressing into the dominant note. Also in the mix at this point is some leather and espresso notes. The last third of the cigar becomes a little bit salty and bitter, with a tingling on the lips and tip of the tongue. Don’t let this turn you off because I still found it to be enjoyable despite this hint of the cigar being a little bit young.
Smoking Characteristics: The burn line on the Emilio AF2 had an ultra thin carbon line and a slightly less then perfect burn. The salt and pepper ash is strong and held on for the first half of the cigar before falling off. In the last last the ash fell off twice more. The draw of the cigar offered up just the right amount of resistance with a nice volume of smoke. The aroma was spicy and enjoyable.
Conclusion: AF1 vs AF2, which is the better smoke. I guess that is up to the user, but I found the AF2 to have a bit more strength to it, while the AF1 had more body. Either which way both cigars are excellent and this brand has created a footprint in the marketplace that that should continue to grow. As I said before these cigars have a huge potential to explode on to the marketplace and should do so rather fast.
Disclaimer: I received 2 samples in the mail as a gift from Emilio Cigars.