Size: 5 x 50 ( Robusto )
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan
Strength: Medium to Full
Price: Just over $7.00 each
Behind The Stick:
Emilio Cigars – another semi-new company to come to the Cigar world table but unlike some of the others, this name has some big players standing just a few feet behind in the shadows. Gary Griffith who also created Grimalkin cigars, has paired up with a blender who was been named one of the ‘hottest cigar blenders’ in the industry and has created more cigars than I can count – A.J. Fernandez. Today’s cigar, the Emilio AF1 is slowly picking up some buzz in the online community and I for one could not be happier. Their website mentions ‘the Emilio AF-1 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.’
Whenever I hear or read these well worded yet almost generic statements of sweet and spice and bold and smooth, I have to admit it kind of goes in one ear and out the other. That being said – lets see what the real world experience really is. I have had my 3 AF1’s sitting in my humidor for a couple of months and I feel its finally time to give them a shot!
This is one dark cigar – I must admit I actually licked my finger and placed it near the head of the cigar for a second or two and then looked at my thumb just to make sure it was not painted. Of course it was not – but the point being that this cigar looks exceptional. A semi smooth wrapper with only a few veins but it did have a few ‘spots’ on it – nothing that made me worry about it burning weird or having any issues though. On one side you could see where it looks like it was in the press and it had been caught – the wrapper looking more like stitches across a wound at that point. Again, nothing that had me on freak out – this cigar just carries a bit more character to it, that’s all. My pet peeve with band removal didn’t even come up – the band was tight enough to stay put yet loose enough to simply pull right off the cigar, exceptional in my book.
From the start this cigar lets you know it means business. A healthy dose of dark chocolate mixed in with just a little dash of spice and a face full of drying smoke got this cigar out of the gate in a flash. This drying smoke sensation aided with the flavors coming across more ‘powdery’ if that makes sense. The chocolate, instead of a milk chocolate or even a dark chocolate it was more of a cocoa powder sensation, where the flavors come across a bit more muted and the inside of your mouth really take the brunt of the abuse. I had to have gone through 3 glasses of water throughout the entire cigar.
That being said, the flavors were still extremely enjoyable with a slow but steady variation in flavor profile from about an inch in to the nub. The light spice helped to offset the cocoa and caramel flavors and right around the half way point I could feel the cigar amp-ing up for a second burst, this time producing a much more refined, smooth and espresso like profile. Damn I’m liking this. The espresso and chocolate combination is borderline overpowering and by this time the strength of the cigar is apparent – not beyond toleration but you’d be good to eat before hand. The Emilio AF1’s life ends with a quick dip into the dark world of flavors – dark chocolate, dark coffee, a bitter sweet leather sensation and to top it all off, a dash of pepper that kicks ya on the sides of your tongue.
Good gosh, this is one fantastic cigar. After reading some of the reviews I was worried that I was going to get stuck with a 1 flavor smoke and while this was no Davidoff or Opus, the Emilio AF1 is an exceptional smoke. Dynamic enough to pair with whisky or bourbon yet linear enough to smoke while BBQ-ing or bullshitting with friends and at a price of just over $7.00 a pop I think this is another smoke where you get what you pay for. It is known that A.J. Fernandez makes a lot of cigars, and a good chunk of those cigars are pretty damn good – yet when your name ( or variation there of ) is on the band, you really have to make sure it is done right.
Every Cigar Has A Story, Every Smoke A Memory