November 14, 2011

REVIEW: Emilio Cigars Grimalkin

Today's review is another new cigar from Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars. (You can read the review I did of the AF1 here.) There is not a lot of information online about this cigar, but I do know that it is being made in Esteli, Nicaragua and that it is rumored to be produced at the My Father factory. Like I said, that's just a rumor and Gary Griffith neither confirmed or denied it. If an under-the-radar cigar from My Father doesn't get the cigar geek in you excited, I don't know what will.

Quote from the Emilio Cigars Website: Grimalkin is a unique blend, produced in Esteli, Nicaragua from carefully selected tobaccos.  This cigar will be limited in quantity based on harvest conditions.  A true masterpiece in the finest tradition. Medium bodied and complex, Grimalkin is designed for the refined palate with an appreciation of subtle nuance in texture and flavor of the smoke.

On to the review...

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: ?
Binder: ?
Filler: ?
Price: $8.30
Smoking Location: New Havana Cigars
Beverage: Water


OK. I'm just going to get it out of the way before I start to get into the meaningful part of the review: this has to be one of, if not the ugliest cigar bands on the market. I understand that Grimalkin means evil cat or something, but wow...there has to be a better way to portray that then a poor man's Cheshire cat eyes. I didn't smoke the band, so I'm glad there are other details to review this cigar on because judging this cigar's graphics...that was an epic fail in my opinion. Looking past the band, the wrapper was quite nice and had a reddish hue to it. The pre-lit aroma was very woody and the cold draw had a similar taste, but also had some hints of dried fruit. The draw was nice and free.

First Third

I didn't know what to expect out of my Grimalkin so I was pleasantly surprised when the cigar opened up with some very unique flavors. On the front, there was a tangy vegetable taste that was enjoyable. It's the flavor I best describe by what you smell when you walk in a well-made green house. The finish had a lot of spicy black pepper that was very Pepin/My Father reminiscent. Both were very strong in taste and each brought a different aspect to the cigar making it far from boring. The burn on my stick was pretty straight and had a very dark "eyeliner" burn line. The power range of the smoke was in the medium range.

Second Third  

The second third of my Grimalkin was similar to the first third except the front of the profile picked up some leather flavor notes. It sounds like a strange mix of flavor with vegetable and leather, but somehow it worked and worked well. The finish was still strong black pepper that, even with its strength, finished clean without leaving my mouth feeling dirty or burnt. The construction was top notch, never needing a relight. The strength got more into the full range at this point, but still nothing overwhelming.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my Grimalkin was fantastic. The front of each puff had that lovely (and again, very unique) veggy/leather mix, but the finish changed up into a balance of spice and sweet. The black pepper was still there and roaring, but I picked up some lovely raw sweetness to it that seemed to only get stronger as I got closer to the nub. When you talk about flavor balance in a cigar, this is a perfect example. Like before, the construction was great never getting above the lower-end of full strength.
My final thoughts on the Emilio Cigars Grimalkin? I'm stunned by this cigar and I'm stunned there isn't more hype about it. For me, this is in the Top 10 if not the Top 5 sticks I've smoked this year. I can only guess that the hype isn't there because, when you first see this stick on the shelf or in pictures, the band makes it look like a cheap bundle cigar. I would not pick up this cigar in a shop blindly and I would obviously be missing out. If anyone from Emilio Cigars reads have a fantastic cigar. Don't let people walk past it because of it's look.

Would I buy it again? I already have started my hunt for more.

Would I buy a box? This is a box worthy cigar.



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