Lately I have been raving about boutique cigars. Well, I have always been on the rave of boutique cigars but this company is like ultra-boutique. I am talking about Emilio Cigars and the cigar I smoked this time was the Emilio AF2. Emilio Cigars has three lines currently, and I have had the pleasure of enjoying two of them. I have yet to review the third line but after these two I am very eager. I can tell you that both lines have been incredible and have impressed me like no other cigar lately. The AF2 is made by A.J. Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua and is a very unique blend. The cigar is covered in an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper and has a Nicaraguan binder. The filler, is composed of Nicaraguan tobacco and even has ligero from Pennsylvanian in it as well. I have not seen many cigars with Pennsylvania tobacco in the filler and I am looking forward to trying it. Most Pennsylvania tobacco for cigar use is Pennsylvania Broadleaf and it has a very distinct taste and aroma to it, so I am sure I will pick that up in the cigar. For this review I smoked the toro version which is 6” by 50.
The cigar is beautiful in appearance and is rolled perfectly. The wrapper has a nice dark brown color to it, but it does not have that really Oscuro color to it like some cigars do. The cigar is very tight with no soft spots and has a nice oily feel to touch with a slightly toothy wrapper. The aroma is heavenly, showing wonderful notes of espresso, cocoa, leather, earth, wood and spice. After cutting the cold draw is perfect and has a wonderful taste as well. Upon lighting I am greeted with nice notes of peppery spice, but I am also getting this smooth sweet cocoa and wood note as well. The cigar is very refined and balanced, making the cigar smoke incredibly well and at no point having one flavor dominate over all the rest. I am in the first third and I am picking up a lot more flavors than when the cigar started. I am getting notes of chocolate covered raisins and a finish of spice and leather. With a perfect burn and a plethora of smoke this cigar is incredible and I am thinking to myself that Emilio Cigars are better than the cigars manufacturers own cigars. That is my opinion of course, but I think Gary is very attentive and meticulous in what he pus his label on, and it shows with Emilio Cigars.
As I get into the second third of the cigar the flavors are still picking up and I am getting a little bit of everything. There is a nice beginning flavor of espresso, leather, nuts and wood; but it finished with this chocolaty, raisin, cinnamon and earthy flavor. Really a complex cigar that keeps your palate guessing the whole way through, and it even had me picking up this marshmallow flavor as well. The cigar is still burning great and the smoke is very aromatic and engulfing me. Half way through the final third now and this cigar is still standing strong. I look at this cigar like an NHL player who just played every game through the regular-season and post-season, won the Stanley Cup, and the following day ran a marathon. The AF2 has not lots an inch of strength or flavor and continues to chug along. The final third is not as sweet as the second third but instead shows flavors of espresso, leather, nuts and wood up front and finishes of spice and sugar cane. Smoking this down to the nub it was definitely a lip burner and I had to put it down when I accidently broke the toothpick holding it because I didn’t want to burn my fingers.
This cigar gets a rating of 94 points in my book and is definitely a great cigar. Being medium in body this smoke was incredibly complex and balanced. At no point did I think this cigar was going downhill in any area, and if anything it kept me guessing more than most. I would smoke this cigar anytime of the day and find it suitable no matter the time. I could definitely pick up that Pennsylvania tobacco in the cigar and I think it played a huge part in the flavor profile of the cigar. I would be interested to see where the tobacco from Nicaragua in this cigar was from because it really showed great strength, flavor and balance. I think we can expect great things from Emilio Cigars and I can tell you that I will be picking up some of their smokes when I am in Bethesda, MD in early August. What a great cigar and something everyone should check out. Everyone starts somewhere and if Emilio Cigars continues down this road I can see them as popular as E.P. Carrillo, Illusione, Padilla and Tatuaje.
(This sample was given courtesy Emilio Cigars)