Tuesday, September 24, 2013

News from Emilio Cigars

Lots of interesting stuff is coming out of Emilio Cigars these days... heres a couple of the highlights:

Emilio Announces Master Retailer Program

Gary Griffith announced today that House of Emilio, which includes the Emilio, 1502, Ezra Zion, Nomad, Epicurean, Rodrigo, Guayacan, and Bodega Premium cigar brands has created a "Master Retailer" program.

Participating retailers receive training for their staff on all House of Emilio brands and blends so as to best serve the consumer. Qualifying retailers carry facings from every brand in the line, assuring consumers the best possible selection from a well-informed and educated staff.

In addition consumers can be assured that Master Retailers have the earliest access to new product releases, and enjoy the benefit of extra allocation of limited edition products.

"This is an important step for us," says Griffith, "in that we are able to be certain that retailer staff is well versed on the profiles of each of the blends in order to appropriately make recommendations to consumers."

Over time this program will be expanded to include additional enhancements that will have value for both the retailer and consumer.

Interested retailers may get additional details by contacting Nathan McIntyre, National Sales Director.

Gary A. Griffith

Emilio Cigars to release Draig Cayuquero

Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars announced today that the second release in the Draig series, Cayuquero, will begin shipping to retailers within the next few weeks.

Each year Griffith creates a new blend in the series, and production is limited to however many cigars can be made from the selected tobaccos.

This years release will be available in four sizes: Corona, Robusto, Toro, and a small run of Torpedo. Total production is 1600 boxes, with quantities per size varying based on how wrapper graded out.

The cigars feature a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, enveloping a delicious blend of sweet Jalapa, and spicy Esteli ligero, and are packed 10 to a box.

As always, the cigars are dedicated to Griffith's Welsh heritage, and feature the Welsh dragon on both the boxes and bands.

Guayacan Cigars expands offerings

After meeting with Guayacan Cigars owner and blender Noel Rojas this morning Gary Griffith of the House of Emilio is pleased to announce size extensions to the original Guayacan blend.

The original Guayacan with an Ecuadoran Habano wrapper will be available soon in two new sizes: Corona and 6x60.

In addition, there willl be 4 sizes released in a new blend featuring a San Andres maduro wrapper and entirely different filler.

These new products will give Guayacan a stronger market presence, and fill niches that consumers have requested.

According to Griffith the new vitolas should be available around the end of the year.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oliva Serie V

Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper origin:  Nicaragua
Wrapper type: Habano Sun Grown
Filler: Jalapa valley ligero
Length: 6"
Ring: 56
Cost:  ~ $7

Appearance (0-20): The Oliva V has a beautiful dark brown wrapper.  There are a few lighter brown veins as you move towards the foot, but nothing of any substance.  Turning the cigar around, you will notice how nicely wrapper the cigar itself was rolled.  Everything comes together nicely, finishing off with a triple cap of the torpedo. The band has a combination of gold, brown, and red with various embossing.  The overall combination gives an elegant look.

Score: 18

Construction (0-20):  
Start to finish, this cigar performs very well.  The burn was a bit wavy at times, but always corrected itself to straighten out. The ash was a beautiful gray coil, with small white dots from the grainy wrapper.  The ash consistently held on for 1-2" before I tapped it off.  The draw was smooth, releasing the perfect amount of smoke with each puff.

Score: 18

Strength (0-20): The strength is prevalent as you get into the heart of smoke, but nothing to knock your socks off. I would put it in the med-full range, with a strong focus on the flavors.

Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): Flavor bomb each and every time.  Chocolate, espresso, nuts, woods; what else can you ask for?  You will notice a flavor transition about halfway through the cigar, and the Oliva V does it very well.  The beginning had a hair of spice, intertwined with some woodiness and hints of chocolate.  I was reading at the time, but halfway through I noticed a definite move towards a much richer flavor of chocolate and espresso.
Score: 19

Value (0-20): For around $7.00 for a torpedo, you will be hard pressed to find a more polished cigar.  There are a lot of solid smokes out there for $5 to $7 in my opinion, but Oliva consistently produces a great smoke in the series V.  If you've never had one, go out and grab one. If you have smoked one before, make sure you have another one!

Score: 19

Additional Notes: Smoked on my deck

Overall (0-100): The Oliva V continues to impress, and I have never been let down.  I have honestly only smoked a few of them, but this should be in everyones humidor.  If you need a consistent go-to cigar, the flavors and construction will always be there.  Couple in the fact that the "price is right," and you have a great smoke. Oliva does it again!

Score: 92

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chicago Area Cigar Smokers - Tequila and Cigars, Presented by ‘Casa de Puros’ and ‘Demetrio Premium Tequila’

What: Puros and Pours Night: Tequila and Cigars, Presented by ‘Casa de Puros’ and ‘Demetrio Premium Tequila’
When: Thursday, September 5th, 7pm – Midnight
Where: Casa de Puros, 7410 Madison St., Forest Park, Illinois 60130
Details: $30 per person gets you a tequila flight: 2oz Blanco, 2oz Reposado, 2oz Anejo and two premium cigars.
Attention Herfnicks!

When you think of pairing cigars, the first thing that comes to mind is probably bourbon or whiskey or at least a craft beer. Discover how stogies and this fascinating and often misunderstood spirit go oh so well together. 

Experts will be on hand to explain the history of tequila, the unique aging process, the complexity and patience it takes to make one single bottle, where the margarita got started, and why tequila is a perfect companion with a slow burning torp.

Join Brian McGuire and staff from 7pm until the party ends!

Worried about missing the first game of the NFL Season when the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens visit the Denver Broncos? Don't be! Watch the game on the massive flat screen. Kickoff at 7:30pm. Be the first of your friends to taste Demetrio Premium Tequila, proudly part of the Maverick Wine and Spirits portfolio. Try the award winning Lowlands Blanco, nine-month aged Reposado and 18-month aged Anejo. 100% agave. Small batch, bourbon barrel aged. A true gentleman's tequila that you'll want to take home with you. Beer and other beverages on hand for purchase as well. http://demetriotequila.com/

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

El Primer Mundo La Hermandad Costa Fuerte

Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Brazil
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua
Length: 6”
Ring: 60
Cost: $9.00

Appearance (0-20): First look and I would likely have passed this one by. The extremely long named La Hermandad Costa Fuerte sports a white and black design that leaves a little to be desired. With all of that white, it felt like there was a lot of wasted space or perhaps it should have been broken into a normal band and one on the foot. At the same time, its simple design (and follow-up to the original La Hermandad) is a nice touch. Peeking at the bottom showed a nice swirl of ligero, and the wrapper was a nice oily shade. Not the cigar I would personally look at immediately, but still well above average.
Score: 17

Construction (0-20): The stiffer outer layers of tobacco reveal very little give. It’s well wrapped, with only a few small veins throughout. As mentioned in the appearance section, there is a nice visible swirl of ligero when looking at the foot. The cut had almost no residue in it, and smoking this was a dream. The draw was spot on with just the slightest resistance. The burn was extremely cool with a razor sharp edge. 2+ inches worth of ash point to the quality of the tobaccos and the tightness of the roll.
Score: 20

Strength (0-20): With a medium to full body on this, I was actually surprised at how mellow it smoked from a strength perspective. It begins on the low and mellow and then builds until it finds the medium range. Once there, expect it to peak and settle. So in the end – its closer to a full bodied smoke with only a medium strength.
Score: 18

Flavor (0-20): Initial puffs from this put me into the earthy spectrum with some minor bitterness to it. Flavors were brought in quickly to meld with the strong tobacco undertone where it had a nice kick of spice (think black pepper) and leather. The spice didn’t stick around for more than 1/3 of the cigar, and gave way to some more subtle hints of coffee and a nice rich tobacco flavor. Entering the final third I found some chocolate flavors that were dropped in alongside some of earthy tones. It seemed like the spice on the front end was nicely balanced with sweet on the back end (think a nice salty appetizer before dinner with a sweet dessert to follow). It was complex enough to please a sophisticated palette while not being confusing. The flavors worked well. The one downfall I found was that there were a couple of points where I ended up with a lot of tar buildup (and by that virtue a very bitter taste. The flavors were there... its just a question of execution at that point.
Score: 15

Value (0-20): $9.00 seems to be the correct ballpark for the blend and size.  
Score: 18

Additional Notes: Paired with a varietal red wine (dry) on my deck. A thank you goes out to PDR Cigars for sending one of these out for review. It’s much appreciated, and it would likely not have been a blend I would have picked up before.

Overall (0-100):  Premier Mundo Cigars has got a good one on their hands here, and if they can work out the slight tar buildup issue, they will have a knockout. The stick has well melded flavors (earth, spice, sweetness, leather) and a dynamite construction, but could benefit with a little better packaging around the edges. Overall it’s a pleasing smoke that will likely appeal to a lot of audiences. The $9.00 price shouldn't be prohibitive, given the quality of the cigar.

Score: 88