Posted by Jack | in Epicurean Cigars | on 09 Jul 2013 | at 6:55 AM | 2529 views
As the second batch of Emilio Cigars landed at The Wharf, I was lucky enough to score a sample provided by Nate McIntyre, Emilio's national sales manager.  The sample in question had us all scratching our heads in wonder.  The cigar is extremely new to the market so we hadn't even heard of it.  The company is Steven Ysidron's Epicurean Cigars and the cigar I was handed is the Gonzo.  I sat on it for a week or so thanks to a slight sinus/allergy flare up the weekend I was given this sample.  Waiting paid off.  Let's get right to it and see how it is....
Construction: The Gonzo is a very attractive box pressed cigar.  The wrapper leaf is a nice dark brown with some tooth and very few veins.  The wrapper is broadleaf covering a binder from San Andres, and fillers from  Jalapa, and Condega Nicaragua.  The filler is aged four years as well.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, I picked up spice, cedar, and some hay from the wrapper and a boat-load of cocoa from the foot.  The draw is a little stiff but nothing terrible.  Cold, the flavor is hugely cocoa with a hint of raisins.
Light and Burn: once lit, the draw opens up a bit more.  The burn stayed fairly even throughout the smoke with only a couple of minor touch ups here and there.
Tasting: Starting off, the Gonzo is very mild with flavors of spice and bread.  As the first third kicks in, I get cedar, bread, and loads of cocoa.  I am shocked at how mild the cigar is at the beginning.  The flavors are well balanced and I can tell the tobacco used is top notch and well aged.
The second third increases to medium in terms of strength and body.  The overall tone of this cigar is sweet with loads of cocoa as the predominant flavor.  There are also notes of bread, black coffee, and roasted nuts.
As the final third starts, I am treated to the flavor and strength, I was expecting.  There are notes of black pepper, coffee, and cocoa that mix into a nice toffee sweetness.  I find myself wishing that the cigar tasted like this from the start.
Value: Online....and they are not easy to find so far....a Gonzo Toro will run you about $10.  Not bad for such aged tobacco, but maybe a little higher than I was expecting.
Final Thoughts: I did enjoy this smoke.  The progression from mild to medium/full body was unique and the prevailing cocoa flavor really was different for me.  I tend to smoke peppery or leathery cigars that punch me in the face with heavy flavor.  Looking at the Gonzo, I was sure it would blow my socks off.  I find it amazing then, that one manufacturer can use broadleaf like a nuclear bomb and another can use it like a soft spring rain.  It really shows off the skill of cigar blenders.  Seeing that this cigar is well balanced, very well constructed, and very unique, I can easily recommend trying one or more.
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Lancaster Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Strength: Mild- Medium
Size: 6 x 52 box pressed
In my haste to try this baby, I only took this photo.  Pretty cigar!
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