Posted by Jack | in Epicurean Cigars | on 21 Jul 2013 | at 10:07 AM | 4639 views
Jordan at The Wharf, tossed me a sample last week from Emilio Cigars...one of the fastest growing and arguably most exciting stables in the cigar industry.  The sample in question was something I had never even heard of before....Epicurean Cigar Company's Armando Gutierrez Vintage 2007 Toro.  I scratched my head when I saw it and said " huh?"   Epicurean cigars is the newest venture into the cigar market from Steven Ysidron formerly of  Savinelli fame.  The AG is named for his Grandfather....something dear to my own heart, so with my interest piqued, I decided to have a go.  How was it?  Let's see....
Construction: The AG is a very attractive cigar.  The packaging alone is worth noting.  The band is elegant and well designed and the cigar is sleeved in cedar with a brown ribbon around the foot.  Once that is removed, you can really get a look at the wrapper leaf.  It's a solid milk chocolate color with not a blemish or vein in sight.  The cap is a traditional Cuban style triple affair.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, I get cedar, sweet tobacco, and some hay from the unlit AG.  The draw is absolutely perfect and taking a cold puff through gave me a nice raisin flavor.
Light and Burn: With a couple of matches and one to touch up, I lit the AG easily on the porch waiting for a thunderstorm to roll in.  The burn was razor sharp nearly the entire smoke.  The only deviations I found were easily attributed to the wind.  Once the storm actually arrived it rained so hard that I was forced into the garage.  From that point on, the AG performed flawlessly.
Tasting: The start of the AG is spicy with notes of black pepper and cedar.
As the first third begins, I get a nice medium-full bodied smoke with flavors of black pepper, white pepper, leather, earth, tobacco sweetness, cocoa, and roasted nuts.  There was a touch of something that reminded me of a Mounds candy bar in there - maybe a mingling of flavors that touched on coconut?  This is an excellent cigar so far.
The second third backs off the white pepper and pushes more earth, black pepper, leather, and cocoa.  The strength also leans more towards the full end of the spectrum but the flavors are delivered in a nice creamy smooth core that touches with a hint of cherry.
The final third lasts a long while.  I found more leather, earth, and cocoa while the pepper drops off a bit.  The AG packs a punch in terms of nicotine in the final third as well.  Not so much that I was dizzy or anything like that but I did notice a slight buzz around the edges.  As the cigar plays out there is a touch of Cubanesque metallic saltiness and the flavors and smoke are chewy and dense.
Value: AT around $9, this is a well priced cigar.  I do wish it was a tad cheaper, but I am not going to complain.  Nine bones for something this good would easily be worth every cent.
Final Thoughts: The finish on this cigar is long and leaves a sweetness on the palate that is something great.  I am honestly surprised at just how amazing this cigar is.  The presentation, construction, and performance were all absolutely top notch and if this is any indication of things to come from Steven Ysidron, I think we all have reason to be excited.  Without a doubt, I highly recommend this cigar.
One nifty note - the band on this cigar misspells the name of the company....instead of Epicurean, the printer spelled it Epicurian.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Colorado Habano
Size: 6 x 52
There is that beautiful presentation
The band is quite striking.  You can see the spelling error there too
Solid performer from start to finish
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