Country of origin: Nicaragua Color: Maduro Length: 5" Ring gauge: 50 Wrapper: San Andres maduro Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan Rating: ★★★★ (very good)
Over the past few months, I have posted noteworthy news regarding the exciting activities of Emilio Cigars, including new releases and new distribution agreements. I am very happy to finally post my reviews on some of the House of Emilio gems. I have four different series that have been in one of my humidors since late October 2012. After laying in a perfectly humidified environment for the past 2 months, I could not wait to try the Emilio AF1 Robusto...well, it was certainly worth the wait! This cigar is simplistically beautiful - no ornate banding, just a simple black band with gold lettering "EMILIO AF1". It was nice and supple to palpation, and was well-balanced. It had a gorgeous dark, almost oscuro-like, oily wrapper with modest veins. The scent was sweet and akin to cocoa. The cigar appeared very well constructed with a smooth cap which appeared to flow seamlessly with the body. Upon application of a V-cut, I spent some more time admiring the wrapper and took a number of pre-draws, which provided some bold espresso flavor with a slight spiciness on the tongue. You can just look at this stick and know that you are about to indulge in some savory splendor.
Using my tabletop burner, the cigar lit very easily and evenly. The draw was smooth and each puff offered a generous mouthful of smoke throughout. The burn was even throughout the smoke as well, and no re-light was required. The initial two to three draws supplied heavy doses of pepper that coated my palate; however, this disappeared relatively quickly and diminished to some mild spiciness, with the first third providing an anticipatory creamy chocolate-espresso flavor but with hints of hickory wood. Honestly, my taste buds tussled with the woody flavor and left me uncertain whether I was tasting hints of hickory or mesquite flavor. I decided to settle the dispute by relaxing and just revel in the cigar's awesomeness.
The second third provided some rich earthy tobacco flavor with some residual spiciness, which increased exponentially upon retrohalation. Remarkably, the smoke aroma was sweet and somewhat fruity, like raisins - an interesting dichotomy to what I was actually tasting. These flavors remained consistent throughout the remainder of the smoke, up through the finale which ended with a cool nub under an inch in length, which finally burned out on its own. I smoked this slow-burning stick on a very cold late night - this robusto lasted a good solid hour for me! An absolutely fantastic smoke, a must-have... The Emilio AF1 are manufactured and blended by the well-respected AJ Fernandez. In addition to the Robusto, the AF1 is also available in three other sizes, including: Toro (6" x 50); Torpedo (6" x 52); and BMF (6" x 58). Check out the House of Emilio website at www.emiliocigars.com for more information about their portfolio and the other fantastic brands they distribute.