Country of origin: Nicaragua
Color: Colorado Claro
Ring gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo Habano
Filler: Mexican (San Andres)/Nicaraguan (Esteli & Condega)
1502 Cigars pretty much flew completely under my radar until September 2012, when the House of Emilio announced its new agreement with Global Premium Cigars (GPC) to distribute the 1502 cigar line. Since then, I hadn't seen the line in any brick & mortar tobacconists; however, I have read numerous reviews, as well as social media posts, all giving accolades to each of the 1502 Cigars.
Global Premium Cigars is based in Nicaragua, and 1502 is positioned as its premium line, which is named in tribute to the year that Christopher Columbus discovered Nicaragua. As tobacco was a valued commodity in the Old World used and exchanged like currency, it was viewed as quite a treasure in Central America; as such, the three lines of 1502 Cigars were named Emerald, Ruby, and Black Gold.
Described by GPC as "fina fuerte" (fine strong), 1502 Emerald is the mildest in strength of the three lines (Ruby is of medium strength, and Black Gold is the fullest of strength). Huge thanks to Gary Griffith of the House of Emilio Cigars for providing the sample for this review. I was truly hoping for a great smoking experience, as there are three characteristics this cigar possesses that I happen to favor: 1) Nicaraguan origin; 2) torpedo vitola; and 3) it's box-pressed.
The 1502 Emerald is a beautiful box-pressed cigar with a slightly toothy Colorado Claro wrapper with small veins. It is adorned with a regal-appearing forest green label with the brand symbol and "1502" and "Emerald" embossed in gold. The most prominent vein is noted with some retained chlorophyll. The wrapper extends partially over the foot - a feature called a "cigar lock", which according to 1502 owner, Enrique Sanchez Icaza, keeps the wrapper from peeling or breaking, but also enables easier lighting. The wrapper doesn't provide much aroma, but the aroma from the foot is sweet and somewhat grassy in nature. Cold draw provided some nice grassy and floral notes. The cigar lights very easily, and it burned nicely and evenly throughout the smoke.
From a flavor perspective, the 1502 Emerald is another departure from my norm and is a fabulous cigar. It is medium in terms of body and mild-to-medium in strength; starting out quite mild, but picking up in strength throughout the smoke. The first third was characterized with heavy grassy flavor with some herbal and floral notes. It was moderately spicy, especially on retrohale, but had a very smooth creamy texture. There is a wonderful honey-like sweetness in the aftertaste that lingered on the palate. The grassy flavor persisted through the second third and through the finish; however, elements of cedar woodiness and leather were introduced. I believe I may have encountered some elements of vanilla as well. The spiciness diminished through the finish and the floral notes became more occasional in nature. Very, very enjoyable smoke - truly awesome and quite impressive...
1502 Emerald is also available as a 6" x 50 box-pressed Toro. In November 2013, it was announced that GPC will be extending the line to include a new 1502 Nicaragua in 2014 - its first Nicaragua puro consisting of tobacco from the growing regions of Esteli, Condega, Jalapa and Ometepe. For more information about GPC and the 1502 line, check out the website www.globalpremiumcigars.com. "LIKE" their Facebook page (1502 Cigars), but also check them out on Twitter (@1502Cigars) and on Instagram (@1502cigars).
★★★★ Very Good