Vital Stats:

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.

Vitola: Double Toro
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 58
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Factory: AJ Fernandez
Blender: AJ Fernandez
Number of reviewers: 5—–Robert (NavyPiper) Ron (shuckins) Dave (mdwest) Gregg (McGreggor57) Derek (StogieNinja)
Price: $7.80
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: 2010
Contributed by: House of Emilio

Initial Impressions

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Appearance: 91

“Good looking cigar. I especially like the oily, dark as midnight wrapper.” –Ron (shuckins)

Aroma: 91

“Dark tobacco, leather, very dark cocoa and hay” –Derek (StogieNinja)

First Third

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Flavor: 91
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium-Full

“An earth and oak combination is underneath the initial heat and spice. As the pepper on the retrohale fades, molasses replaces it and lingers on the finish. About an inch in, an aromatic cedar comes to the front. The molasses is retreating and gives way to some allspice. Quite a bit of flavor shifts early on.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

“Begins as a big Maduro should, with a black pepper blast. Flavors are pepper, espresso and tobacco, reminding me from the start of a Pepin blend. There’s a bit of cocoa and wood. There are hints of cedar and baking spices as well, but those are in the background. It’s not subtle, and not refined at all; it’s big, bold and blunt, which is as it should be. After half an inch, the cigar settles into a much more balanced profile. Bittersweet chocolate, espresso, a rich tobacco core and dry wood are at the front, with a very light creaminess rounding out the edges. Unfortunately, much of the richness has also disappeared, leaving the flavors feeling slightly muted and a bit watered down.” –Derek (StogieNinja)

Second Third

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Flavor: 89
Strength: Medium
Body/Complexity: Medium

“Second third gradually matures into a more mellow group of flavors, except for the pepper which is still pretty stout and puts a real good burn through the sinuses on retro. At about the half way point, the pepper toned down and I’m getting some sagebrush flavor instead of the coffee.” –Robert (NavyPiper)

“It’s settled down and smoothed out somewhat, with the harshness gone. Coffee is more of a dark roast flavor, while the wood taste is still up front with the pepper. The wood has more of a campfire taste, which is pleasing on the palate.” –Ron (shuckins)

Final Third

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Flavor: 90
Strength: Medium-Strong
Body/Complexity: Medium

“A little dry leather flavor joins the coffee and helps tone down the woodsy tasting tobacco. Although the pepper is still up front enough to provide a nice kick to the cigar as it nears the end, the harshness and heat have faded.” –Ron (shuckins)

“Still very little change in profile at all, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since I like what the cigar is providing, but this is a pretty long smoke. A little bit of change would have been nice, but never seemed to come.” –Dave (mdwest)

Overall Impressions

Draw: 90

“Draw was really good. At first, I was afraid on the pre-light draw that it would be too loose, which it was, but after lighting, I was surprised that the draw actually got snug enough to be really good!” –Robert (NavyPiper)

Burn: 89

“Pretty straight throughout and the ash held for long periods of time.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

Construction: 90

“The cigar was firmly and consistently packed from end to end, had tight seams and a well applied cap. No construction issues at all.” –Dave (mdwest)

Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Overall Experience: 89

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro

“Overall, I really enjoyed this stogie. The flavors were really good and went well together. The only ‘bad’ time, if one could call it that, was at about the mid way point of the final third when the pepper was getting a bit overwhelming. After a couple of puffs, I decided retro-haling was out for the duration of the third. I’d be more than happy to have some more of these!” –Robert (NavyPiper)

“A very robust cigar, with big bold flavors, suitable for an after dinner smoke.” –Ron (shuckins)

“I’m curious to see the reveal on this stick. While I would have really liked to have seen some more complexity and changes in profile in such a long smoke, the flavors were very nice and it was a pretty low maintenance stick. Assuming the price is right, it might make a nice “daily” smoker.” –Dave (mdwest)

“Given the rainbow of flavors offered in the first inch or so, I was expecting a lot of interest and changes in profile. Sadly, this cigar seemed to be stuck on an off putting aromatic cedar. Even when it subsided, I couldn’t shake it. I was hoping it would at least be a good stick for the golf course or while fishing but I’ll pass on smoking another one.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)

“A very satisfying combination of flavors somewhat marred by the size and construction of the cigar. The loose draw required more effort to produce satisfying results, and the necessary frequency resulted in a slightly bitter smoke. In my mind, this is a classic case of the problem with the push for large ring gauges. The blend would be far more balanced, and the cigar would smoke so much better in a smaller gauge. I’d love to try this again in a smaller size, as I think it could be very gratifying, but I wouldn’t smoke another in this ring gauge. I would definitely recommend the cigar if it were available in a 50rg, and if available, I’ll probably seek one out myself.” –Derek (StogieNinja)

Smoking Time (in minutes): 91

Total Score: 90 (Very Good)

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To view the complete scores and notes, click here.

Blind Cigar Review: Emilio | AF1 Gran Toro