The Emilio LJZ is the first cigar to come from Emilio Cigars since Gary Griffith left in 2015. He was the head of Emilio cigars and House of Emilio (now Boutiques United). House of Emilio had a meteoric rise from 2013-2015 in the boutique cigar world. After Griffith left, Scott Zucca of L.J. Zucca, Inc., took over the company. The new Emilio gets its name from both the initials of the company behind it, L.J. Zucca. Today we are reviewing the Emilio | LJZ Robusto.
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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
“LJZ is a cigar that has been 70 years in the making. In 1947, my family started LJ Zucca from my grandfather’s front porch and it’s grown into the regional distribution company it is today,” said Scott Zucca. “The LJZ cigar is a tribute not only to them and its many employees, but also to the hard work, character, and entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great. I believe it’s our best Emilio cigar release yet.”
The Emilio LJZ is blended of Nicaraguan tobacco for its filler, and Ecuadorian habano for binder and filler. The cigar was blended and is made by James Brown of Black Label Trading Co., at his factory, Fabrica Oveja Negra.
The LJZ is made in two vitolas: Robusto (5 x 52) MSRP $9 (Boxes of 20, $180) and Toro (6 x 50) MSRP $11 (Boxes of 20, $220).
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano
Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra
Blender: James Brown
Number of reviewers: 5 – Ryan H. (Ryan H.) John A. (John A.) Mickey T. (irratebass) Steve (ThaGreatWazoo) David F. (dfafjf)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: July 2017
Contributed by: Emilio Cigars
“A super firm robusto in a classic brown wrapper, double capped, noticeable smooth veins.” –John A. (John A.)
“Very rich barnyard aroma very sweet smelling” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“The first third was okay. Not really overpowering or full of complexity. Notes of spice, bread, and hay. The aroma is strong with a lot of char in the air.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“Upon lighting, the cigar opens to a nice earthy barnyard / leathery mix. Nice light but leaning more to medium bodied smoke. Nice mild red pepper in the retro hale but not very present in the body. Along with the barnyard flavors I’m picking up some toasted bread flavors as well. I think this would pair very nice with a coffee with a splash of cream (sadly I’m drinking water for the review). While I’m enjoying the start of this cigar, nothing really stands out as setting this cigar apart.” –David F. (dfafjf)
“As I get into the second third construction issues start to rear their head in the form of mini fractures of the wrapper that quickly begin to span the length of the cigar. Regardless the flavor profile remains pleasing as nuts, cream, and a smoky date sweetness. This third ends with a cracking noise that further expands the fissure.” –John A. (John A.)
“The cap is beginning to fall apart. The profile is staying the same. Very medium bodied with a constant hay and spice. A slight char is developing over the retrohale. Touchups are needed more often than not and keep the burn in line.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“Remains unchanged earth on the front small amount of sweetness of the finish” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“The final third picks up in spice. The cap is really giving me issues and has for awhile now. Earthy notes are beginning to pickup with the mixture of char and spice. A decent finish, but nothing mind-blowing.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“Medium resistance in the draw. I prefer more of an open draw but the cigar smoked well with a fair amount of smoke output.” –David F. (dfafjf)
“Despite my wrapper issues it burned very well. No touch ups were required, and it stayed cool” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Snap, crackle, pop… after the first third this stick formed many cracks as it was burned.” –John A. (John A.)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 87
“The cigar is great in the sense of construction performance and draw, but just lacking in producing a favorable profile. I would smoke it again, but just not something to seek out” –Ryan H. (Ryan H.)
“I am torn… while the flavor profile was pleasing to the palette, the construction was horrible, cracks forming ever which direction. Luckily it continued to burn through like a champ which is why I am giving an overall fair rating.” –John A. (John A.)
“Despite my wrapper issues this was a very good smoke, lots of cream, white pepper followed by some nuts and spice. I would like to give this cigar a 2nd chance in the spring when the weather will be better, and maybe out on my deck. ” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“This cigar was mediocre in my opinion. There was not much complexity. Smooth notes of spice and hay were the cornerstones, but the char crept in and took over through the second and final third of the cigar. A little age might do this cigar some good, so do not give up entirely on this stick. It might grow into something very good.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“A good mild/medium bodied cigar that would be nice to start off the day. Very similar flavors throughout without much change but sadly that made me desiring more. Nothing particularly amazing stood out about this cigar and its not one I would search out for me.” –David F. (dfafjf)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 61
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.