Emilio Cigars – Mia Dora
Less than a month ago, House of Emilio made known through a Facebook post the retirement of Gary Griffith, the founder of House of Emilio and Emilio Cigars. While I am sure there is a lot of speculation on the real reason for his departure, all I know is it appeared to be rather sudden. But no matter what the reason, the Casas Fumando crew wishes Gary Griffith the very best in his next pursuit. For myself, Gary’s departure makes me wonder the longevity of Emilio Cigars, and, especially, the cigars that were near and dear to Gary in the branding such as the Mia Dora, which I will be reviewing today, and the La Musa Melete.
Way back in 2013, Emilio Cigars announced the Mia Dora, a cigar dedicated to Gary Griffith’s now wife, Dora, and her ancestry. Originally scheduled for release at the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, the cigar did not begin shipping to retailers until October 2014 as reported by half wheel. As is the case with several offering from Emilio Cigars, the Mia Dora is produced in Esteli, Nicaragua at the A.J. Fernandez factory in three vitolas: Coronita (5 ¼ by 44), Robusto (5 by 50), and Toro (6 by 50). The Robusto and Toro are packaged in 21 count boxes, while the Coronita is sold in 40 count boxes.
Reviews of other offerings from Emilio Cigars can be found below:
Samples Provided by House of Emilio
Size: 5 by 50
Wrapper: Habano Rosado
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
The Habano Rosado wrapper is light to medium brown with a rustic appearance, small and medium veins, and some darker color imperfections. There is a mild aroma of cardboard, a very faint pungency, and cedar found on the wrapper. The same cardboard is found on the foot of the cigar, accompanied by the smell of grass after it rains and cedar.
The Mia Dora Robusto comes to a close with a beautifully applied double cap. After a quick, shallow cut, I find more of the cardboard and deep notes of wet cedar. A spice tingle is already felt on my tongue from the dry draw.
The Mia Dora is opening up with a unique tartness, some grassiness, and pepper. Quickly, the flavors move to deep woodsy notes with the introductory flavors disappearing, except for the pepper. As the cigar warms up, the pepper gains in intensity is both flavor and heat. Approaching an inch in, the flavors are beginning to mesh very well as a grape or jelly sweetness arrives. The Mia Dora is burning perfectly leaving behind a firm, light ash.
Transitioning into the second third, darker notes of earth and coffee join in with the cedar, grape sweetness, and, now, mellow pepper. But if you begin missing the pepper, a quick pass of the smoke through the sinuses should satisfy. The pepper is full in flavor and strength on the retrohale. So far, the performance has been exceptional making this an effortless smoking experience.
The wrapper unravels slightly with only a few inches of the cigar remaining, which does not seem to be impacting the smoke. The flavors remain consistent with the prior third, with added toasted notes and nuttiness, as well as cocoa and earth on the finish. Overall, the profile continues to be balanced with the flavors and strength ending in the solid medium realm.
If I had only smoked this cigar through the first third, I would of had no idea of the origin or make-up of the Mia Dora. By the second third, the more typical Nicaraguan flavors arrived, but the profile remained very different than what I have become accustomed to with A.J. Fernandez made cigars. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. I found Emilio Cigars’ Mia Dora to be unique, decently complex, and balanced. The exceptional performance, other than the wrapper unraveling in the final third, is a great testimony to the quality control taking place at A.J. Fernandez’s factory. I was unable to determine the exact MSRP on the Mia Dora, but several sites referenced it being in the $10 range. With that said, the Mia Dora experience is well worth the asking price. I hope this cigar remains on the market even with the departure of Gary Griffith from Emilio Cigars, as I would like to visit this cigar again in the future.