Cigar Reviews

Emilio Cigars Grimalkin

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In light of today being Halloween, I decided to dig up another spooky pairing to celebrate the occasion. I’m not sure how Halloween is accepted in different parts of the world but I think it’s mostly the same in North America. The only difference is up here in the Great White North is that the costumes usually get covered by massive puffy coats at this time of year. So you see the puffy-Ninja, puffy-Princess and my personal favorite, the puffy-Superman that can’t fly! lol The temperature is dropping quickly this time a year and is hovering around freezing (32F/0C) as soon as the sun goes down. Hopefully puffy-Superman doesn’t get frostbite!

So the pairing I decided on today to celebrate Halloween is the Grimalkin by Emilio Cigars. If you’ve been following our reviews over the last couple months you would have seen Tony post up two reviews from Emilio, the AF1 BMF and the AF2 Toro. If you take a glance through Tony’s reviews you’ll see that he enjoyed both of them quite a bit. I also had the chance to smoke them and thought they were both quite enjoyable. So does the Grimalkin continue that trend?

If you haven’t heard of Emilio Cigars don’t be surprised. They’ve been making a larger splash in the market recently but up until a few months ago I hadn’t really heard of them either. They are slowly expanding distribution and getting a name out for themselves. You can check the Emilio Cigars website for information on retailers near you that carry their products. Emilio Cigars is owned by Gary Griffiths and there isn’t too much info available on this cigar.

From what I can find, the Grimalkin is made in Esteli, Nicaragua from selected and limited tobaccos. The yield of this cigar is limited based on the harvest amounts of the various tobaccos. So what this basically means is that each year will have a different production amount based on the amount of required tobaccos they manage to harvest. I like this approach, it’s fairly practicle and it’s not limiting production to a set amount of boxes every year. A quick google search shows them available in a few shops so that’s a good sign as well.

Now I found the band here to be kind of interesting… The name “Grimalkin” seems sort of like some creepy monster, maybe like a more evil Gremlin, and it goes nicely with the ominous yellow cat-like eyes on the wrapper. What seems odd to me is that the text is printed in curved pattern which makes it look sort of like the cat is smiling at me? Am I crazy? It’s not really an evil smile either, it looks happy to me! Seemed to take away from the spooky aspect since it made me laugh, lol. But maybe it’s just me? I’ll stop talking now… let’s get to the review!

Cigar: Emilio Cigars Grimalkin
Drink: Huyghe Brewery Delirium Nocturnum
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 52)
Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Price: about $7.00
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

• The is a very nicely constructed cigar that is evenly round and has almost no veins on it at all
• The wrapper is smooth and oily which compliments its dark cinnamon brown color
• The Grimalkin actually feels a tad firm along it’s whole length, I’m hoping that doesn’t mean a tight draw
• The head of the cigar is finished with a triple cap, it’s not overly neat but not messy either
• Not the foot looks to be as tightly packed as could be possible, there are almost no gaps here at all
• The cut was pretty easy considering the firmness of the cigar but the draw was definitely suffering at the start
• Within an inch the draw definitely opened up which I wasn’t expecting but is a pleasant surprise

• Toasting took a bit longer than I expected for this vitola and got a little messy as the wrapper edges started to burn a bit
• Got started off to wavy burn and it’s continued that way through the first inch or so, hasn’t gottne worse and seems to be nice and sharp
• Burn seems to be improving slowly, staying sharp and getting straighter
• It’s actually burning very slowly and easily too, no need to constant draws to keep it lit
• The burn did round out and burned razor sharp through to the end

Smoke & Ash:
• Despite a fairly tight draw I am getting a ton of smoke each time, really fills your mouth
• The resting smoke seems non-stop but at least it’s somewhat moderate, gives off a nice aroma too
• The ash is coming along nice and clean, looks to be strong but we’ll see how long it lasts
• White is the dominant color of the ash with some light grey tones, very nice
• I knocked the first ash off at just about an inch as I could see a crack forming along it but it stayed clean and strong
• The thick billowy smoke continued to the end and so did the nice looking ash

Tasting Notes:
• The wrapper aroma has an interesting cedar and grassy touch to it, I usually don’t get much grassy aromas on the wrapper
• The foot offers more woodsiness, but this time it’s just a generic chopped wood type of aroma, not really cedar. Along with that I’m getting some dirt-like earthiness and a bit of the grass aromas again
• The pre-light draw brought lots more interesting cedar and a bit of earthiness
• The initial few draws are very tasty, filled with a smooth cedar, some earthiness and a bit of a cinnamon/nutmeg/clove mixture
• The body seems to be in the low medium range at the start and comes with a small bit on the retrohale and a cedar finish
• The mixture of spices is really picking up in flavor intensity as I get near the halfway mark, I’m also picking up some coffee notes which are accenting very well
• Not sure if it was intentional at all but the mixture of flavors in this cigar seems to pair perfectly with this time of year
• As I continue, I got some toasted almond type of flavors mixing in, this keeps getting better
• The woodsiness made a big comeback in the last half, at times it seemed a little overpowering “roasted”. Not quite burnt though
• The spices, coffee and almonds are still around but with less intensity now
• The retrohale has pretty much remained the same and the body is gaining a bit of ground and more in the high range of medium now
• The general flavor profile didn’t change much in the last third and the flavors each took turns being the prominent flavor
• I was able to smoke the cigar down to my burning with almost no harshness at all, a nice finish

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed this cigar quite a bit, not sure I would call it a top 10 or anything but it made for a good relaxing afternoon. It had a variety of flavors, burned well and kept me interested the whole time. I think the balance was a lot better in the first half but it wasn’t bad at all in the second half, just had a little more of the woodsiness versus the other flavors. The band still makes me laugh a little but oh well, lol. The flavors seemed to be perfect for fall for some reason, they reminded me of what you would find in pumpkin pie or something. I think I would definitely pick up a few more of these to keep in the humidor. The price is just a touch higher than I would want for this flavor profile, but considering it is a limited release it’s not over the top either.

This pairing was actually a recommendation I got from our resident Belgium beer connoisseur, Tony. I happened to find it down in Florida a couple months ago and finally decided to crack it open today. I thought the weird label fit well into the “silly spookiness” of the Grimalkin. There’s not much I can say about this label other than it looks like someone was high on something when they came up with the idea of a pink elephant dancing in a blue and yellow vortex type of thing… It is made in Belgium by the Huyghe Brewery and clocks in at a nice 8.5% alc./vol. The name itself is called the Delirium Nocturnum and claims itself to be simply a Belgian Ale. Now aside from the crazy label and interesting stone textured bottle, the brew is actually very good. It’s got a nice amount of hoppy bitterness on the finish and when it first hit’s your mouth you get a wake up call to your senses. There’s all kinds of flavors going on including a burst of fruitiness, a nice helping of malt and there’s even some roasted flavors in there. All in all, it’s a great brew and definitely worth trying if you can find it. I know they don’t sell it here in Ontario which is disappointing 🙁
Now did it pair well? Hell yes it did. Tony is lucky this time! lol. The fruit, malt and bitterness made an excellent pairing to the coffee and spices of the Grimalkin and I think it would pair excellently with a ton of different cigars and various strengths.

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter


  1. revjava

    October 31, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Daniel~Nice review and glad to hear that someone else things that certian cigars have certian seasons. I have always thought that darker/spicer cigars seem better in fall/winter and mild/lighter in summer.
    I have grimalkin in my humidor and am looking fwd to enjoying it with a cup of ethopian coffee..

    • Dalamscius

      October 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

      Thanks Rev! I definitely agree that some cigars can be seasonal, same goes with various beers and even coffees! Let me know what you think of the Grimalkin when you get a chance to smoke it!

      • revjava

        November 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

        Daniel~So I got inspired by you, took the Grimalkin out fo the humidor and enjoyed it while handing candy out to the kids last night. It was a cool night, the smoke for our neighbors fire was in the air. I paired the grimalkin with a hot toddy~ it is tradtion that our nighborhood hands our bevergaes for adults~ while giving candyto kids~ ours this year was called a Gremlin’s leg~ Dark Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Schnapps, Starbucks Coffee Liquor and dalop of fresh whipped cream.
        At first I thought it might be overpowering for cigar~ I was wrong the funkyness of the mint and chocolate bounced off the earthy/pine-y/spice of the grimalkin when I got about 1/3 way in.
        Maybe it was the night, but I was amazed by the amount of thick smoke that came off it? I wasn’t expecting it~ plus the wife loved the smell of the smoke~ quite amazing.
        Thanks again for the review…I’m on my way to pick up some more from my local B&M store.. -Rev

  2. Jay

    October 31, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Good job, Daniel !
    I’m enjoying different cigar placements. Creativity is the key 🙂 As always, great and descriptive review. I have yet to try Grimalkin. Those eyes are little spooky so perfect Halloween selection. Keep up the good work, bud !

    • Dalamscius

      October 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks Jay, I’m trying to learn from your pictures! haha. Hope you got something special to enjoy for Halloween today!

  3. Tony Casas

    October 31, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Stop taking better pictures than me. 🙂

    Great review dude.

  4. jjo

    October 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Great review! I was able to try one of these thanks to Tony, and your review is a good reflection of my experience, although I can never grasp the individual flavors as well as you guys do. Which is to say, I enjoyed it.

    I’m hoping the Emilio cigars will be available in my neck of the woods soon.

    Great pairing of labels in the last pic. 🙂

    • Dalamscius

      October 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks jjo! Glad to see my opinion was in line with yours. Their distribution seems to be expanding pretty quickly and you can always order online. I say that our friends over at Bonita are selling these too if you’re interested.

    • Jake

      November 1, 2011 at 10:46 am

      I was going to say the same thing Now I don’t have to worry about hurting Tony’s feelings. 😉 You both take pics like you own nice cameras or something. Great job on the review, Daniel.

  5. Lou Bozzelli

    October 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Another great review Daniel T. Looking forward to trying this one some day soon. I love the touch of nature in the photos, what a great idea. Tell Tony not to feel bad, his pics are pretty darn good too. But if anyone is keeping score, it’s CAN 1- US 0. Till the next review boys!! Happy Hallowe’en!

    • Dalamscius

      October 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm

      bwahahaha! Thanks Lou, Tony knows how much Canada rocks. He asks me to send him poutine at least once a week 😛
      These are pretty hard to track down up here but a little looking around and you should be able to find someone to ship here if you really wanted to try them.

      • Tony Casas

        October 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm

        What? you want a cigar that you can only get in the US? TOO BAD.. MUAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

        CAN 1 – US 1million

        • Tony Casas

          October 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm

          No but really Lou, if you can’t get your hands on them let me know.

      • jjo

        October 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

        LOL! You mean Tony can’t get a big ol’ tub of salty lard where he lives? 😉 Unfortunately, we also can’t get authentic poutine here in Seattle, but we can do this:
        No, I haven’t tried it yet, but one of these days…. It would be the perfect time to break out the Unibroue, eh?

        • Dalamscius

          October 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm

          Sounds like you are turning into a Canadian Jeff! lol
          Hope you enjoy that artery clogging mass of deliciousness!

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