Emilio Cigars Grimalkin
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)
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
• 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
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.