If you have been smoking cigars for any amount of time, I am pretty sure you have heard of Emilio Cigars. If you haven’t, they are a unique large boutique line of cigars company. Not only does Emilio produce cigars, they also distribute a handful of smaller boutique companies. My favorite Emilio cigars are the AF2 and Grimalkin (now re-branded as La Musa). Late 2012, Gary Griffith released the Draig K Limitada in three sizes (Corona, Robusto & Toro) with limited production of 400 boxes in each size. There is some history of the name and why a pink dragon on the band, but I am not going to get all historical on you. Just think The country of Wales, their national symbol & Gary Griffith’s Welsh herritage and you should get the picture!
I had a few toro and corona when they first were released and had fair results with them. They seemed to have bad burn and sometimes a very stiff draw to them. So, I almost gave up on the line. A few fellow BOTLs told me to get a few and let them rest for a while, that the draw and burn will come out better after some rest. So thats exactly what I did with this one. This one has been resting ever since Gary gifted me this cigar a few months back (Thanks Gary!!). Then, I dry boxed it two days, just to make sure it wasn’t too wet still.
Size: 5 1/2 x 42
Wrapper: Columbian Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan & Handuran
Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduran
This cigar has a very deep dark brown, almost borderline black wrapper. There are a few color inconsistencies in the color of the wrapper. There are a few lighter spots in it here and there. There are a few small scattered veins here and there in the wrapper as well. But, we don’t smoke the looks of the cigar and the veins aren’t big enough to cause any burn issues; so this is all cosmetic to me. Overall a good firm feeling cigar with only one hard spot towards the cap. The wrapper has an earthy and leathery aroma to it. The foot, has a strong hay smell to it, which is a lot stronger than the wrapper aroma.
The cold draw gave some resistance, but not too much of an issue. The lit draw was about the same as the cold draw; milkshake thick. This is about the thickest type of draw I usually care for. Any thicker and I would not have cared for it at all. The few I have smoked fresh seemed to have a thicker draw to them. The rest could have eased the draw up, or it could just have been a fluke. These are handmade products, so there will be slight differences in them from time to time. But, my bet is, that the dry boxing helped with the draw by drying out some of the moisture in the leaves in the cigar.
I did have a few wavy burn lines through the first third or so, but they got better during the last portions of the cigar. The burn never got too off to ever need a touch-up and produced a dark gray and brown ash. Each ash held for around an inch or so and a few ended up in my lap. Oddly enough, it did go out on me around the half way point. I tend to smoke smaller ring gauged cigars (<46rg) slow so they don’t get too hot or have harsh flavors. So, I possibly was smoking it too slow at that point in time. A simple relight and purge and I was on my way again.
The first few draws are of dark flavors that coincide with the dark colors of the wrapper. I get some healthy medium to full flavors of dark roasted coffee. Also, I get some cocoa flavors with a short lived cedary spice note. About an inch or so in, a sweetness creeps up into the mix. The sweetness reminded me of a molasses cookie my mom used to give me as a child that I loved. (They were Archway Molasses Cookies ).
Around a third of the way in, there seemed to be an added salty note to the smoke. Its an odd, but not bad, flavor. But, the dark roasted coffee & molasses flavors are still there. The cocoa has turned more into a dark chocolate flavor; just not a very bitter dark chocolate. I like a dark coffee flavor in my cigars. I think that started years ago when I was a cigar newbie, I smoked a good bit of Drew Estate Tabak Especials and they have an infused coffee flavor. From time to time I still will fire one up for a change of pace.
At halfway, the smoke got more dark chocolatey and lesser coffee flavored. The coffee didn’t fade away, just not as strengthened as it was before. The molasses turned into a sweet caramel note. I do like the caramel sweetness a tad bit more than the molasses sweetness. The caramel seemed to be a tad bit creamier and more refined. At the last portion of the cigar, the coffee and dark chocolate come forth more fuller in equal strengths. The smooth caramel is still there as an undertone that lingers a bit on the palate. Towards the end, the whole flavor strength ramped up. But never got too overpowering or out of control.
Full flavors and medium to full bodied cigar. Had nice dark roasted coffee, chocolate and sweet molasses flavors. Had interesting hints of salt and caramel during different parts of the smoke. Produced a fair amount of smoke both drawn and idle with a pretty decent construction. This is not my favorite Emilio cigar, but its one of the top 10 favorite Emilios. My favorites are still the AF2 and Grimalkin (La Musa). But I do have to say, the aging and dry boxing did seem to help the smoking experience. I had lesser construction issues this time as opposed to previous fresh smoking experiences of the same cigar.
I enjoyed this cigar. Is it worth the $9? For a corona size, most people don’t look to pay $9, but there are some nice flavors that an experienced cigar enjoyer could appreciate. This cigar is not for a cigar newbie, the flavor strength and body would be a little too much for them I think. I would love to pair this with a hot cup of Cuban Coffee or some dark roasted Columbian blend coffee one evening. I suppose they would go hand in hand.
Some people would say “I’m not going through all that trouble to rest and dry box a cigar to have a good smoke!” Well, they put a good amount of time and trouble to create a cigar, sometimes we have to do a little on our end to make that cigar just a bit better (to us). Some people like this cigar fresh out the box, I prefer it with a little age and dry boxing.
I find a cigar smoking life in general to be more of a trial and error deal. You have to smoke every size of a cigar blend before you can say which is your favorite. That is trial and error; you smoked a few sizes you liked, but not as much as others. You have to smoke a lot of new different cigars to find out if you like it or not (trial and error). You just don’t know if you will like a cigar (or anything else in life) until you try it.
This cigar was provided to me, unsolicited, from Gary Griffith, owner of Emilio Cigars, for this review. Many thanks to Gary for the opportunity to review this cigar.