Last year at IPCPR in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of meeting Steven Ysidron, formerly of Savinelli. I was impressed with his vast knowledge of cigars and his vintage blends. But if that is not enough, what really stood out and impressed me was his incredible passion for the industry and life. Since his departure with Savinelli, I have been looking forward to sampling the wares from his latest venture, Epicurean cigars. Today, I bring you a review of the AG Azul. This cigar has a sun grown Habano wrapper, Honduran binder and filler from 2008 crops in Jalapa Valley and Esteli.
The Trabajador measures in at 5 by 54 and is encased in cedar with a black ribbon at the foot. The wrapper is a nice medium brown with very few small veins and a nice sheen of oils. It has an aroma of cedar, hay and a hint of cocoa. The cold draw has notes of cocoa and hay.
Upon lighting the cigar, my palate is met with cedar, spice and cocoa. As I continue to smoke, the spice intensifies, I also pick up leather and unsweetened cocoa. The spice lingers in the aftertaste and the retrohale has a fair amount of pepper. After about a half inch the flavors balance out and the leather, cocoa and pepper maintain a perfect balance.
Now into the second third, the cocoa picks up on the front of the palate, leather is mid draw and there is spice on finish. There is cedar lingering in the aftertaste and a very pleasant, aromatic spice in the retrohale. Towards the end of this third, leather becomes more noticeable and the spice subsides slightly.
In the finishing third of the cigar, leather still remains in the foreground and there is cocoa and cedar on finish. Spice tingles my mouth in the after taste and the retrohale maintains the peppery notes. Spice returns in last inch, washing over entire palate with leather and wood in aftertaste.
The AG Azul is home run from Epicurean. From start to finish it was a pleasant experience. I have smoked 5 or 6 of these since the tradeshow in Orlando and my experience each time has been consistent and highly enjoyable.