Price: Gift from Gary at Emilio Cigars
Initial Observations: Very well constructed with a medium brown tobacco, no tears or folding of the wrapper. A few small veins are noticeable but the wrapper looks perfect. I notice some crystallization of the natural cigar oils as well. The cigar smells earthy, woody and slightly sweet.
Cut: I cut just under the cap with a double blade guillotine cutter. There was a fair bit of resistance but the cut was even.
Prelight: The draw is fairly tight. I picked up notes of wood, rich earth and sweet straw.
Toast and Burn: I used a single flame butane torch to toast the foot then light the cigar. The light was nice and even.
First Blush Puffs: The first puffs brought notes of wood immediately to the palate, a spicy cedar that lingered on the palate.
First Third: The straw quickly became noticeable amongst the cedar. I also picked up some toasted nuts and rich earth. Leather finished the palate. The smoke was slightly spicy and rich. The draw began to open up as I smoked producing plenty of smoke. The burn became slightly uneven but quickly began to fix itself within a few puffs. The wood and leather remained consistent through the first third but I also start to pick up the subtle warmth of a spice, black pepper.
Second Third: The cedar reemerges as the main note into the second third, followed by more leather. The black pepper lingers subtly on the palate. Towards the finish of the third, I pick up a flavor that I don’t immediately recognize. After a few more puffs, allowing the velvety smoke to wash over my palate, I realize it reminds me of a dry red wine very similar to a pinot noir. This is a very pleasant surprise in the mix of other notes.
Final Third: In the final third. the flavors return to wood. roasted nuts, balanced with the red wine and finishing with the spice.The burn has remained almost perfectly even and the draw opened up nicely. The wood notes start to pick up a more apparent cedar essence with leather as the cigar finishes.
Conclusion: The Grimalkin is a wonderfully rolled medium bodied cigar not lacking in complexity. From start to finish this was a very pleasing experience for my palate.The notes of dry red wine were particularly pleasing mingling with the cedar and leather. The spice was subtle and enjoyable as well. The smoke in the retrohale was very rich and slightly spicy also. I truly have nothing negative to say about this cigar. Thank you Gary for providing me the opportunity to sample this gem. I look forward to smoking more!