One of the latest sticks to hit our humidor, Grimalkin is a much-talked-about Nicaraguan puro from newcomer boutique brand Emilio cigars. These stogies were blended by Jaime Garcia at Tabacalera La Estrella in Esteli,Nicaragua using a blend of premium Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos and a Nicaraguan Rosado wrapper leaf. Since late last year I had been hearing positive reviews and other praise around the internet for this mysterious blend with the creepy cat-eyes on the band, so naturally I was interested in finally seeing what all the buzz was about. For today’s review I selected the robusto size (5×52) for a tester.

The cigar appeared to be very solidly-rolled with a veiny and oily brown wrapper firmly in place. The band, which I mentioned earlier, was definitely unique, sporting just two glowing cat eyes peering at me from the dark above a simple “Grimalkin” logo. Pre-light tastes gave off notes of a vague spice, and also just a bit of fruitiness. It was time to get this party started.

Emilio Grimalkin Robusto (5×52)

The draw started off a bit tight for my tastes, but I still managed to pull through a lot of smoke with each puff. The main flavors were of a spicy nutmeg and espresso, with a decent amount of black pepper on the finish. As I puffed on, I began to pick up notes of wood, and some subtle cocoa, deepening the profile a bit.

As I burned into the second portion I noticed that the burn-line was really sharp, perfectly straight all the way around beneath a tight grey and black ash. The draw had loosened up a little by this point, which I appreciated, and the flavors of the cigar remained pretty consistent, though I did start to detect smooth and subtle notes of toasted bread, along with some malty sweetness on the finish.

Going into the last third there was much less pepper, and a new note of cream piped up. The profile of the cigar had slowly morphed during the course of the smoke, and was now supremely smooth and well-balanced with a woody taste and undertones of coffee. The Grimalkin continued to burn slow and even, a bit of Anise eventually showed up on the finish, and I took this stogie down to the nub.

The Emilio Grimalkin Robusto turned out to be a relaxing smoke with nice, balanced flavors from start to finish. This stick had tons of subtle nuances, and a perfect burn all the way down.  The draw was initially a little tough, but relaxed to a comfortable level after the first inch or so. I would recommend this cigar for those who enjoy a zesty, medium-bodied smoke with easygoing flavor and a maintenance-free performance. The Grimalkin gets a solid B grade for today, and I’m now looking forward to trying out the other releases from Emilio cigars.

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