--> Cigar Coop: Cigar Pre-Review: Los Regalos Quetzal by Emilio Cigars

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cigar Pre-Review: Los Regalos Quetzal by Emilio Cigars

Los Regalos Quetzal by Emilio Cigars
The Los Regalos Quetzal is the first cigar that will be launched under Emilio Cigars' Los Regalos line.   Over the past couple of years, Emilio Cigars' has built their brand portfolio by leveraging many different factories.  When the Los Regalos line was announced, brand developer Gary Griffith indicated that this will be leveraging a factory that Emilio had not used up until this point.   While the Quetzal represents the first blend in this line released, Griffith has mentioned that there are four blends planned for this series.  I recently had an opportunity to sample the Los Regalos Quetzal.  There is no question that Griffith and his Emilio Cigars' lines continue to make some high quality cigars.  The Los Regalos Quetzal is not only a home run, but I feel could be some of the finest work to date by Emilio Cigars.

First up, the name Los Regalos translates to "the Royals".  As for the name Quetzal, this is the name of Central American bird.  Griffith mentioned the Los Regalos Quetzal would have a Mayan theme on its packaging.  It turns out that the Quetzal was one of the most revered creatures in Ancient Mayan culture - thus fitting in with the brand name "Los Regalos".

Without further adieu, let's break down the Los Regalos Quetzal and see what this cigar brings to the table.   Since this analysis is based on pre-release samples, we will default to a pre-review.  This will allow us to provide some thoughts and perspectives on the cigar.  Once the Los Regalos Quetzal is released, we will provide an update with a final assessment rating and score.

Blend Profile

Historically, Griffith has always kept an aura of mystery around his releases.  While I know some will disagree with this approach, I've always said there is some fun in trying to guess the information around a blend.  While lately Griffith has been dropping some hints around his future projects, he still has been tight lipped on the Los Regalos Quetzal blend.

Prior to this writeup,  the blend composition for the Los Regalos Quetzal had not been published.  I will say, I had more fun trying to guess this particular blend than anything Emilio Cigars has produced before.  Shortly (minutes) after the publication of this review, Griffith "spilled the beans" in his comment below in terms of the blend, so we have updated below.

Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Habano
Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican

Vitolas Available

At this point, no specifics around the vitolas have been released.   The sample we are going to discuss in this write-up is a classic robusto size.  Approximate measurements appear to be 5 x 50.

Appearance

The Los Regalos Quetzal robusto has a milk chocolate colored wrapper.  The wrapper's complexion has some oil to it, but I would not categorize it as overly oily.  The wrapper has some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.  From the footer there is a barnyard aroma that can be detected through the nostrils.

The band features a red background that has white text.  The font on the band has both a Mayan feel and a contemporary look.  At the top of the band it says "Los Regalos" in white scriped font.  Below that text is "Quetzal" in a larger white scripted font with black trim.  At the bottom it says "Emilio Cigars" also in white scripted font.  Toward the back of the band is a simple representation of a Quetzal bird.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

As I usually do, I went with a straight cut into the cap of my Los Regalos Quetzal robusto.  Once the cap was removed, I proceeded to start with the pre-light draw.  The dry draw provided a mix of chocolate, orange citrus, and a tiny bit of spice.   Overall, I considered the pre-light draw to be outstanding as this flavor mix really worked for me.  At this point I was excited to fire up the Quetzal and see what this cigar would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

Overall I did not find the Los Regalos Quetzal to be a cigar that provided a lot of flavor transitions, however it was one that was provided some outstanding flavor.  I also found the flavors to complement each other extremely well.

The start to the Los Regalos Quetzal picked up where the pre-light draw left off.  There was still a mix of chocolate and orange citrus at the start.  These flavors were also complemented by some pepper and herb notes.  The herb notes gave this flavor profile a very interesting start.  The orange citrus and herbal notes would become primary notes with the chocolate while the pepper notes became secondary notes.   This flavor profile held for the first half of the smoking experience.

As the cigar moved into the second half, the flavor profile switched as the chocolate notes became primary and the orange citrus notes moved to the background.  This resulted in the flavor profile having a unique chocolate herbal flavor up front and and orange spice flavor in the background.  This was the way the flavor profile would hold until the close.  The spice kicked up slightly at the very end, but this isn't an overly spicy finish.  The resulting nub is ideal - firm to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

From a construction standpoint, I found the Los Regalos Quetzal to be a very well constructed cigar.  This was reflected in the attributes of burn and draw.  The burn remained extremely sharp from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was tight and white in color.  There was virtually no flaking or flowering from this ash.  The burn temperature was ideal.  The burn rate was a little slow, but it did not have any adverse effects on the flavors of the Quetzal.

The draw to the Quetzal was excellent as well.   It made the Quetzal a true joy to smoke

Strength and Body

In terms of its strength from a nicotine standpoint,  the Quetzal is a little deceiving.   This cigar has a little more pop to it than one might think from its appearance.   I assessed this cigar as being on the upper end of medium to full strength - falling a notch short of being a full strength cigar.   From a flavor perspective, this cigar is loaded with flavor.   This is clearly reflected in the depth of the flavor notes.  I assessed the Los Regalos Quetzal to be full-bodied.   As far as the balance goes between the strength and body, I give the body an edge here.

Final Thoughts

Last year, when Emilio Cigars burst on the cigar scene, the bar was set high.  The upcoming release of the Los Regalos Quetzal continues to keep the bar high.  This is a cigar that if you are fan of a lot of flavor, you are going to like this.   Sometimes I've been critical of a cigar "overpowering" with flavor.  This is not the case with the Quetzal.   The herbal notes combined with the chocolate, orange citrus, and spice help create some unique and balanced flavor combinations.  There is just something about the way these flavors meld to make this cigar special.   I said up-front that this could be one of the finest work that Emilio Cigars' has done - and I stand by that comment.   This is probably a cigar that would be most appreciated by an experienced cigar enthusiast.  Once released, this is a cigar I look forward to smoking again - and one that I would consider a box purchase of when it is released.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Full
Finish: Excellent 

Source: The cigar for this assessment were provided by Emilio Cigars .  These samples were initiated by Emilio Cigars in order to provide feedback.  Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this influence this review.

3 comments:

  1. Since you were kind enough to be the first to post a review I'll disclose some things. Wrapper is Ecuadoran Habano. Filler and binder are Nicaraguan and Dominican. Thanks for the very kind review sir.

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  2. Good review, that is a very interesting cigar. If the chocolate and citrus notes that you found hold true, that can sit very well on a almost full-bodied cigar.

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