Epicurean Gonzo Vintage 2007 | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Pennsylvanian Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres, Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa & Condega)
Size: 6 x 52 “Perfecto”
Body: Medium
Price: $9.25



Epicurean Cigars started their first limited production cigar in 2012. Owner, Steven Ysidron, left Savinelli to start his own business.

2013 found him becoming part of the House of Emilio. Gary Griffith distributes his cigars now. Emilio also supplies a good portion of the boutique cigars that Cigar Federation sells.

Ysidron started his cigar career working in the Fuente factory, along with his father.

Epicurean only produces 700 boxes of the Gonzo Vintage 2007 per year. The tobacco leaves are aged a full four years before being rolled.

Epicurean Cigars makes four blends: Azul, AG, Gonzo, and Gonzo Santeria. The Santeria is the most expensive blend skirting the $11.00-$12.00 per stick range.

This will be the first Gonzo 2007 I’ve smoked.

Have you noticed that $9.00 is the new $7.00 cigar?

The cigar comes in 5 sizes: Petite Corona: 5.5 x 48, Toro: 6 x 52, Trajabador: 5 x 56, Lancero: 6.5 x 38, and Perfecto: 6.5 x 52. Prices range from $8.50-$9.25.

Cigar Federation offers a 3 stick sampler of the AG 2007, Gonzo Vintage 2007, and the Azul for $28.00.

The perfecto is nicely done with tight seams, a modicum of veins, expertly pointy ends, and a semi-oily fertilizer brown, mottled wrapper.

The cigar double cigar bands are something else. They are like billboards on Sunset Blvd. The main band is black with red, white, gold, and silver lettering. The lettering proclaims everything you would ever want to know about this blend. I’ve never seen a cigar band give out the leaf stats before.

I clip the pointy cap and find aromas of spice, cocoa, dried fruit, exotic spice like cumin and coriander, and a bit of sweetness.
The spice was so effective that I sneezed three times in rapid succession.

I clip the foot back about ¼”.
Time to light up.

There is a decisive soft spot between the secondary band and the foot. Very spongy while the rest of the cigar is particularly solid. It looks like there is some tobacco missing as there is a flat spot on the back side of the cigar.

The first puffs are cocoa, sweetness, and earthiness. And then the sledge hammer of red pepper. The dried fruit makes its way to the forefront and it is a combination of raisin and dried black cherry.

The stick is also very nutty. Almonds and hazelnuts.

A little more than half an inch in, some creaminess appears. This is unusual so I might be in for an early flavor bomb.
The foot needs a minor correction and we move on.

As I rest the cigar next to the 150 year old clothes iron I sometimes use for photos, I notice that it’s “Where’s Waldo?” The cigar is a rusty brown almost the exact same hue as the iron.

Problem with perfectos with such pointy ends is that while the measurements are 6” long, by the time I remove bits of the cap and foot, it is closer to 5” long. I just lost an inch of cigar. The extreme pointed ends are an affectation and in some minor way, cheat the smoker out of a bit of cigar pleasure. I wouldn’t have made that comment if this was a $6 stick. But it ain’t. It costs $9.25.

Here are the flavors as I hit the end of the first third: Spice, earthiness, cocoa, creaminess, nuts, dried fruit, and espresso.

It hits flavor bomb status without much warning. I took a puff and it wasn’t. I pick it up again and it is. Voila.

The burn line has been an issue from the start. It’s wavy but not out of control and I don’t want to correct it again. Each time I put torch to cigar it feels like I’m killing it.

I’m working these issues out with my shrink.

I really did the cigar now. “Jammed Up and Jelly Tight” with flavor. Straight classic medium body.

The cigar quickly hits the halfway point or where it looks like a snake ate a moose.

Hopefully, the smoking process will slow down a bit now.

Flavors have not changed an iota. Same lineup as described earlier. But the char line is behaving. And maybe the creaminess has jumped a spot or two.

The last third sees a much broader spectrum being played out by the wonderful flavors. They are bold and unwavering.

I have two more Epicurean cigars to smoke and review: AG 2007 and Azul.

I’m sort of iffy on the price point. I gave the sticks a little over 3 weeks of humidor time but with all this aged tobacco in the cigar, it should be ready to smoke. I believe I am getting the entire flavor profile that was intended by the blender.

I have reviewed several of the cigars that are distributed by Emilio Cigars. If you take a look at “The Katman’s Best 82 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9 Range,” the last 7 cigars on the list come from Emilio. Except for the Ortega Serie D Black which is not available yet but I have reviewed.

So far, the Dante is my favorite of the bunch. And it’s only $8.00.

Because of the perfecto shape, it feels like I am smoking a petite robusto.

The cigar finishes nicely. No harshness or heat. Still lots of flavor. Still at medium body. And not a hint of nicotine.
I would like to try this cigar in a more conventional shape before I can recommend this cigar.

And now for something completely different:

Playing live and recording are two different art forms. As a young man, I discovered that the two are not necessarily present in the same person.

I found that a good 50-75% of really good players totally flunked out in the recording studio. They were so used to woodshedding, or riffing, that they couldn’t maintain the discipline of playing the same thing over and over. You play something fancy that the producer likes, then you have to play it again.

Before I went to England, two friends and I, spent countless hours jamming in the drummer’s living room with the tape machine on. We never played a single song. But we got used to having the tape player on and then listening to the parts where the Spirit of Music took over. That’s when you play things you’ve never played before and you become a vessel for the music to pass through you. Too Zen?

The trick is not to succumb to the stress of knowing that every note you lay down is there for posterity on tape; or until it is erased. Lots of musicians get very uptight about that and it makes them very uncomfortable. So they don’t play well. And in the studio, that rings the death knell.

I wasn’t with Curved Air two weeks when we were on the road and a week later, we were recording for the “Live” album. It was done over two consecutive nights at different venues.

I worried a tad. But I had experience in both the home recording studio and real recording studios. So once we started playing, I lived in the moment and forgot it was being taped.

And, as it turns out, I played my ass off in those double recordings.

No live album is ever released as-is. Gotta go into the studio and mix it. But before that, corrections are needed. Places where someone played a clunker or a vocal note was off. And the players, or singer, get a second chance.

This process took an entire week. The violinist, guitarist, keyboard player, and singer had a shit load of mistakes to fix.
I was called in to change one note. ONE NOTE. I was playing with some pretty heavy duty talent; all classically trained and schooled.

I could feel them seething as I inserted my one note…all the while, a big smile on my puss. When I was done, after 5 minutes, I left. I could feel the stares on the back of my neck. Oh if it had only been daggers. LOL.

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