Emilio Grimalkin 2018 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9.80

Today we take a look at the Emilio Grimalkin 2018.
Many thanks to Tyler Jeffery at Havana Lounge and Cigar.

Released: May, 2018
Regular Production
From Halwheel.com:
“In 2011, Emilio Cigars released a Nicaraguan puro produced at the My Fathers Cigars S.A. factory named Grimalkin, after an archaic term for an old, gray, female cat.

“Unfortunately, that moniker did not last long, as the line was renamed in 2012 after the brand’s face, Gary Griffith, acknowledged that both the name and design had received a fair amount of criticism. The new name of the Grimalkin blend was changed to Mousa and it was moved to a new series dubbed La Musa by Emilio Cigars. There ended up being our different blends total in the series, with the other three named after the three original Plutarchian Muses in Greek mythology: Melete, Aoide, and Mneme.

“Scott Zucca, owner of Boutiques Unified and Emilio, announced earlier this year that the Grimalkin brand would be returning with not only a brand new label and blend—albeit still a Nicaraguan puro—but also being produced at in a new location, namely Black Label Trading Co’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory located in Estelí, Nicaragua.

“Grimalkin was always a cigar that stood out in the Emilio portfolio,” said James Brown, owner of Fabrica Oveja Negra, in a press release. “It was intriguing, so when Scott Zucca, owner of Emilio cigars, asked me to recreate a 2018 version, I was excited to do so. I like the theme and the style of cigar, it just needed an update and so we put our Oveja Negra spin on it. Since the cigar is a Nicaraguan Puro, my goal was to highlight the qualities I love about Nicaraguan tobacco.”

“The reworked version was released in two different vitolas, both of which are packaged in 20-count boxes.”

Robusto 5 x 50 $9.80
Toro 6 x 50 $10.00

This is a clean looking stick with few veins and hidden seams. It looks like it has a quadruple cap but it is so expertly applied that I really think it is a triple cap. The light brown/rust colored wrapper is as smooth as closely shaven balls. I personally don’t do that as at my age, they hang too low and my bad back won’t allow me to bend for extended periods of time.

Oh good. Another cigar band with the S.O.P. depiction of a gold skull against a background of black. Ooh. Scary. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of grimalkin is: “a domestic cat; especially: an old female cat.” So, I guess the skull is totally appropriate…?

From the shaft, I can smell nuts, malt, cedar, mild cocoa, sugar cane, some black pepper, barnyard, and roly poly fish heads.

From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell big notes of black and red peppers, chocolate covered malted milk balls, cedar, nuts, honey, coffee toffee, and cream.

The cold draw presents notes of malt, chocolate, nuts, heavy spiciness, cedar, barnyard, earth, wind, and leather, and espresso.

The draw is super clean and containing the perfect resistance. No need for my PerfecDraw cigar poker tool.
This is a smoker folks. The room fills up with huge clouds of cigar smoke until it looks like a 1940’s film noir flick.

The cigar emits an interesting fleet of enemas…wait…an interesting fleet of flavors: Both red and black pepper engaging in scorched earth policy. A nice chocolate malty element kicks in early and provides a pleasant chewiness. It’s very creamy; almost like whipped cream and crème brûlée.

Nutmeg makes a brief showing. Cinnamon morphs with the pepper attack.
I smoked the other single I had and found burn issues throughout the entire experience. I’m beginning to see the same thing applying itself for the second time. Once is barely acceptable; twice is time for concern about the construction.

Strength is solid medium.

Essence of complexity begins to rear its pretty face. It brings the flavors together creating a good sign: the whole begins to supersede the sum of its parts. Exactly how I like to see a premium cigar start its journey…not waiting for the halfway point just before I’m ready to toss the cigar out of disgust and tomfoolery.

The nuttiness increases with touches of peanut, marzipan, and cashew. Very creamy.
A sweetness shows up similar to guzzling some sorghum. It’s also good substitute if you’ve run out of Lubriderm.

The spiciness has calmed down to the point that the black pepper has pushed the red pepper of the edge of the earth. Just like the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña avoided. The fourth ship was called the Quorum and was destined for destruction from the moment it left port. The sailors were considered expendable as they were all ex-cons convicted of smoking bundle cigars made by Philippe Gonzalez-Gonzalez.

The cigar goes out. I dry boxed it for 48 hours so the humidity level would be low and I shouldn’t have wet dog syndrome with the tobacco. It seems the blend wasn’t having any of it.

The Emilio Grimalkin 2018 is a nice little blend. Nothing earth shattering or concussion protocol needed. Just a solid, agreeable cigar.

The complexity is, hopefully, waiting on a little more of the cigar to be smoked. There are transitions swimming around like gefilte fish. And there is a satisfying chewy finish.

I’ve had the Emilio Grimalkin 2018 for a couple months and it seems it doesn’t even need that. Definitely New Breed blending techniques. Nice. Bitch’n. Boss. Groovy kind of love. Slow down, you move too fast.
Strength remains at an easy going medium.
The price point seems to be justified…for a $10 cigar.

Smoke time is 25 minutes.

The Emilio Grimalkin 2018 is all in. It reaches its first sweet spot. Flavors coat my palate like waking up with a Davy Crocket coon skin cap on.
I’m now very impressed. The blend moves into that territory where it doesn’t matter if you are an experienced, nuanced cigar smoker…or one that proudly proclaims, “I can’t taste no stinkin’ flavors but I know what I like.”

This is a very balanced blend. Smooth. Full of character with nuances galore. Little touches that fly by as you try to capture them the way you used to capture fireflies.
I get a nice insurgency of black licorice, black cherries, black heads, and spearmint.

The pepper is on the wane. Replaced with zesty notes of cinnamon.
The early burn issues seem to be in check.
A nice sophistication begins to permeate the experience.

My only criticism at this point is that the Emilio Grimalkin 2018 is a good cigar but nothing I haven’t already tasted in every Nic puro I’ve smoked. This is not a special blend. It’s solid but there are a gazillion boutique brands that seem to be pumping out the same flavors. No. I’m not going to list them.

The point is exceptionalism. The Grimalkin is not exceptional. It’s priced correctly for a good boutique blend…but…I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a box. I suppose if the price was competitive and not in the $10 range, it would be a solid purchase.

The halfway point is reached at 45 minutes.
The black pepper goes into Code 1 attack. My tongue and lips are stinging from the onslaught.
Strength hits medium/full.

The cigar makes a quantum leap in its pre-ordained purpose to satisfy and give your palate a hand job.

Yes, it kicks in at the halfway point but the important thing is that the cigar was not bland leading up to the running of the bulls.
Now we’re talking.

Name dropping time…I’m sitting next to Ozzy as Curved Air supported Black Sabbath for a couple of gigs. What a huge booking fuck up that was. Anyway, it was after the gig and we all hit an after hours club and sat in a big half round booth. Fucking Ozzy leans over and shows he a pile of shit in his hands. He quietly slides it into his roadie’s drink sitting next to him. The roadie is smashed and doesn’t notice til he begins to drink his cocktail. Everyone literally jumped out of their seats and climbed over the table to get away. Ozzy was nuts.

The cigar goes out.

Did this ever happen to you when you were a teen? They were building a new park with a huge manmade lake. A bunch of my friends would hang out on the construction site on the weekends…and someone came up with the idea of pushing the plastic outhouse over the edge of the lake’s banks forcing it to slide down the side of the lake bed and finally come to a stop 15 feet down. And then we heard the screams. We got caught by a park employee and he took down our names. Yeah, me neither.

The Emilio Grimalkin 2018 has become an exceedingly good smoke. The addition of strength and spiciness proves it’s a Nic puro.
Isn’t it nice when you smoke a new cigar blend and you find that it is way better than expected?

Nicotine kicks in. Oy.

A very complex puppy. Beautiful transitions. And a tantalizing finish.
Now I’m re-thinking my earlier description. I might not recommend buying a box but a 5 pack would definitely be in order.

Oh wonderful…Joe Walsh playing “Rocky Mountain Way.” I remember watching him in concert on TV in 1973 and was blown away by the bassist. Each player had their own huge riser to stand upon. And here was the coolest looking bassist playing a fretless and swaying perfectly to the music. It was right then and there I decided I’d eventually purchase a fretless. Unfortunately, it took another 7 years before that happened. Nothing sounds like a fretless. Warm and huge. Like my cat’s supple ass.

So far no hallucinations from the building nicotine.

Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.

Strength is approaching full bore.
At some point, I believe I will visit the land of the dead. Eat something first.
I’m frozen. Staring at my laptop’s screen. No drool yet…but the synapses in my brain are misfiring allowing sweet memories of my prior life as a Lithuanian shoe maker.

Flavors don’t meander from the aforementioned elements. It’s the balance that keeps them all in a perfect conga line with Gene Kelly leading the dance. In other words, smooth, my babies.

I really like the Emilio Grimalkin 2018. It sneaks up on you.
I skimmed a few reviews and found it somewhat disconcerting that some reviewers really shat upon the blend while others praised its glory. I’m on the latter list.
The spice is roaring like a sea of swarming simbas. My eyesight begins to go into fight or flight mode.

I must one more time thank my friend, Tyler, at Havana Lounge and Cigar for the sticks. They have a web site but don’t sell from it. But you can call Tyler and he will get you anything your heart desires. He told me he gets calls from readers everywhere…from California to Maine.

Of all the cigar shops in Milwaukee, I believe they have the biggest and best selection of boutique and hard to find blends than any other store. That’s due to Tyler’s vision. Of course, there are still plenty of folks who come in and buy a Punch Gordo.

I don’t pair cigars with alcohol because I don’t drink. Maybe occasionally but basically, I’m a wuss. I drink a beer and 20 minutes later, I want to take a nap. So, for the reviews, I merely drink bottled water. A couple big sips and the palate is awakened like reviving a coterie of dead clowns that never made it out of their VW Beetle.

Last go around: Black pepper, espresso, dark cocoa, malt, cedar, licorice, black cherries, assorted nuts, vanilla, spearmint, and cinnamon.
Except for the spearmint, pretty much the flavor list you expect from a Nic puro.

I like the 2018 version more than the original 2011 version. Sometimes it’s a hornet’s nest when a manufacturer decides to do a re-mix of an earlier released blend. Too often, the new and improved version is drek. Not here. The Emilio Grimalkin 2018 was blended with intense trial and error before deciding on this particular blend. Good job Emilio.

I recommend you try this stick. You won’t be disappointed. Just don’t smoke it ROTT. Give it some time. A month should do it. And I’m sure it will only get better with more humi time.
Final smoke time is one hour 25 minutes.


And now for something completely different:
More Curved Air…

Our first stop in Europe, for an 8 week tour, was always Amsterdam. It was 1974. We were lucky. We could have easily been forced to tour non-stop as the demand was there. Instead, we’d go out for a couple months, come home for 2-3 weeks and do it all over again. Time to decompress and relax.

It was perfect. We went to the Paradiso Club and stocked up on substances we knew would be difficult to procure in other European countries. Ever see the movie, “Midnight Express?” Thankfully, we never toured Turkey.

While perambulating the red light district one night out of curiosity, we went into one of the many sex shops. Sonja bought a tiny vibrator (2”-3”) that one can turn on and then just slide the whole damn thing right into the glory hole…and leave it there. This was always a breakfast ritual at the hotel.

Stew came up with the idea of buying a giant rubber penis and he would tape it to his pants while playing drums.
The moment arrived and he chickened out.

The last song of the night, before encores of course, was Darryl’s instrumental theme song “Vivaldi.”
In the middle, Darryl would take off on a violin induced psychedelic tour of the universe using all the electronic pedals available back in 1974. The audience was stoned, or drunk, or both. And they were enthralled with the dissonant noise he could produce.

The band would run off stage and Stewart and I would light up a bowl and wait for the horrible 10 minute solo to be over. Then we would run back on stage as Darryl began playing the “Sailor’s Horn Pipe.” Which led back into “Vivaldi” at triple time. The song was a circle of fifths. Musicians will know what this is. But when stoned, you can get confused very easily. You start, for example, on the A chord. E is the 5th. Then B is the 5th. Then F# is the 5th. Then C is the 5th. Then G is the 5th. Then D is the 5th. And we would end on the original A chord.

To make things more confusing, we would have to go up half a step and have a whole new set of 5ths to remember…and so on til we came all the way back around in a total of 8 different keys. If you got lost, you were screwed. Absolutely no way to get it right after that. Happened only once to me. After that, I focused.

Stew refused to put the rubber penis on so I took the responsibility of dazzling the audience.
I always took my bass off stage with me during Darryl’s solos.

Roadie, Beric Wickens, nearly used an entire roll of duct tape to get that thing on me. I stood there in the wings with my pants dropped. I wore patch suede leather pants that my girlfriend sewed by hand for me. And it took an act of God to get them on each gig. (After the gig, which was always 2-1/2 hours, I was soaked to the bone. I had to use two roadies to help pull the leather pants off of me.)

And not a single dry cleaner in Europe would touch them so they never got cleaned in 2 years. I’d hang them up and spray deodorant on them. God knows what they must have smelled like. (I still have them and will pass them on to my grandson so when he is 18 in 2035, he can wear them to impress the ladies).

I could barely breathe by the time he was done strapping the dong in place..
I ran out on stage with my bass hanging from my shoulders. The rubber penis was hidden by the bass…even though it did jut out a bit.
Sonja was at the mic thanking the audience.

We started our first encore number called “Stretch.” How appropriate. It was my only bass solo the entire gig.
Right in the middle of my solo, I flipped my bass up towards my chest exposing the rubber penis. The lighting guy was cued to put a pin sized spot light on my crotch.
The audience went nuts.

And then I got arrested.

It wasn’t uncommon for Bobbies to be in attendance of any concert. British and European crowds drank way too much beer and were known for getting very rowdy.

The Bobbies didn’t wait for us to finish the song. These two idiots walked on to the stage and grabbed each of my arms.

I then pulled what I call my Marx Bros. move. I did a Captain Spaulding running around the front of the stage dragging the Bobbies along with me. The applause was deafening.

Of course, Bobbies don’t carry guns. Just batons. Things might have been different if they carried firearms.

The managing director of the European (in Amsterdam) British Talent Management agency was not happy when he got the call from the Amsterdam Police. He drove from home, in the middle of the night, and got me out.
He started to yell at me once we were in his big fancy, company Jaguar. And then he just started to laugh uncontrollably. I still had duct tape all over the front of my pants. The cops confiscated my giant wiener.
I got back to our hotel as the sun was rising….

When the band got back to London, 8 weeks later, I was called on the carpet in Miles Copeland’s office. I stood there and was warned. Dire consequences were promised.
I behaved inappropriately and promised I would never do that again. (I thought that next time would be Stewart’s turn).
So, I didn’t.
Ahh…the wild freedom of youth!
Now I only wear a giant rubber penis when I’m at the market.


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3 replies

  1. Katman-. Can you please explain why you’re not just smoking right out of your humidor. “Dry boxing”. Thanks..Russ

  2. Dry boxing really enhanced my ability to enjoy cigars. Makes a huge difference in terms of how the cigar burns, and I think it improves the flavor and aroma as well.

    Damn, I would have thought the bar to get arrested for obscenity would have been much higher in 1970s Amsterdam, but I guess not.

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