Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano ~ Sungrown Barber Pole
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 6.5 x 42
I bought a couple singles 3 months ago from Atlantic Cigar. (Yes. Before they became a sponsor).
Released October 2021 ~ 300 boxes of each size.
From Halfwheel.com (10-12-2021):
“The third release of the Emilio LJZ line is on its way to stores, and for 2021, it has a new lonsdale vitola.
“That vitola measures 6 1/2 x 42 and has an MSRP of $10.50. It’s the third size in the line, joining the 5 x 52 robusto and 6 x 50 toro, which are priced at $10 and $11, respectively. All three sizes come in 20-count boxes, with the cigars produced at Fabrica Oveja Negra in Estelí, Nicaragua. Each size is limited to just 300 boxes.
“The Emilio LJZ line uses dual Nicaraguan wrappers to create a barber pole design, one of which is a habano seed and the other of which is simply described as a sungrown leaf. The binder is a Nicaraguan habano leaf, while the filler comes from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. It debuted in 2017 but has undergone blend changes since its debut, as the original blend featured Ecuadorian habano for the wrapper and binder.
“This is a highly anticipated release for Emilio,” said James Brown, owner of Black Label Trading Co. and Fabrica Oveja Negra, via a press release. “LJZ received many high ratings last year and we are excited to get it back on the market. As with last year, we have combined a natural and a sun grown habano wrapper. This blend has a lot of complexity with a little spice. Baking spice, cedar and cocoa are the prominent flavors in this well balanced, medium bodied cigar.”
“The new Emilio gets its name—LJZ—from both the initials of the company behind it, L.J. Zucca, and the man behind the company, Louis J. Zucca. Black Label Trading Co. has been producing and marketing Emilio Cigars since the two companies announced a merger in January 2019.”
SIZES AND PRICING:
Lonsdale 6.5 x 42 $10.50
Toro 6 x 50 $11.00
Robusto 5 x 52 $10.00
The cigar looks as fragile as a 72-year-old man…wait, never mind. It is a rough shod construction. The wrapper is barely hanging on…both of them. Seams are loose. It is lumpy and bumpy. Has the weight of a toothpick. The triple cap is good. I am afraid of squeezing the stick to judge its resistance because I fear it might snap in half. The barber pole effect is minimal at best. If I hadn’t read that the design was that of a barber pole, I never would have guessed…the photo shows it more clearly than holding it in my hand. I start off with using my PerfecRepair cigar glue to bind loose ends of the wrapper back into shape.
On the upside, Halfwheel gave this cigar a 93. That is big time. Halfwheel doesn’t hand out ratings like this very often. I hope I enjoy the same experience.
The cigar band doesn’t leave a millimeter of blank space. I unrolled it so I could see what was happening:
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Nice subtle notes of cinnamon, lots of barnyard, smoky oak, creaminess, black pepper, a scoche of nuttiness, cedar, and citrus.
The cold draw presents flavors of not much of anything. I taste wood, black pepper, mushrooms, cinnamon, cedar, and barnyard.
The resistance is wide open. Too much. I don’t remove my PerfecDraw draw resistance tool from the Cosmoline it is packed in.
Due to the size, doing thirds is excessive. Plus, the cigar feels under filled so this should go quickly.
Plumes of smoke fill the arena. Not much flavor. I believe it is still hibernating.
Strength is mild. Or for me, D.O.A.
A quick half inch is burned, and flavors pop up that gives me hope: cinnamon raisin bread, smoky oak, red pepper, curry spices, creaminess, and cedar.
A hint of complexity. There is time…
Based upon Halfwheel’s review, this will be another cigar whose sum is greater than its parts. OK with me.
Flavors are basically numb.
There is nothing in the Emilio press release that mentions aging…it shows. This cigar might shine with 6-9 months humidor time, or it won’t. Impossible to say at this point.
Then with ¾” burned, the cigar comes to life. The spiciness is derived from the cinnamon and red pepper. A meaty presence is felt. The balance at this early juncture is 60% savory v. 40% sweet.
OK. It’s not a bad cigar. And if it keeps going on this turnpike, the cigar will be exactly as Halfwheel described. The design of the blend will be the important ingredient and a flavor bomb, it ain’t. Still, all good. I find the best cigars are just like this. They tend to get the attention of the more sophisticated snausage smoker.
At 1” burned, complexity flies in with its bat wings and takes a seat at the round table.
The burn line is funky but not requiring a touch up.
Strength hits medium.
I went to the esteemed Ray’s Butcher Shoppe yesterday to look for our anniversary dinner tonight. I asked about frozen lobster tails. $65 per lb. I hit the salesman with a taser and made off with $80 of lobster. I stared at the mammoth cooler of excellent meats and the price points were obscene. I still got something good. Lamb bones I will turn into kishka.
I need to stay focused as the cigar is burning quickly and one of my stories might wipe out an inch of observation.
The wrapper is so fragile that it begins to come apart in different spots on the cigar. I don’t get it. A special cigar for a sawbuck and it looks like my cousin, Jethro, rolled it.
Flavors do not jump out at me. But the cigar does continue displaying nuance and character with ever puff. If you are blending something good, follow through and make sure the cigar lasts the entire event of smoking it. I feel like I’m going to have a bunch of leaves at my feet before this is over.
It is a good cigar…legit. It has a very nice endearing nature that is very satisfying at last. The cigar comes in Robusto and Toro. I’d skip this Lonsdale and go for the bigger sizes. Hopefully, they are rolled better than this baby. But if they taste this good, it will be a much more satisfying experience.
We have touchdown. The LJZ is screaming laughter at the sea of swarming simbas.
This thing is going to get started about the time it performs seppuku on itself. I’m guessing this will be a 35-minute smoke. And then death.
Strength hangs at an easy going medium. Good morning cigar with your coffee.
I must be very careful with the handling of this cigar. I’m afraid it will break. The same way I carefully place my schlong on the ironing board and yell for Charlotte.
Took around 20 minutes to get here.
The damn stick is disassembling itself as I watch it in the ashtray.
Points will be deducted for the lax construction.
Yet, I can’t help but say that this is an excellent blend. I fucked up not trying the other sizes for the review. Big mistake. There is literally not time to savor this stick.
While in London, I got to see the legendary red double decker buses. The platform at the end of the bus was open for people to enter and exit. Cannot count the times that people would run after the bus and jump on. Also saw a lot of folks face plant on the asphalt. These days, that open platform is closed. One time, I tried getting on the bus with my bass case and I had to go upstairs on those circular stairs. The case got stuck and I couldn’t move up or down. Other passengers started yelling at me. Stewart finally gave me a huge push and the case was free and I got up to the observation deck. From that point forward, it was taxis.
The depth is first rate. And I have 2” to go. If you decide to try this blend, do not get the Lonsdale.
The flavors are hidden behind doors 1,2 or 3. It has a beautiful presentation of subtle notes. But as I suck on it, pieces of wrapper fall to the floor.
Creaminess jumps in feet first. Nice to be able to detect a specific flavor point. A bit of white chocolate, almonds, cinnamon cake, cedar, and kid’s cereal.
It begins to display some harshness…no doubt due to the lousy construction. It gets hot.
This is going to be one of my shortest reviews.
Nice cigar blend but built like the Pig’s house built of straw. I like the sophistication, but I will probably snag a few more in a bigger size.
RATING: 89 The construction did a real number on the outcome of this cigar’s rating.
And now for something completely different:
Marrying the old lady…
It was 1985. Charlotte and I had left South Tahoe and returned to Long Beach. My studio was gone, and I was in debt.
My dad gave me a job as a project manager at his structural construction company.
After 9 months of courtship, we decided to get married. I can’t believe this as I look back to see how unstable my future seemed at the time. I wouldn’t have married me.
My dad had a big condo in Palm Springs. Plus, a smaller 2-bedroom condo he rented out.
My dad and his wife urged us to come to their home in the Springs and we would get married there. What we didn’t know was that the city of Indio was where the courthouse was located.
We decided we’d let a judge marry us.
But the judge was busy. So, we waited. It wasn’t happening so a clerk with the powers of joining us took over.
We went into his office which had two huge windows on two of his walls. On the other side of those windows were people paying their speeding tickets. Their DMV was right next to us.
We stood there while the clerk read the vows. We kept staring out into the DMV as we saw the good folk of Indio staring at us. I thought Charlotte was going to have a panic attack. This whole thing had become totally humiliating. And embarrassing.
That night, we were thrown a wedding dinner party with their rich friends. We still felt letdown by the ceremony so there wasn’t a lot of joy in Mudville that night.
These rich people gave us re-gifted congratulations. Got shit we wouldn’t buy even if we had money.
We spent the night in the lonely small condo.
We made a plan that one day we would have a real wedding. Still waiting.
But then it turned out to be for the best because Charlotte became pregnant two months later. Our first year honeymoon was spent with a pregnant wife. If we had waited, Katie would be a bastard child. After she was born, we had zero support from any family that was left. Not a single person offered to help us. Charlotte stayed home. I went to work. When I returned from work…as I opened the front door, Charlotte would grab little Katie and throw her to me like a football as her day was pretty rough…and we didn’t sleep for two years. In the end, it worked out just fine…and we brought up a perfect J.A.P.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS