It seems every time you turn around, Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars has a new stick for the cigar world to sample. One of his latest offerings is the Draig K, a very dark maduro that promises a full-bodied smoking experience. The sticks are made at the El Paraiso factory of Nestor Plascencia in Honduras. It’s a small-batch blend, with about 400 boxes of 10 for each size released.
Cigar Stats: The Draig K has a Columbian Cubanito Maduro wrapped around Honduran and Nicaraguan filler, and a binder of unknown origin. (Mr. Griffith always likes to keep you guessing just a little bit.) It’s available in three sizes: Corona (5½ x 42), Robusto (5 x 50), and Toro (6 x 50). You should be able to get them for $9 or less. I sampled the Robusto.
Appearance: As noted above, the wrapper is a very dark brown, something on the order of dark chocolate, with a couple of noticeable veins and some oil. There are a few little bumps in the construction giving it a rustic feel. All in all, you are liable to approach the Draig K with the notion that it’s going to give you all you can handle.
The Smoke: There is much to like about this cigar, starting with its taste and aroma. It gives off a rich tobacco aroma before the match, and it continues to have a great nose after lighting up. There’s a sweet batch of spice at first, before hefty doses of earth and wood (cedar, mostly) start to kick in. Before you’re finished you will also taste a bit of cocoa and maybe a bit of fruit. In sum, your palate will get a good workout. On the two samples I tried, the draw was near perfect, but I did have an issue with one aspect of the smoke, and that’s the burn. Both sticks required several touch-ups along the way and constant vigilance to keep them going. Griffith acknowledged there could be burn issues -- owing to the humidity in Central America when they were produced – in a Facebook post when they were released, and suggested consumers give them time to rest before indulging. It’s good advice.
Verdict: Draig K is a tasty smoke, but be forewarned, it may require a bit more work than you are accustomed to for an experience that most of us partake of in order to relax. For more information on Griffith’s lines, visit emiliocigars.com. – Brian Coyne