Los Regalos Quetzal is the latest brainchild of Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars and is just hitting the market. This release is the first of four blends planned for the series. Mining for information about the stick can be a frustrating exercise at this point, so it’s best to get on with the smoke.

Cigar Stats: This much is known about the Quetzal: Its binder and filler tobaccos are of Nicaraguan and Dominican origins, and the wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano. The samples I smoked were robustos (5x50), but it is available in three other sizes: Corona (5½x46), Toro (6x50), and Torpedo (6½x52).

Appearance: The wrapper is a rich leathery brown with a couple of faint veins. It is well rolled without being rock hard. The band is on the understated side – quite a contrast from the brightly colored Central American bird it is named for – but that’s OK. We’re here for the leaf, after all.

The Smoke: The pre-light aroma is earthy and rich, but it doesn’t compare to what happens after the flame is applied. The rich aroma of the smoke is heady and satisfying. After an initial burst of spice, the smoke settles in to a pleasing blend of wood and a touch of citrus. In the second half of the smoke, the wood dominates. It’s a medium- to full-bodied stick, but the taste is never overwhelming and quite smooth throughout.

Verdict: The Quetzal is a definite must-try. It provides a pleasurable smoking experience of an hour or so, packing a lot of taste and aroma. It’s a rare bird, indeed. – Brian Coyne

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