If you are looking to try something different in your cigar-smoking experience, or maybe something that’s flying a bit under the radar, you can’t go wrong by turning to the offerings served up by Emilio Cigars. The roster of boutique brands is ever-growing, and there is always something that’s going to whet your appetite. Cue the Reunion lines, produced by Bodega Premium Blends. Specifically, we are talking about the Reunion Aperitivo and Digestivo lines. As their names suggest, the sticks are blended for two different smoking experiences – pre-meal and post-meal. The Aperitivo resides on the mild-medium end of the taste and body spectrum, while the Digestivo comes down on the full-bodied end.
CIGAR STATS: The Aperitivo is a Nicaraguan blend that features a Habano wrapper from the Jalapa region. The Digestivo is dressed in a Mexican San Andres Negro wrapper around Nicaraguan filler and binder. Both are offered in three sizes: Toro (6 x 52), Double Robusto (5 x 54), and Corona Gorda (5½ x 46). I tried the Aperitivo in the Double Robusto, and the Digestivo in the Corona Gorda.
APPEARANCE: The Aperitivo is a rich, deep brown color, and the Digestivo slightly darker still. Both are tightly rolled, with minimal veining, and are well-constructed.
THE SMOKE: After the light, the Aperitivo quickly shows its mild-medium side, with grass, floral and some earthy notes. It’s a very smooth combination that would definitely work well in the morning or as a warm-up for dinner. The Digestivo, on the other hand, announces its fuller body with plenty of rich, aromatic smoke when the flame is applied. And to this palate, it delivers a bit more flavor than its stablemate, with some sweetness from the San Andres wrapper, and lots of wood and earth notes. Both sticks burn evenly and have very smooth draws.
VERDICT: At about $10 a stick, the Reunion smokes aren’t cheap, but they deliver satisfying smoking experiences. If I had to pick one, I would reach for the Digestivo, but both are clearly worth a try this summer. For more info on the cigars, visit houseofemilio.com/bodega. – Brian Coyne