Carpe Noctem is one of the two cigars released by Gary Griffith, owner of Emilio Cigars, at IPCPR 2014. Carpe Noctem means “seize the night”. If you have followed the news on the Carpe Noctem you will know it has been subject to several delays since 2013.


Gary said, “The Carpe Noctem is the most full bodied and strength cigar I have produced. I focused on making the band for the Carpe Noctem more interesting because some people felt the band on my other cigars were too plain. Also, the Carpe Noctem uses all Nicaragua filler with plenty of Esteli Ligero, and is balanced out with some tobacco from Jalapa.


The Carpe Noctem comes in three sizes; Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), and Gran Toro (6 x 60).


The Carpe Noctem is expected to hit the shelves sometime in August. If you want to hear all about the Carpe Noctem from Gary, you can watch our interview with him at IPCPR.


Go time.


Emilio Cigars Carpe Noctem

Vitola: Toro

Size: 6 x 50

Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Cigars Smoked for this Review: Two

Price Point: $9.5 MSRP

Beverage: Water

Smoking Time: 95 Minutes

Cigar Purchased: Samples provided by Gary Griffith


Quick Note: For this review we used my rating system. You can view it in detail here.


Lord. Gary didn’t lie when he said his is the strongest cigar he has made to date. I don’t think I have smoked another cigar this strong this year other than the Roma Craft Neanderthal. The first few puffs of this almost put me down. The nicotine in the Carpe Noctem is vicious.

The notes were interesting and almost reminded me of a jalapeno popper. There was a ton of black pepper on the retrohale. Despite the strength I expected a heavy finish, and was surprised on how clean and sweet it was. There are notes of hazelnut and cedar. There is no getting around the sweetness of the Carpe Noctem. Frankly, the sweetness doesn’t mix well with the other flavors. It is almost a caramel and citrus like sweetness.

As I enter the middle of the cigar any flavors seem to disappear. I am getting nothing but strength. I can’t claim I don’t like a strong cigar, but the flavors need to be there. There are some notes of cocoa which come in and out, but cedar and black pepper dominate.

While the construction and smoke production was top notch in the first half, the second half I need to huff and puff on the Carpe Noctem to obtain any sort of consistent smoke production. I have to guess there is a ton of ligero used which is affecting the overall burn.

The final part of the cigar added some notes of walnuts and cinnamon. The Carpe Noctem did get a little harsh causing me to put it down.

Conclusion: I love strong cigars, but not if the strength overpowers the flavor. If I'm given the choice between the two I'm going to pick the one where the flavor stands out. It should be almost like when you are enjoying some adult beverages sitting around hanging out with friends and when you stand up you say, “shit I am kinda drunk.” Example = Roma Craft Neanderthal.

I think I would compare my experience with the Carpe Noctem to the Surrogates Animal Cracker; too much strength without flavor. I rated the Carpe Noctem a five pack purchase, but the price at $10 a stick starts to get a bit high for the average smoker. With that said, I will be picking up a couple to age.

Overall Rating: 86 AKA “Couple”

Views: 188

Comment by Catfishbluezz on August 13, 2014 at 10:49am

Given the amount of ligero, do you ever think that maybe sticks like this need 6 months to really settle?  Reason i ask, is ligero burns so much differently, and is so much wetter.  Just makes me wonder if ligero bombs need the extra time.  I wouldn't know, because I stay far away from smokes like this lol.

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on August 13, 2014 at 5:55pm

Wow, i had a completely different experience from you Man-Angel.

Comment by Charlie on August 13, 2014 at 7:51pm

I am not a huge fan of Penn. broadleaf.....only the Connecticut River Valley can grow true broadleaf.

Comment by Smokin Logan (Man Angel #1) on August 13, 2014 at 7:56pm

Man Angel - why are you not reviewing cigars for us?

Comment by Charlie on August 13, 2014 at 8:33pm

The way you look in that profile picture Cat I would think you eat Ligero for breakfast lol I love me some Ligero laden cigars....and yes they do need a little more rest time (from release) but ligero does not age well, because it is not blended for flavor (burn/strength/spice). The longer the seco/viso dominant blends rest the better they taste because they are the more flavorful and aromatic leaves. If the manufacturer has aged the leaf right it should only need minimal rest before smoking, but man have I seen thick & wet ligero in cigars! 

Comment by Generally Useful Jared on August 13, 2014 at 8:39pm
He's right, Jose, nice write up! I don't see myself smoking this one anytime soon, though, I can't handle that kind of power.

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on August 14, 2014 at 6:40pm

I thought only your mods do reviews.

Comment by Matt Ross on August 15, 2014 at 7:20am

Jose - CF was created to give the community as a whole an avenue to share in their passion.  Anyone can post a review or a blog - we don't discriminate.

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on August 18, 2014 at 3:16pm

Well then be on the look out for some of my opinions


You need to be a member of Cigar Federation to add comments!

Join Cigar Federation


  • Add Photos
  • View All


© 2019   Created by Cigar Federation.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service