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.
Emilio Cigars Carpe Noctem
Size: 6 x 50
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Cigars Smoked for this Review: Two
Price Point: $9.5 MSRP
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”