Emilio Draig Cayuquero
Gary Griffith, owner of Emilio Cigar, has quite the extensive list of offerings in his line-up. In addition to his own cigars, he distributes several other brands under the label House of Emilio. Working with all the different brands he distributes and factories he collaborates with to make his own cigars, it is easy to see that Gary believes in collaborative teamwork!
Last year, Emilio released the Draig K, which featured a unique Colombian Cubanito Maduro wrapper that was very limited. It was praised for its unique flavor, however, also notorious for having burn issues. This year’s Draig release, the Cayuquero, features a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, but is also limited to 1600 boxes. As with the 2012 release, the cigar honors both Gary’s Welsh heritage and one of his friends.
According to a post Gary put on Facebook, Cayuquero means troublemaker, specifically a group of troublemakers from the town of El Cayuco, Cuba. The person he is referencing here is Noel Rojas, the man behind Guayacan Cigars, who is also the maker he teamed up with to create this cigar. If you ever meet Gary, you will quickly learn that he values friendship and history very much, and this is evident in the cigars he makes.
Fortunately for me, my local shop carries just about all Emilio brands and brands distributed by them. I was able to pick up a few of these and, having really enjoyed the Draig K, was very eager to give it a try.
The Draig Cayuquero, though small in girth, looked like it might pack a punch. It was semi-rugged with small veins and visible seams. The wrapper was a standard brown shade, not quite as dark as some of the other cigars I’ve had lately that featured some type of Brazilian wrapper. Despite its ruggedness, it was a good-looking cigar.
I have a petty complaint to make here. While I like or love pretty much every Emilio cigar I’ve had, I’d say most of their bands leave something to be desired. While the band is not that important of a detail for me in choosing cigars, I know it is for some people. I feel like consumers might overlook their cigars based on the simplicity of their bands, which would be a big mistake.
While the band on the Cayuquero is better than some of the others in the Emilio line, it is still not quite the caliber I would expect on a cigar in this price range. The band was black with a gold, Welsh dragon (Draig) and silver font. The font looks like the ink bled, which makes it hard to read the name Cayuquero. It is much easier to read on the box!
Giving the Cayuquero a good squeezing, it seems that it is well packed with no lumps of soft spots. I do not see any cracks or tears either. The foot confirms the well-packed tobacco. Despite the veins and seams, the wrapper feels very smooth and silky.
Now that I’ve felt it up, I need to smell it (and yes, that DOES sound dirty!). The foot has a thick, sweet aroma akin to molasses, sorghum, or Caro syrup along with cocoa. Very enticing! The barrel is earth and cocoa.
After clipping the cap, I take a few pre-light draws. The draw seems a little tight but manageable. The notes I get are semi-sweet sorghum, earth, and wood. Enough with the foreplay already, let’s get down to business!
Due to it being windy that night, I decided to light the Draig Cayuquero with my triple flame torch. It lights and burns evenly, requiring no relights or touch ups. Like the pre-light draw, the airflow is a bit tight, but I am still able to get plenty of smoke with each pull. Overall, I’d say the draw was just fine.
Though this was a corona, it was still able to generate a nice ash. The ash was white and gray, tight, and lasted about an inch at a time. The first one did fall off on its own, but the rest of them required some gentle tapping on the edge of the ashtray. Definitely quality construction in all areas!
Based on the pre-light aromas, I was expecting the Draig Cayuquero to be sweet and chocolaty, but that is not the flavor I got while smoking. From the get go, I was greeted with spicy red and black pepper. After a few more puffs, nut, wood, and cream notes developed, blending in with the spicy pepper.
In the second-third, the spicy pepper starts to die down, leaving cream and nut flavors. It also becomes a bit savory, with both pepper and floral notes on the retrohale. As it progresses, the floral notes start to blend into the draws as well.
In the final third, the pepper has become floral, like white pepper. It is also still woody, creamy, savory, and nutty. Towards the end, I start to get some salt and the spice becomes very floral and minty. Definitely a nice, unexpected bouquet of notes!
The Emilio Draig Cayuquero was medium in strength and med-full in flavor. The smoke time was right at 1 hour and 30 minutes. The flavors were very enjoyable despite never getting sweet like the pre-light aromas suggested. Unlike the Draig K, I didn’t experience any burn issues whatsoever.
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes. I have smoked two so far and plan on getting more.
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
No, only because of how limited it is. If it was a regular production cigar, then yes.
Would I Buy a Box?
Yes, as long as my wife lets me! They do come in boxes of 10, so that helps with affordability.
Emilio Cigar makes some great cigars, including the Draig series. The Draig Cayuquero is a well-constructed, flavorful cigar that is well worth the price. I know that last year’s Draig K got a bad rap due to burn issues, but this one, so far, doesn’t seem to have any of the same problems. A friend of mine said that this one needs some rest, but I disagree. I feel that it is ready to smoke when purchased.
As mentioned, Emilio cigars are not going to dazzle you with fancy bands and marketing strategies. What they will do is impress you with quality cigars that cover a variety of strengths and profiles. If you are looking for a new brand to try or a limited edition stick to purchase, look no further than the Draig Cayuquero.