Emilio AF Suave – Corona

The Emilio AF Suave is a new Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigar that is targeted for release this summer.  There are two reasons I have been looking forward to the AF Suave.  First up, if there was a 2011 best new company award in the cigar industry, it would have to go to Emilio Cigars. Brand developer, Gary Griffith worked with some of the best people in the industry and produced three outstanding cigars: Grimalkin, Emilio AF1, and Emilio AF2.  Many people had these cigars on their 2011 end of the year “best of” lists including Cigar Coop.  Therefore, I was curious to see what Griffith and Emilio would do for an encore for 2012.  The second reason is that the AF Suave was blended by A.J. Fernandez.  Two years ago, Fernandez created a game-changing Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigar called the San Lotano Connecticut, therefore I was excited to see what Fernandez would do for an encore.   The Emilio AF Suave had some very high expectations in my book, and in the end the cigar passes with flying colors.

The Emilio AF Suave is the third cigar Griffith has worked on with Fernandez.  His first collaboration, the Emilio AF1 was a maduro while is second collaboration.  The Emilio AF2 was a Ecuadorian Habano wrapped blend.  While some might had been thinking this would be AF3, Griffith opted to throw a curve ball and name it AF Suave.

Let’s break down the Emilio AF Suave and see what it brings to the table.   This is based on a pre-release smoke, therefore we will do a pre-review to share the experiences with this cigar.   While Griffith did tell me this is the blend he is going to market with, we will hold off on a final assessment and score until the cigar hits retailer shelves.

Blend Profile

For those who have followed Griffith and Emilio Cigars, then you know he likes a little mystery and intrigue around his cigars.  If you have read other articles and assessments I have written on Emilio, then you know I subscribe to this approach as it keeps things interesting.

No surprises with the wrapper.  It’s an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper – the first offered in the Emilio line.  The rest of the blend is a mix of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos.  We don’t know the breakdown or proportions of that blend in terms of the binder and filler.

Vitolas Available

Griffith has not released the dimensions as of yet, but we do know there will be five sizes:  Corona, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, and Churchill.


For this cigar experience, I selected the corona vitola.  The Emilio AF Suave Corona has a classic light color that you would expect from an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigar.  The wrapper had an oily sheen to it.  There were some visible wrapper seams and some visible veins.  A couple of the veins were a little toothy.  There were no green “frog eyes” that are common to Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars.  From the foot, there was a slight farm-like aroma to the cigar.

The pre-release sample I smoked had no band, but there will be a band at release time.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my Emilio AF Suave, I went with my usual protocol and placed a straight cut into the cap.  I immediately proceeded to start the pre-light draw.   The dry draw notes provided a mix of cedar spice, cream, and cherry sweetness.  Overall, I was quite pleased with the flavors from the dry draw.  At this point, it was time to toast the foot of the Emilio AF Suave and see what this cigar experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The start of the Emilio AF Suave did give me a decent amount of spice from an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigar.  There was also a mix of vanilla, dried fruit and cream notes that balanced the spice very nicely.   The spice notes moved to the background and the combination of the vanilla, dried fruit, and cream notes took over.  The spice soon took on more of a classic black pepper profile as it worked in the background nicely.

The flavor profile would hold through the first half with the vanilla, dried fruit, and cream notes all working in harmony with each other.  By the second half, the dried fruit notes diminished and were replaced by a classic nut flavor.  The pepper spice continued to remain in the background. Toward the end of the smoking experience, the pepper moved into the forefront.  The close to the smoking experience was smooth.  The resulting nub was a little soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

The Emilio AF Suave does very well with the construction attributes of burn and draw.  This cigar burns like a champ from start to finish – with a razor sharp burn requiring little in the way of touch-ups.   The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.   The resulting ash was tight and white with no flaking whatsoever. The draw was flawless.   This is a great corona vitola to puff on.

Razor sharp burn of the Emilio AF Suave

Strength and Body

The Emilio AF Suave isn’t going to push the limits when it comes to strength from a nicotine standpoint.  I assessed this cigar as being mild strength to start progressing to mild to medium strength in the second half.  From looking at the depth of the flavors, this is where the AF Suave really shines.  For most of the cigar experience, I found the flavors robust and deep.   This cigar has just enough depth to qualify as a medium to full-bodied smoke.  The flavors are going to have the edge over the strength big time with this smoke, and while some may want more balance with the strength, this cigar is going to provide a true natural flavorful cigar experience.

Final Thoughts

It appears to me that Griffith and Emilio Cigars have another winner on their hands.  There isn’t any evidence of a sophomore jinx with this blend.  While this wasn’t quite a game-changer like the San Lotano Connecticut, it is still an outstanding cigar in my book.  In a market getting flooded with Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade cigars, this one really stands out.   This is a great cigar for the novice cigar enthusiast to really enjoy the flavors produced by a cigar experience.  Some experienced cigar enthusiasts might want more in the way of strength out of this, but I would still encourage them to try this cigar.  I can see many experienced cigar enthusiasts gravitating to this as a morning smoke.   This is not only a very good cigar in my book, but one worthy of considering for box purchase.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Mild (1st Half), Mild to Medium (2nd Half)
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Good

Source: This cigars for this assessment were provided to myself from Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars.  The request
was initiated by Emilio Cigars to myself and others to provide an
assessment.   Cigar Coop is appreciative to samples provided but this plays no role in a final assessment rating.