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Stogie Reviews: Felipe Gregorio Essaoura 40/60 Amir

26 Oct 2009

Felipe Gregorio is one of those cigar brands I wish I knew more about. But thanks to Amine Taoulost, Felipe’s marketing director, I got a first-hand look at this company and its products at the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans this August.

Felipe Gregorio Essaoura 40/60 AmirFelipe, inspired by the Cuban cigars he smoked while growing up in Europe, got his self-titled outfit off the ground when he gave up selling helicopters in the Middle East in 1988. His subsequent cigar journey took him to Honduras and Nicaragua before finally settling in the Dominican Republic. There, at request of Frank Sinatra—who wanted Felipe to craft a cigar bearing his name—Felipe established the Tabacalera Real de Felipe Gregorio factory.

One of Felipe’s most intriguing projects is the Moroccan Series. This unique line of cigars includes four different blends named for the region of Morocco in which their tobacco is grown. Essaoura, an isolated city on the Atlantic coast known for its whitewashed houses, is said to produce leaves of “rich, earthy flavors,” according to Felipe’s website. The blend features 40% Essaoura tobacco, 60% Dominican, and a Vuelta Abajo habano wrapper.

The Amir frontmark, a five inch by 52 ring gauge figurado, has a tapered foot and a broad midsection that narrows at the head. Behind two black and yellow bands, the wrapper is coarse, splotchy, and a bit rough around the edges. Both of my samples were firm to the touch with faint pre-light notes of hay and pencil.

My first impression of the taste is that it’s spicy, complex, and—despite the distinctive blend—quite traditional. A full-bodied array of pepper, cedar, cork, and dried tea shines through with each voluminous puff. While I expected something entirely different given the Moroccan connection, I was pleased with what I found.

The flavor mellows and takes on more balance as the cigar opens to its widest point. Here, cream and almond enter the equation to provide a smooth contrast to the woody base. The final third, characterized by more of a meaty texture, is an appropriate way to end a hearty cigar.

I was impressed by all this 60-minute smoke has to offer, including its near-perfect construction performance. So if, like me, you need to better acquaint yourself with the Felipe Gregorio brand, consider picking up a sampler of the three Essaoura vitolas for $24 from CasaFelipe. You’ll enjoy the Amir, which earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

2 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Felipe Gregorio Essaoura 40/60 Amir”

  1. Ricardo Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who likes these elusive sticks. This is a great buy if you’re looking for something new.

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