Cigar Review: Emilio Cigars, Emilio LJZ

Emilio Cigars, Emilio LJZ




At this years IPCPR Trade Show, Emilio Cigars debut a cigar known as the Emilio LJZ. It’s a cigar that pays homage to company owner Scott Zucca’s family and employees. 

The cigar will be produced at James Brown’s Fabrica Oveja Negra factory. It is the second Emilio cigar to come out of that factory following last years’ Emilio Cavatina.




“LJZ is a cigar that has been 70 years in the making. In 1947, my family started LJ Zucca from my grandfather’s front porch and it’s grown into the regional distribution company it is today.

The LJZ cigar is a tribute not only to them and its many employees, but also to the hard work, character, and entrepreneurial spirit that makes this country great.

I believe it’s our best Emilio cigar release yet,” said Scott Zucca of Emilio Cigars and LJ Zucca in a press release.



  • Robusto: 5 x 52
  • Toro: 6 x 50


Emilio Cigars are distributed by Boutiques Unified. The Emilio LJZ will be packaged in 20-count boxes.




The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper is milk chocolate in color, the texture is silky smooth with minimal seam, tooth and vein. Rolled in the Robusto format it has a wide open foot with a triple rounded cap. Everything coming out of James Brown’s Fabrica Oveja Negra has been solid with impressive construction.

The art remains gothic in nature. Two bands sit on the vitola. The primary band is semi black gloss with what looks like splotches of an Italian flag and a white portrait of LJ Zucca. In partial white and blood red reads “EMILIO”. The secondary band rounds the footer reading “LJZ” in solid white font with surrounding red, white and green lines.

Pre light aroma had notes of dried fruit/SWEET, cedar and chocolate. The cold draw produced flavors of floral, clove and nuanced of honey.






An aroma of smokey wood chips off the toasted foot. Upon first light flavors of walnuts, assorted roasted nuts, leather and dried plain toast. Background flavors of slightly bitter dark cocoa and coffee grounds with a chalky nuance.

A dryness of fine medium black table pepper coating all areas of the lips and palate in between draws. The sting of white pepper through the nose evolving into nuances of floral.




Entering cruise control burn flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and roasted nuts. Background flavors of leather, smoked wood chips and rich cedar.

Black pepper has tapered off slightly, but still at a medium level balancing in with all aforementioned flavors. The retro is producing a quick blast of black and white pepper creating a long cooling finish with nuances of chocolate glazed spice.




In the final third the core flavors of assorted roasted nuts, coffee and chocolate have been consistent and on point. Adding to the nutty profile are corn nuts and raw walnut. Background flavors of leather, cedar char and smokey wood chips with nuances of raw cocoa bean and cinnamon char.

The spicy element of fine black table pepper has kept the Emilio “LJZ” at upper medium bodied, balancing in with the raw flavor of assorted roasted nuts. Medium level white pepper on the retro evolving into a distinct flavor of rich chocolate.




CONSTRUCTION: Solid, no palpable soft spots or wrapper inconsistencies

BURN: Two examples had a slightly jagged burn that auto-corrected itself in cruise control. The third was razor sharp throughout 

ASH: Impressive, solid grayish black ash holding past the inch point creating a stack of dimes effect.

CUT: All three examples were V Cut

DRAW: Slight resistance on example one; two and three had a wide open draw producing an over abundance of thick white smoke

RE LIGHTS: Zero, solid combustion throughout each stage of the smoking duration

STRENGTH: Upper MEDIUM to FULL bodied wheelhouse  




The Emilio LJZ had solid core flavors of assorted roasted nuts, coffee and chocolate with a perfect balance of FULL to MED strength pepper. Background nuances of leather and floral kept the cigar at MEDIUM to FULL bodied throughout each smoking duration.

I have examples in the Toro size in route to the CS HQ via Underground Cigar Shop.  I am more than looking forward to relaxing and lighting up to see if there are any similarities between the two size formats.

It’s gearing up to be a repeat of the amazing product we saw last year. Also, with a glimmer of light from yesterday’s FDA announcement I’m happy to say this years new product, so far, has been outstanding and an absolute pleasure to smoke.


Cigars for review: Purchased

Cigars smoked for review: 3

Cigar Smoke rate: 91

Size: 5 x 52 (Robusto)

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Ecuadorian Habano Seco

Filler: Nicaragua 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Factory: Fabrica Oveja Negra

Stock Photo: Emilio Cigars

News Source: Cigar Coop



Toar Campbell

Toar Campbell

Love of all things cigars, craft beer, Stouts, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untappd @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder
Toar Campbell

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