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I’m a terrible social media user. You knew that. So it should come as no surprise that I hadn’t checked in at GAB in nearly a year (sorry #GabFam…). Anyway, I am glad I made a recent short incursion. I found out about a new cigar!

A Dark Triad cigar!, the progeny of our friend and best-selling author Ivan Throne.

Behold the Empalador (the Impaler)!

The names – of the smoke and of the man – say enough. I have not smoked one but I am assured of quality.

A Pre Review:

Expected availability in September (hey, that’s Saturday!);

Look for her in Robusto, Churchill, and Torpedo sizing;

$194 per box of Robustos;

Wrapper: Honduran Trojes (very good); Binder: Indonesia (interesting); Long-cut filler: Honduras and Nicaragua (Nica, baby!);

A real review from a real smoker, Dr. Jack Griffin, as lifted (with implied permission…) from the Empalador Site (get ye there and get on Ivan’s list):

“With a wrapper of aged Trojes Honduran, Honduran and Nicaraguan long filler, and an Indonesian binder, the Empalador (the “Impaler”) Robusto 5×50 is a delightful smoking experience.

“The scent of the foot promised a rich, complex smoke, and this fine stick did not disappoint. The aroma from the initial toasting offered notes of nut and pepper, and even an evasive hint of leather (at least to this reviewer’s nose). Smoking the cigar was deeply enjoyable paired with a fine bourbon. Although I usually allow a cigar to die a dignified death half way through the smoke, I found myself compelled to continue as there was none of the creeping bite and harshness one often finds as a cigar burns down.

“The Latin inscriptions on the band might be loosely translated as ‘the night owns the kingdom’ and ‘God wills’. Indeed it does and so does He. The Empalador is highly recommended.”

Nut, pepper, and evasive leather. Sounds outstanding! And, per my Nica-centricity, I’m going to say the magic Esteli or Jalapa (my guess) dirt adds just a hint of solid earthiness. Or so I hope. I find Dr. Griffin’s admission to burning his Robusto all the way down compelling. If it’s worth risking a burnt fingernail, it’s good. Period.

Going strictly by the pictured appearance, I’ll add that the Empalador is very well constructed. Such would be bolstered by Griffin’s account as harshness usually accompanies poor build, which does not favor an “undignified death.” A beautiful brown Maduro, it looks like a good cigar. My imagination and experience detect just enough strength and body to make the trip fun, yet not so strong as to overpower or moot any of the referenced notes.

Per my eternal habit of keeping no numerical or other rating systems, I cannot give you an “A,” a “10,” or a “+++.” But I trust Ivan and (now) Dr. Griffin.

In short: I’m looking forward to the real encounter. You should too.


In the wild, in the box. Bring it! Picture by the Dark Triad Man.

PS: In keeping with the name, consider (at least once) deploying John Daly’s golf tee punching method – impale the Impaler!

PPS: Thank you, again, Ivan Throne!