El Septimo Gilgamesh Sable Shamash Toro

El Septimo Cigars has been busy. In just a little over 2 years, the Geneva-based cigar maker has settled into the US market, expanded their cigar portfolio and kicked off a top-shelf accessory collection. Like many, El Septimo didn’t let the weirdness of a COVID-wrecked 2020 ruin their plans and despite the cancellation of every significant tobacco/cigar-based event, El Septimo executed the launch of their anticipated Gilgamesh collection. Inspired by the ancient Epic Of Gilgamesh, the legendary Sumerian King, El Septimo created two new cigars, Aqua Anu and Sable Shamash.

A departure for the Swiss company focused on thick, 60+ RG cigars, the Gilgamesh collection represents El Septimo’s first cigars rolled in a standard 50 ring gauge size. In addition to the new vitola, a more palatable, mortal price of $20 per cigar was intended to attract new as well as established smokers who prefer more traditional vitolas. The new Costa Rican puros carry a maduro wrapper and a blend featuring tobaccos aged six (Sable) and ten (Aqua) years. Outside of this, blend details are a closely guarded secret. We reviewed the Aqua Anu last year and ever since, have looked forward to assessing its Sable Shamash sibling.

I’m always quite taken by the aesthetics of their cigars and our toro doesn’t disappoint. The dark, oily wrapper reminded me of maple syrup, making the roll appear seamless. The deep, rich color also conceals some lumps and veins along its length, which is evenly firm but not hard. The aromas of these cigars is also a treat not to be overlooked as rich leather and sweet cocoa powder aromas waft from the wrapper and foot. The cold draw is only partially open with a guillotine cut (I’m used to using a punch on their bigger cigars), but it’s not a pressing concern.

A high level of refinement is on full display evidenced by a rich, round profile of nougat, toasted almonds, black pepper and marshmallow intonations preceded by a semi-sweet draw of dried berries. The warm finish coats the palate with leather and pepper as a nucleus of hazelnut becomes more prominent. Initially medium bodied, Sable is ultra-smooth as it adds a light spice on the tongue. Transitions drift towards more body and spice with leathery and nutty profiles that are smoky and savory. Intonations of black coffee, bitter chocolate and roasted chestnuts give way to a full bodied medley of spicy, dark chocolate, black pepper and dried berries as finishes become woody and toasty.

Excellent performance has always been a hallmark of El Septimo’s cigars, and while the restrictive draw does loosen, combustion was irregular at times requiring a couple of touch ups. An average smoke producer, Sable holds a strong ash and burns cleanly. The opening profile and subsequent transitions employ an enjoyable flavor wheel with a high level of refinement that feels luxurious at times. The initial confection of hazelnut, nougat and berries is well balanced against the smoky, spicy profiles that provide robust layers of coffee, dark chocolate and oak on the palate. The Sable certainly passes the eye candy test, but its charm will win your nose and palate. – In Fumo Pax!

Recommendation: Boxworthy

Did you Know: The Gilgamesh line represents the first 50 ring gauge cigars launched by El Septimo.

  • Profile: Medium-Full
  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length / Ring: 6.0″ x 50
  • Purchased: Direct
  • Origin: Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Costa Rican
  • Binder: Costa Rican
  • Filler: Costa Rican
  • Production: Undisclosed Costa Rican factory
  • Blade: Xikar xi1
  • Fire: Colibri Firebird
  • Price:$20.00 [Box $190]
  • Humidor Age: 6 mo.
  • Box: 10
  • Other Vitolas: N/A

N O T E S

Smoke Time: 1:34
Draw
: Partially open
Construction: Dark; oily; maple syrup color; evenly firm but not hard; veiny; almost seamless; lumpy; attractive cigar; holds strong 1″ ash.
Aromas:

  • WrapperBountiful amount of rich leather and cocoa powder
  • Foot – Cocoa powder, milk chocolate

Tasting Notes:

  • Initial: Draw rich with dried berries; dominant intonations of nougat, almonds and black pepper; splash of marshmallows; warm, nutty finish with notes of leather and pepper; slow reveal of a delectable hazelnut core; light spice on tongue; ultra smooth and refined; addition of oak notes as nuttiness subsides; finish become leathery.
  • Transition: Medium+ body; dominant black coffee and bitter chocolate intonations on retro; finish of roasted chestnuts; spice ramps up; smoky persona and somewhat savory; layer of toasted oats on palate; develops tang f charred mesquite on the finish.
  • Transition: Full-bodied medley of spicy, dark chocolate; black pepper notes return; hardy finish of oak and black coffee; warm disposition; more spice; dried berry notes on retro; some nuttiness returns; dense but still very smooth.

Complexity: Outstanding
Balance: Excellent
Touch ups2
Combustion: Very good
Weaknesses: Uneven combustion in latter half.
Recommendation: Boxworthy

Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to
  2. Boxworthy
  3. 5 packer
  4. Yard ‘gar
  5. NR [No Recommendation]

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