Felipe Gregorio Icon Einstein

Reviews18 Comments on Felipe Gregorio Icon Einstein

Felipe Gregorio Icon Einstein

One look at the picture and you already know why I’m reviewing the Felipe Gregorio Icon Einstein. If you’re anything like me, you say that and thought, what the heck is that? Well it isn’t a bottle brush even though it almost looks like one. And in spite of all the decoration, it is possible to smoke it, with appropriate pruning.

Well that’s pretty much all I’ve got. I would quote the little bit of information I did find online about this cigar, but it’s just too heavy on cheesiness and too light on actual information. So it all boils down to this cigar looks funny, and I’m gonna smoke it. Let’s check it out.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 1/2 x 55
Wrapper: Costa Rica
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: 2002 Dominican Republic Piloto Cubano
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$19 MSRP

The Pre-Smoke
Wow, where to start with the pre-light inspection. If ever there was a cigar that just looked like it was trying too hard, it’s this cigar. It has a cap that looks like the wrapper has been pulled up into a pony tail. It also has a foot that’s drawn down into a tight black nipple. (In a way it the cigar is almost like a tootsie roll.) But it doesn’t end there, it comes with two different bands. A golden band near the bulbous foot with the word “icon” emblazoned on it, and a second, busier band near the head with a crest and about a dozen famous faces. (Einstein, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, etc.) I think that this cigar would be a little easier to look at if it just had the simpler golden icon label.

Getting beyond the abundance of decoration, the wrapper was free of obvious defect. It had a few spidery veins and there was some lumpiness to the touch. I found the cigar to be a little softer than expected, but not so much as to warn of burn problems.

The scent of the wrapper was a sweet and pungent compost. Even though the cigar’s foot did come to a nipple at the foot, I was able to get a faint dusty prune in the cold taste on one of the cigars.

The Burn
The burn was fairly similar between cigars. At the beginning of the first third both cigars burned pretty unevenly. In one case, the cigar evened itself out by the time it reached the thickest part of the cigar. But in the cigar wasted no time in acting up. Right inside the nippled end a big hole opened up in the wrapper and revealed a little cavity in the cigar. I was a little concerned that the cigar was in for real burn problems, but after a relight the burn was pretty normal.

Aside from that initial burn weirdness the cigar burned nicely the rest of the way through the cigar. The ash was nice, light and solid. However, there was another problem. This one appeared at the head of the cigar. Tar. The first one of these I smoked had a couple of nasty bubbles of gunk appear on the clipped end around halfway through the burn. The other cigar did not have a tar problem.

So to sum up, one cigar was very flawed. It developed a tunnel, and oozed tar. The other was well behaved.

The Flavor
If you’ve had the misfortune to smoke a tarry cigar, you know that really messes up the flavor of a cigar. So it won’t come as a surprise if I tell you that the flawed cigar had an awful flavor. The funkiness began shortly inside the first third, and progressed until the tar bubbled to the surface. That being said, there were hints of the flavors I was to experience in the next cigar.

So I’m going to focus on the good cigar. And let me tell you, I was completely surprised by it. It started out sweet and creamy with a little bit of nuttiness. That nuttiness started to fade and was replaced by a sweet vanilla and finally a very pronounced and quite tasty mocha flavor. Some flavors I note in my reviews are based on similarities to common flavors, but I swear this cigar tasted exactly like drinking a good mocha. The cigar retained that mocha flavor for the majority of the first and second thirds. Toward the end of the final third, I started to get some cinnamon and some cedar. But the mocha returned in the final third and was a bit fuller and earthier.

The Price
I have the price listed as an MSRP of about $19, but in reality, I don’t think you can buy them for that much. At the risk of disappointing those who like to pay more for their cigars, you’re likely to find these marked down to around $10 per stick (or about $50 for the box of five).

The Verdict
I was talking with the cigar folks on twitter before I smoked the second cigar, and I was complaining about the ordeals I go through for these reviews. I fully expected another horrible smoking experience the second time around. But it was like night and day. I enjoyed the second cigar in equal proportion to the amount I disliked the first. Going with the assumption that the first cigar was an anomaly, I’m going to say I like this cigar, and look forward to smoking it again. It was like smoking dessert!

I have a few more left, so we’ll see how those smoke, before I determine if I’ll buy more. They really are a bit over the top visually, but if the rest perform as well as the second cigar, I’ll probably be buying more. (But maybe one of the other less expensive, less flamboyant vitolas.) However, if I have similar issues with any the rest, I probably won’t. I really wish I had the time to smoke another to be sure. Perhaps we’ll save that for a follow up video review.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes, depending on how the rest smoke.
Recommend It: Yes, depending on how the rest smoke.

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.

enjoying cigars since 1997

18 thoughts on “Felipe Gregorio Icon Einstein

  1. Ace,
    Nothing would surprise me. The band does have Groucho Marx on it. And Charlie Chaplin… The Stooges would fit in nicely.

    Smoking this reminds me. I want somebody to roll me a Christmas tree shaped cigar.

  2. Nice review Brian. How about a video review of this one… let’s say… maybe on Saturday? No pressure, only a suggestion.

  3. That is an interesting looking cigar. The nasty tar build up would turn me off, but then I’ve had it happen once on one of my regular smokes without turning away. Just ruined the cigar’s flavor. I’m surprised you were able to recover and enjoy it from then on.

  4. Thanks for the link, Brian.
    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. That’s probably exactly what they were going for. Somehow on this cigar it just comes off, well, like they were trying too hard. Maybe it’s the two bands.

    BTW, is this the Brian that preceeded me? Nice to see you checking out the site! Giving any thought to doing cigar reviews in the future?

    Me too, Jon W.

    Eric M.
    Yeah it is pretty interesting looking, isn’t it? Actually, that first cigar was the tarry one. And I suffered through it for the pictures, but it really was a write off. The second one was the surprisingly good one.

  5. Hewitt, yes sir, this is Crusty Old Brian. I still check in fairly regularly and enjoy all the reviews and great pictures that accompany them. Hopefully they’ll be enough time (for me) and space (here) for me to maybe sneak in a guest review sometime this summer. Howdy to all the Stogie Reviewers!!

  6. Brian(s) You should glue some old Opus X labels on any of these that you have left and sell them on ebay as BBMF’s at $100 a clip! LOL (Please nobody actually do this). It is kind of cool to see that cigar makers are trying to branch out with their vitolas, but it kind of sucks that they ripped off an otherwise unique cigar.

  7. I’ve very much enjoyed a 5 pack of the “Groucho” Icons after smoking some excellent Twains acquired at CigarFest08 (CigarInternational). All were really nice. Today (June24) http://www.cigarinternational.com has an internet 24 hr special: a sampler pack of 18 of these things for about $30.

  8. I just tried to smoke one of these. After about 5 minutes it went out and was burning so unevenly i didn’t even bother to relight it…

  9. I had my first ICON about 4 months ago and I read a lot of reviews on this line of Felipe Gregario cigars. As it turns out this cigar really impressed me as I was on a cruise and took this cigar with me to try out. I thought that this cigar was really good and had a lot of different tastes to it, nuts, cream and some coffee and mocha flavors as well. It had a bit of cedar in it but not so much as to overwhelm the cigar. I came home only to buy a bundle of these on CBID where you can score 15 of these for about $20,,,not the MSRP of which was stated before. This is a good $5 stick but nothing more than that.

  10. Just bought 5 of these on cbid for $9.50. Sounds like a fun cigar to smoke, without the tar of course.

  11. So I’ve finished my 5 pack of these and have to say I was pretty happy with them. Not a premium cigar by any means but I would put it above an everyday smoke/golf cigar.

    The cigars burned well and even. Not much changes in flavor but a lot of smoke and took me over an hour to smoke each one, and I smoke faster than most ppl. I wouldn’t pay more than 2.50 a stick though.

    1. I had no idea these were still made! It’s been forever since I had one, but as I recall that last time I did, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I wrote this review.

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