Casas Fumando Review of La Zona Habano
A little while back I did a Quick Draw of the La Zona Connecticut by Espinosa cigars and it had some surprises in store for me. So I decided to save up my Habano versions of this line for a proper full review, and here it is today.
On the chopping block is the Habano wrapped version of the Espinosa Cigars La Zona. If the Espinosa name sounds familiar it’s probably because you heard about it from the EO Brands cigar label where Erik Espinosa and Eddie Ortega worked together to create some very popular lines. Espinosa Cigars is Erik fairly new project and the La Zona line is one of his first few blends.
The La Zona line currently comes in two flavors, a Connecticut and the Habano, they are also only available in two sizes, Super Toro and Robusto. The only noticeable difference between the two blends is a slightly different color on the bands. The Connecticut had a sort of lime green touch to it while the Habano is a bit more of a subtle brownish green.
The price on these cigars comes in well below $5 a stick. If you opt for the massive 80 count boxes, the price per stick can drop to nearly $3 each making this a very affordable stick to have in the humidor. Fans of Nicaraguan tobacco will also be happy to hear that the La Zona’s are Nicaraguan Puros and are also manufactured right in Esteli.
Despite a ton of snow we’ve been having, the weather is actually warming up a bit. I think Mother Nature in a bit confused… But I’ll take advantage of that as I enjoy some good cigars. So let’s just right in and see if the La Zona Habano is worth stocking up on in the Humidor.
Cigar: Espinosa Cigars La Zona Habano Drink: Coffee Vitola: Super Toro (6.5 x 54) Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Binder: Nicaraguan Filler: Nicaraguan Price: About $4 Burn Time: 1.5 hours
Construction: • The medium brown color of the wrapper is accented with some golden touches • Almost no veins on this slightly dry looking wrapper • It also has a somewhat rough texture and lots of toothiness to it, just missing the oily spots • I did notice a sort of green water spot right around the middle of the cigar • After a small and easy cut, the draw is super open, pretty surprising since it’s such a long cigar • There is a definite softness from cap to foot here, lots of give when I squeeze it a bit • The foot looks to be decently packed and the cap is finished very cleanly
Burn: • Toasting took a bit of time but it lit up nice and evenly • Burn line has been a tad wavy but pretty good for the most part through the first third • Through the first half, I had one minor touch up for a peninsula that was forming • The La Zona Habano is burning at a good pace, not too fast and not too slow either • A couple more touch ups as I get near the end, none were major issues, probably jsut me wanted to be a perfectionist! lol
Smoke & Ash: • There is a fair bit of smoke off the start but a slightly open draw is making it tough • The resting smoke is pretty minimal • Ash is looking to be pretty clean and somewhat strong • First ash got tapped off at about the one inch mark since it looked to be getting a bit wobbly • A fair bit of smoke from each draw but it does take a few tries to get it all out • The remaining ashes all stuck around the 1 inch mark pretty consistently • Other than the dark spots from touch ups, the ash had a light and dark grey color to it
Tasting Notes: • The wrapper has a deep cedar aroma to it with a touch of spice • On the foot, I’m getting the same cedar and more spice to it, tickled my nose quite a bit • Pre-light draw had a ton more cedar but much less spice here, a touch of sweetness here as well • Initial flavors brought out more of the cedar but not as much spice right off the bat • I found a touch of spice in the aftertaste and main flavors mostly dominated by some leather and woodsy notes • I’m picking up some hints of creaminess but they don’t seem to be sticking around too long • Body started off in the medium range and has been sticking there through the first half of the cigar • The retrohale has a nice little spice bite to it and a bit more on the finish, with just a touch of creaminess in there • I got a few coffee notes and a bit more creaminess towards the last half which kept it interesting • No real harshness or bitterness right to the nub, allowing me to enjoy the whole cigar
Final Thoughts: I have to say that both the Habano and Connecticut version of the La Zona cigar were a satisfying smoke. They are also quite different in their own regards. The Connecticut brought a surprising amount of spice to the table while the Habano had a more creamy and woodsy approach. For a $3 price tag, you are definitely getting your money’s worth on these cigars. Other than a couple minor touch ups, the whole burn was pretty darn good and the flavors were just enough to keep things interesting. I’d definitely consider buying a few more of each and for the price, you don’t feel bad to hand over a tasty and flavorful stick to a novice smoker either.
Pairings: I went with plain old coffee for today’s review and it actually worked out really well. I don’t tend to pair with coffee quite enough and I’m not sure why, it definitely makes for a great pairing. Especially in the morning or early afternoon. I think a nice amber ale, maybe something oaked would make an awesome pairing here. Or possibly a light scotch as well.