Cigar Coop: Espinosa Habano Review
Cigar Review: Espinosa Habano
The Espinosa Habano is a blend that was launched in 2012 by first year company Espinosa Cigars. Espinosa Cigars was started by Erik Espinosa. Espinosa was best known for his partnership with Eddie Ortega at EO Brands. Earlier this year, it was announced that the partnership with Espinosa and Ortega was being (amicably) dissolved with each forming their own cigar company. As a part of the split, Espinosa inherited the 601, Murcielago, and Mi Barrio lines from EO Brands into his new company. During this transition, Espinosa purchased his own factory in Esteli, Nicaragua called La Zona and began production on some new blends. One of the first new blends being made at this factory is the Espinosa Habano. There was a lot of magic with Espinosa and Ortega at EO Brands – and the magic continues with Espinosa at Espinosa Cigars. This was a solid release and a habano cigar that flew under the radar.
The Espinosa Habano actually represents one of the first cigars to come out of the La Zona factory. Let’s take a closer look at this cigar and see what it delivers.
When it comes to the blend, we know there is a habano wrapper and there are Nicaraguan tobaccos. However, Espinosa would not comment further In an 7/21/12 interview with Kiss My Ash Radio, Espinosa said, “It took me such a long time to create that blend, I’m not saying anything. … the Colonel never gave up his 11 herbs and spices….what’s inside I’d just like rather keep to myself“.
The Espinosa Habano is currently offered in four frontmarks and is packaged in boxes of 20.
Robusto: 5 x 50 Toro: 6 x 52 Belicoso: 5 1/2 x 52 Trabuco: 6 x 60
For this cigar experience, I smoked the Espinosa Habano Robusto. The Espinosa Habano had a medium brown colored wrapper. There is a slight amount of oil on the wrapper – and it also has a silky complexion to it. The wrapper seams are well hidden, but there are some visible veins.
There are two bands on the Espinosa Habano. The primary band has pale yellow, gold, light blue, dark blue, white, and red in its color scheme. In the middle of the band is a large light blue ribbon. On that ribbon is the text “ESPINOSA” in red font with black trim. Below that text is “HECHO EN LA ZONA” in a smaller black-colored font that is situated on a smaller blue ribbon. Toward the top of the band is a classic scripted E (white color with gold and black trim) on a red background. There are red stripes going around the back of the band with gold pinstripes. The remainder of the band has gold and black adornments.
The second band is a footer band. It is primarily in light blue with gray pinstripes. There is dark blue and gold on the footer band’s trim. The text “HECHO EN” is in a small black font sitting on top of the pinstripes. Below that text is “LA ZONA” in a large red font with black and white trim. Toward the back of the footer band is a gold and red “E” on a red circular background (that also has gold and black trim).
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this smoke of the Espinosa Habano Robusto, I opted for my usual straight cut into the cap of the cigar. After I clipped the cap, I proceeded to start the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes were quite pleasant – yielding a mix of chocolate, cherry, and light pepper. Overall, I considered this to be a very positive pre-light draw experience. At this time, it was time to toast the foot of my cigar and see what the cigar experience would bring to the table.
The start to the Espinosa Habano started with a mix of several different flavors including pepper, chocolate, floral, and mixed fruit. The floral notes pretty much went to the background. Meanwhile the chocolate, pepper, and mixed fruit all took turns as to which was the primary note. As a result of the retro-hale, the pepper lingered around on tongue.
In the second half the pepper notes seemed to take control. The chocolate notes remained secondary while the floral and cherry notes were pretty much tertiary flavors. Overall this would be the the flavor profile as the cigar experience came to a close. There was some spice on the close of the cigar, but there were no harsh notes. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a construction standpoint, I have found each of the Espinosa Habanos I have smoked to be excellent. This was consistency reflected in the burn and draw as the Espinosa Habano scored very well in each attribute. From start to finish the burn line remained relatively straight requiring only a few touch-ups along the way. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color and remained firm with only some occasional flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal from start to finish.
The draw was flawless on the Espinosa Habano. It made this cigar an enjoyable smoke from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a nicotine perspective, I found the Espinosa Habano not to be overpowering. I assessed this cigar starting out with medium strength. By the time it reached the second half, the strength had increased – moving it into the medium to full range. The flavor notes to the Espinosa Habano had some nice depth to them. The flavors started out medium to full-bodied and remained that way until the latter stages of the smoke when they moved to full-bodied. I would say the body has a slight edge over the strength for a good part of the smoking experience (especially they first half).
On a side note, I found the Robusto to have more depth to its flavor notes when compared to the Toro. I would not consider this a negative. If you do want the flavor dialed back a little bit, the Toro may be a good option for you.
Overall, I found the flavors to be enjoyable on the Espinosa Habano. There is a nice amount of flavor nuances with this smoke. This is an excellent product that was put out by Erik Espinosa. Being this is the first new blend to come out of his La Zona factory, I would say the future looks very bright and exciting for Espinosa. This blend might be one of those “hidden gems” in your retailer humidor. This is a good cigar for a novice cigar enthusiast looking to graduate to something medium in strength – and something on the medium plus to full side in terms of flavor. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate the flavor nuances of this smoke. As for myself, this is one I would definitely smoke again.
Burn: Excellent Draw: Excellent Complexity: Medium Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half) Body: Medium to Full (Full toward end) Finish: Good Assessment: Nice to Have Score: 91
Source: The cigars for this assessment were a combination of samples provided by Espinosa Cigars and cigars purchased from Tobacco World in Marietta, Georgia.. Samples were initiated by Espinosa Cigars for the purpose of providing feedback. Cigar Coop is appreciative for this samples, but this plays no role in the final assessment and score.