Today I would like to give my input on the Espinosa Laranja Reserva cigar. This is one of the memorable cigars that is a master work of the Espinosa La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. By now, many of you have probably tried this unique and pleasurable smoke but I felt the need to present my experience with it.
The Espinosa Laranja was introduced at the 2014 IPCPR and quickly became an instant classic. In fact, Erik Espinosa even worked with a local craft brewery, Khoffner Brewery, in Fort Lauderdale, FL to brew a special orange flavored beer just to pair with the cigar. In his own words Erik stated the following:
“I wanted to release something different for the show, we had started working with this orange Brazilian Laranja wrapper last year and we are very excited with the end result. I have always liked the color orange (laranja which is the Portuguese word for orange) and the positive energy associated with that color. It is the color of enthusiasm, creativity, determination and success, that’s what we are all about here”
It should be noted that Brazil is the largest producer of oranges in the world and although the wrapper of the Laranja cigar has nothing to do with oranges, other than the color, Erik named this wrapper Brazilian Laranja. It is really just a rare Brazilian leaf.
As Erik noted above, the magic behind this blend is the Brazilian Laranja wrapper, but it does not end there. The full blend of this cigar is described as:
- Wrapper – Brazilian Laranja
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The Espinosa Laranja is available in 5 vitolas and come packaged in 20-count boxes.
- Caixa Box-Press (Churchill) – 6.5 x 48 (MSRP $11.50)
- Corona Gorda – 5.6 x 46 (MSRP $9.90)
- Robusto Extra – 5.5 x 54 (MSRP $10.50)
- Toro – 6 x 52 (MSRP $10.90)
- Lancero – 7.5 × 38 (MSRP $10.00)
For this review, I sampled an Espinosa Laranja Belicoso, which I picked up at the 2017 La Zona Palooza event earlier this year (seems like it was an event exclusive), so it has an additional 6 months of aging before I took it on its journey. I will say, I have smoked a few of these prior to the review.
Orange is the color! Yes, the wrapper on the Espinosa Laranja is medium brown with a nice orange tinge to it. It is lightly veined and is finished with a well applied cap. Solid in the hand and along the barrel this is a nice looking and seemingly well constructed cigar.
There are two bands that adorn the Laranja. The primary band is artful and appealing, using an orange, white and gold foil motif. It states Laranja across the band and Reserva along the bottom. The secondary band is an orange footer. Did you get the message that this is all about orange.
Did you know that in the Godfather movies, whenever there are oranges in a scene, someone is about to get whacked? I hope this cigar does not whack me to hard but we shall see.
The cigar has me intrigued and now it was time to discover the pre-light aromas. The barrel has a light sweetness that makes me want to bite into this and the foot lets off a cocoa aroma. No orange yet…
I sliced the cap down about a 1/4 inch to give it a decent but not too wide of an opening. Giving it some cold draws, I greeted with earthy and pepper notes. Mmmm still no orange!!
Well, it is time to fire this one up and see where the damn orange is, if anywhere.
Cigar Review Notes
- Boom, there it is – Light spice with a slight orange citrus tang
- Just goes to show that the pre-light aromas and taste may have little to do with the burning leaf flavors
- Solid medium grey ash on a medium char line
- Mouth watering smoke so far in the early burn
- Sweet floral aroma
- Touch of cocoa ignites my chocolate sensor (back left teeth)
- Smoke is thick and creamy and ultra smooth with a lingering orange zest
- A nuance of vanilla enters making it taste like an orange Creamsicle near the start of the second third
- Burn and ash are stupendous
- Cedar notes entering midway
- Sweetness wraps the orange notes nicely
- Ash finally fell, revealing a well centered and slightly protruding burn cone
- Earthy grassy notes enter end of second third
- Orange zest maintains in the palate
- Earth and spice pick up in the final
- Mild to Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 30 minutes
Overall, the Espinosa Laranja Reserva was a spectacular and rather unique smoking experience that delivered on the orange citrus expectation along with a balanced sweetness, cream, and vanilla set of notes. It is mostly a mild smoke till it gets to the final third where the spice and strength picks up. I have paired this with the Khoeffner Laranja beer and I can say it does pair well, but if you can’t find that try pairing it with a creamy Guinness or even a mimosa in the morning.