I have been saying all year how much A.J. Fernandez has been influential to the cigar industry this year with the many collaborations he has forged with big box brands and small boutique cigar companies alike. Today I would like to talk about another one of these fine collaborations, the 2017 Espinosa Murcielago.
The cigar itself has a storied history for Erik Espinosa and his Espinosa Cigars brand. It started back on 2009, when Erik was working with Eddie Ortega and they branded the Murcielago as part of what was then EO Cigars. That brand was dissolved in 2012 and Eddie and Erik decided to split up the blends between them, and as part of that agreement Espinosa got the Murcielago brand but Erik did not get the actual blend.
With his hands on the brand, Erik and his team dissected the blend and recreated the Murcielago. This was not an easy task and it took the company three years to get it right with a re-release of the Murcielago at the 2015 IPCPR. The packaging and art work for the brand was updated and the new Espinosa Murcielago started to hit the shelves through 2015 and 2016. Entering into the 2017 IPCPR, Erik announced a new collaboration with A.J. Fernandez to refine the blend.
This newly refined Espinosa Murcielago blend is described simply as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andres
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
The 2017 Espinosa Murcielago is available in 3 vitolas and come packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Robusto – box-pressed (5 x 54) MSRP $8.50
- Toro – box-pressed (6 x 52) MSRP $8.70
- Rabito (6.5 x 46) MSRP $8.60
I received a few of the 2017 Espinosa Murcielago Robustos at this years La Zona Palooza event and that is the vitola I will be reviewing today.
The 2017 Espinosa Murcielago Cigar
The 2017 Espinosa Murcielago is a beautiful square box-pressed cigar that sports a dark, roasted, espresso bean colored wrapper that has a light tooth along it and finished with a simple cap. The packing is tight and there are practically now no noticeable veins. The foot shows a blend of tobacco with varying degrees of color to it.
Besides the refined blend of this years model, the Espinosa Murcielago also got a new band. Erik chose to keep the bat logo but went with a holographic ink which makes the band pop nicely in the shelf.
Running the shaft across the nose I did not pick up much aroma but the foot offered notes of light pepper and baking spice.
I used a punch to open the cap on this, and the cold draw was open – not much restriction. . The palate detected notes of earth a mild pepper.
With the preliminary exam out-of-the-way, it was time to set the flame to it and see how things progress.
Cigar Review Notes
- Butter and pepper start the journey
- Light grey ash rests on a thin and straight char line
- The pepper moves to a warming, palate filling, red pepper
- Espresso notes enter after an inch
- The smoke is thick, creamy, and ingestible, as the smoke slips into the throat
- Ash holding solid on a pristine burn
- The butter component remains in the background
- Earthy aroma
- Hints of sweetness join the profile
- Earth moves into palate after two inches of burn
- Solid mint note enters near midway point
- Ash gently fell showing a well centered and dark burn cone
- Earth continues
- Touch of nut enters end of second third
- Strength is close to full
- Mint continues to move in and out to the finish
- Total Smoking Time was right around one hour.
Overall, the 2017 Espinosa Murcielago was a delectable smoke with a solid burn and ash. The balanced flavors intrigued the palate from foot to nub. Since I had more than one to sample, I paired one with a dram or two of Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Ceobanach which paired very well with the earthy notes in the cigar. Although I never experienced the original Murcielago , I will say, at the $8.50 price point this is a cigar you should look at to add to your rotation. Like Boston Jimmie says:
“You Can;t go wrong with a A.J. Fernandez partnership!“