Introduced or should I say re-introduced at the 2015 IPCPR, the Espinosa Habano blend got a new look and a tweak in the blend. The original Espinosa Habano was released in 2012 when Erik Espinosa opened his new boutique cigar line and his La Zona cigar factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. So here we are in late 2017 and I finally got to reviewing the Espinosa Habano 2015. I am sorry, but I just never got my hands on one, that is, until this year in Las Vegas. I have smoked though plenty of other Espinosa blends and other boutique brands that have come from the La Zona factory.
I did review the original back Espinosa Habano back in 2014 which you can read here.
During the release in 2015, Anthony Jimenez, then Creative Director for Espinosa Cigars, stated:
“We tweaked the blend and streamlined the design of the band and packaging…The vitolas have changed and have been streamlined to three offerings.”
Like the original, the Espinosa Habano 2015 has a rich Nicaraguan filler and binder with a blend that is simply described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
They are available in three vitolas and are packaged in 20-count boxes:
- No. 4 (5.5 x 50) MSRP $6.75
- No. 5 (6 x 52) MSRP $6.90
- No . 8 (6.125 x 58) MSRP $7.50
I found these readily available at Neptune Cigars in case you can’t find them at your local brick and mortar.
For this review I sampled the Espinosa Habano 2015 No. 5 which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The Espinosa Habano 2015 has a slightly gritty wrapper with a few noticeable veins and is dark tan in color. There is a light sheen to the wrapper when held in the light. A well applied triple cap finishes the construction. The cigar is solid in the hand and has a decent weight to it.
As far as branding goes, the 2015 variety has been ungraded with a new band design that uses a bold blue, gold, and white motif. I like this band more than the original, it seems to draw my attention to it on the shelf. There is also burnt orange satin footer band to finish it with style.
Pre-light aromas included barnyard notes off the barrel and sweet fruit and bread notes off the foot.
Once cut, the cold draw was excellent with a pepper component that lights up the tongue some earth that gives it depth.
With the preliminaries out-of-the-way, it was time to light it up and see how it performs.
It is a gorgeous October day here, 67 degrees and low humidity – perfect cigar smoking weather!
Cigar Review Notes
- Light pepper and coffee start the journey
- Orange citrus aroma – remember that burnt orange footer band?
- Pepper fades into a sweet spice that is very clean on the palate
- Perfect light grey ash and thin even char line
- Ash tapped after an inch or so with a well centered burn cone
- Smoke is smooth with a continued sweet spice and a citrus back note
- The burn is slow and even and smoke volume is medium to full
- Aroma shifts into more fruit than citrus at this point
- The smoke is getting more creamy near the start of the second third
- Coffee note entering and a hint of cedar
- Extremely balanced smoke
- Hits medium strength at this point
- Slight off burn in the second third but corrects itself with no touch-up
- Coffee moves up
- The flavors have blended well and are consistent through the second third
- Strength increases to full, midway through second third
- Butternut component enters
- Spice adds down through the final third
- Full Strength
- Total Smoking Time was one hour and twenty minutes
Overall, the Espinosa Habano 2015 was an excellent cigar with rich flavor transitions and fairly solid burn. The strength was a bit of a surprise as it crept up near then end but I can certainly say it is a perfect mid afternoon smoke with a cup of sweet Cafe Cubano. Looking back at my review of the original Espinosa Habano, I have to say the small tweaks to the blend made all the difference in this fine cigar.
This weekend I will be attending the second annual La Zona Palooza event at Espinosa headquarters in Miami, FL. we will be sampling a number of cigar brands from the La Zona factory and hopefully will get into the annual dodge ball tournament. Look for the article on that event coming soon.