Cigar Review: The Alibi by Espinosa Cigars

Espinosa Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Oscuro)
Binder: Undisclosed
Filler: Undisclosed
Size: 6” x 48
Strength: medium-full to full
Price: $9.00

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.1

Erik Espinosa and his team at his La Zona Factory have been releasing so many great cigars, like the Espinosa Laranja (Toasted Foot’s No. 2 Cigar of 2014), that it should come as no surprise that a cigar made exclusively for Espinosa lounges is just as impressive. The Espinosa Alibi is salvable at Espinosa lounges across the country and from SmokeInn.com (Smoke Inn VI in Margate, FL is an Espinosa lounge). The Espinosa Alibi is yet another great cigar coming from Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

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Pre-Light: The Alibi comes packed in great looking red and white 10 count boxes. The Habano wrapper has the color of a brown paper bag, and has a nice amount of oil to it. A great looking, yet simple band doesn’t stand out quite as well as it could against the dark wrapper. The black foot ribbon also doesn’t stand out so well from the cigar’s wrapper. The cigar itself is quite good looking.

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There’s a mix of barnyard, nut and cocoa notes to the wrapper of the Alibi. A strong cocoa aroma can be picked up from the unlit foot of the cigar along with hints of oak and cereal. The easy pre-light draw lets through notes of oak, earth, cocoa and mild white pepper.

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Burn: The Alibi has a  great draw, and allows through massive amounts of smoke. The burn is pretty even from start to finish. Ash clings firmly to the end of the Alibi extremely well. (This cigar would be a great choice for a longest ash contest.)

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Flavor: After an initial burst of pepper, the Espinosa Alibi settles into a mix of cocoa, wood, roasted almonds and toast. On the retrohale, there is a mix of cedar, oak and white pepper. Towards the end of the first third of the cigar, mild leather and orange citrus notes join the existing flavors to great effect. During the transition to the second third of The Alibi the flavor profile takes on a smokey character, with a blend of notes reminiscent of cedar, hickory and meaty Texas BBQ. There is a mild mix of black and crush red pepper in the background of second third. Some hints of citrus and leather still come through occasionally. As the cigar transitions to the last third, the pepper notes slowly begin to build, and a unique spice also starts to occur. The retrohale has taken on a smokey character with noticeable cedar and pepper. The final third of the cigar is counted out by flavors cedar, oak, leather, cocoa and nuts.

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Overall: Many “lounge edition” cigars seem to fall short, but The Alibi by Espinosa Cigars is not one of them. The Alibi is yet another great release from Espinosa’s La Zona Factory. A phenomenal draw allows though copious amounts of smoke allowing flavors of cedar, oak, cocoa, leather, pepper, smoked barbecue, nuts a citrus to really shine through. Personally, I thought the Alibi was great and look forward to smoking it again. The closest Espinosa Lounge is unfortunately a little far away for where I am, but luckily my friends at SmokeInn.com are able to ship them right to my door. This is a cigar that is sure to please fans of the cigars coming out of Espinosa’s La Zona. In some ways, The Alibi is almost like a stronger/fuller version of the original Espinosa Habano. Although it may be a bit too full bodied for the novice cigar smoker, the seasoned enthusiast will find it is a great smoking experience.

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Pairing: The Alibi pairs well with a sipping rum such as Papa’s Pilar 24, Zafra 21 or Kirk and Sweeney 18. The scotch drinker will find the Balvenie 14 CaribbeanCask to be an excellent choice for pairing with this cigar. A Belhaven Scottish Ale, Newcastle or Fat Tire Amber Ale will also pair quite nicely with The Alibi.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)