Cigar Review: Espinosa Especial

Cigar Review: Espinosa Especial

Espinosa Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico (Capa Negra)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6 1/2” x 48
Strength: medium-full to full
Price: $8.75

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 8.9

Erik Espinosa released several new blends (or tweaks to blends) at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans. One of those new blends is the Espinosa Especial, which is something a little different from the typical fare coming out of the La Zona Factory. Medium-full to full bodied, the Especial makes for a great everyday cigar for the full bodied cigar smoker.

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Pre-Light: The Espinosa Especial is a dark and appealing looking cigar. The Mexican Capa Negra wrapper is slightly lumpy, but lacks many of the prominent veins seen on most Mexican wrappers. A rose gold and royal blue band lends a classy look to the Espinosa Especial, that is a great improvement over the look of older Espinosa releases.

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There’s a strong barnyard scent to the Capa Negra wrapper, while some earth and hay aromas are also present. The unlit foot of the cigar offers up some wonderful chocolate, molasses, cedar and raisin scents. An easy cold draw allows through somewhat muted flavors of earth, dark roast coffee and cedar.

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Burn: The Espinos Especia has an excellent draw, and allows through massive amounts of flavorful smoke. The burn line is a bit wavy, but the cigar burns evenly. The ash falls of without warning, so ash the Especial frequently or watch your shirt.

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Flavor: The Espinosa Especial begins with at mix of chocolate, coffee, earth and cashews. In the background there is an interplay of pepper and spice. The retrohale offers up pepper, spice and a background grass note. As the Especial transitions to the second third, the chocolate and coffee notes become bolder and more pronounced. During the second third of the cigar a mix of leather, oak, nuts and mild spice are the main background notes. Black pepper begins to built at the transition to the last third of the cigar. Oak, leather and coffee come to the forefront of the flavor profile early in the start of the final third. Powdered cocoa, hay, earth and spice are also present during the final third of the Espinosa Especial.

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Overall: As we’ve said before, Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Estelí, Nicaragua has been on a role producing some very good cigars. While not the game changer that the Laranja Reserva (our #2 Cigar of 2014) was, the Espinosa Especial is a very good cigar that fits well into the Espinosa line. The pepper, spice, cedar, earth, coffee and chocolate notes give the cigar pleasing full bodied profile. Fans of medium-full to full bodied Nicaraguan cigars will find the Espinosa Especial worth giving a try. Personally, I’ve found the Espinosa Especial to be a great everyday cigar.

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Pairing: The Espinosa Especial pairs very well with a sipping rum. I personally found the Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, which is often served at Espinosa events, to be an excellent compliment to the Espinosa Especial. The Zafra 21, Kirk & Sweeney 12 and Ron Zacapa 23 are also great choices for pairing with this cigar. The scots drinker will find the Dalmore Cigar Malt or Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask go well. This is also a great cigar to have with coffee.

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On a side note: I really like the color scheme and look of the Espinosa Especial’s band, but it is unfortunately extremely hard to take off the cigar. On all the Espinosa Especials that I smoked the band was on extremely tight, and the type of paper used makes it very hard to take off without ruining the band. I like to collect the bands from the cigars I smoke (I have a really cool table covered in them), but the Espinosa Especial is a band that is so difficult to take off without ruining that it will likely never make my collection. Though it has no bearing on the cigar itself, I thought it worth mentioning.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)