Cigar Review: Espinosa Habano (2015)

Cigar Review: Espinosa Habano (2015)

Espinosa Premium Cigars
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6” x 52
Strength: full
Price: $6.98

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.0

At last year’s IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans, Erik Espinosa’s company was one of the definite stars, with several new releases coming from his Estelí based La Zona Factory. One of the new releases on display was a rebranded and reblended Espinosa Habano. Similar to the original Espinosa Habano, the 2015 version is a full flavor and full bodied cigar at a very reasonable price.

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Pre-Light: The Espinosa Habano has a whole new look, and I really like it. An updated blue and gold band bring the Habano in line with the Espinosa Especial, that lends a consistent sense of brand identity across the Espinosa line. It is a much classier look than the original Espinosa Habano. The band stands out against a medium brown Ecuadorian wrapper that has few prominent veins and a nice bit of oil to it.

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There are earth and nut aromas to the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. From the unlit foot there are noticeable cedar, spice and floral notes. A good cold draw allows through cedar, herbal spice, leather and floral flavors.

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When cutting the Espinosa Habano it is important to be careful, because the wrapper is a tad on the delicate side, which is compounded by the fact they’ve been a little on the fry side when they arrive in stores (at least in Houston). On three of the five cigar smoked for this review I encountered an issue where I’d cut the cigar. My friend Gary encountered the same problem, and he fixed it by putting the cigars in a humidor with an 84% Boveda Humidipak for a week.

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Burn: The new Espinosa Habano has a perfect draw that allows through a lot of flavorful smoke. The burn is even throughout, while the burn line itself is a bit wavy. The ash cling firmly to the foot of the cigar as burns.

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Flavor: The new Espinosa Habano opens with sweet cedar, grass, nuts sweet spices and a pepper finish on the palate. There’s a wonderful mix of nuts, cedar, and spice on the retrohale early in the cigar. As the first third of the cigar continues on there is a bit more pepper on the palate which joins cedar, nuts, grass, spice and earth notes. During the transition to the second third of the cigar there is a dark roast coffee flavor that slowly creeps into the foreground of the flavor profile. The second third of the Espinosa Habano sees this coffee note blend with cedar, spice, red pepper, earth and leather flavor. At this point in the cigar, there is a good amount of pepper and spice on the retrohale mingled with a subtle grassiness. Coffee, cedar, nuts, grass, herbal spice and mild pepper are the main flavors heading into the final third of the cigar, and continue on through to the end.

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Overall: I really liked the old Espinosa Habano (see Willy’s review of that cigar), and I typically am not a fan when manufacturers alter the blend of cigars that I like that much. Yet, Erik Espinosa has done a wonderful job with the new Espinosa Habano, and I’ve found that I like it a little more than I did the previous iteration of the cigar. Both full flavored and full bodied, the Habano offers up a good deal of cedar, nuts, pepper, coffee and herbal spice flavors. Fan’s of the original Espinosa Habano will not be disappointed, while the full bodied cigar smoker will find that the Habano is a very good cigar at a great price. Although we don’t take price into account in the Overall Rating of a cigar, at under $7 the Espinosa Habano makes for a great everyday cigar. Personally, I picked up two boxes during an Espinosa event at Stogies World Class Cigars.

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Pairing: The new Espinosa Habano pairs very well with a good sipping rum such as the Zafra 21, Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva or Ron Zacapa 23. The scotch drinker will find the Balvenie 14 CaribbeanCask to be an excellent compliment to the Espinosa Habano.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Espinosa Premium Cigars is an advertiser on ToastedFoot.com. Although we appreciate their support, it does not alter the way we review their cigars. At Toasted Foot LLC we remain committed to providing imperial cigar and product reviews.