Cigar Review: Espinosa Alpha Dawg

Espinosa Cigars 
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Nicaragua (Habano Rosado)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 5” x 50
Strength: medium-full
Price: $8.95

Click here to buy it now.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Erik Espinosa has been making some great cigars for a while now, with his Larañja Reserva being the No. 2 on our Top Ten Cigars of 2014 list. Maybe all the success has gone to his head a bit because his latest cigar is called the Alpha Dawg, but as much as I like Erik and his cigars I don’t think I’ll ever be calling him “Alpha Dawg”. Still this latest medium-full bodied addition to the Espinosa line is the kind of well constructed flavorful cigar that one would expect coming from Erik’s La Zona Factory. Fans of the other cigars in the Espinosa line are sure to find the Espinosa Alpha Dawg much to their liking.


Pre-Light: When Espinosa changed the style of their bands to create a coherent look for the brand I thought the new look was great, and the Alpha Dawg continues that high class established last year. The red, white and silver band serves to highlight the creamy coffee colored Habano Rosado wrapper. The cigar itself looks quite appealing with a nice oily sheen to the wrapper.


There is an earthiness to the aroma from the wrapper of Espinosa Alpha Dawg. From the unlit foot of the cigar there are pleasant scents of dried fruit, cinnamon and spice. An easy cold draw allows through notes of earth, leather, cinnamon and spice.


Burn: A perfect draw allows through plumes of flavorful smoke. Though the cigar can canoe a little bit at times, the burn tends to correct itself without need for touch ups from a lighter. The ash can drop of suddenly from the Alpha Dawg, so watch your clothing or ash fairly frequently.


Flavor: The Espinosa Alpha Dawg begins with a blend of spice notes along with a woodsy characteristic to the start of the cigar. The spice note is very unique, and is join by a mild black pepper as the cigar begins to get going.  Leather, earth, coffee join existing wood and spice during the transition to the second third of the cigar. The pepper picks up just, making itself especially known on the retrohale, but never becoming overpowering. As the Alpha Dawg transitions to the final third, the intensity of the flavors picks up. Coffee, pepper, cedar and spice all come through quite clearly during the transition to the final third of the cigar. The cigar finishes off with a lot of spice and pepper on the palate, while cedar and leather are still subtly detectable.


Overall: Yes, the name may be a bit much, but the Espinosa Alpha Dawg is a very good medium-full bodied cigar. There’s a very unique mix of flavors to the Alpha Dawg that sets it apart from other cigars in the Espinosa line. The draw on the Alpha Dawg allows though a wonderful mix of leather, earth, coffee, cedar, spice and pepper. Personally, I’ve gone through close to a box of the Alpha Dawg since it was released. I think it’s a very good cigar that I’d definitely recommend to those who are fans of the stuff coming from the La Zona Factory.


Pairing: The Espinosa Alpha Dawg pairs very well with a good sipping rum. Personally, I like the Sweeney and Kirk 12 with the Alpha Dawg.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)