Cigar Review: Espinosa Red River Valley (Regional Exclusive)

Cigar Review: Espinosa Red River Valley (Regional Exclusive)

Espinosa Cigars
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Size: 6” x 50
Strength: medium-full to full
Price: $9.50

Overall Rating: 9.1

Erik Espinosa’s Red River Valley cigar is a regional release for Texas and Oklahoma, named for the river (and college football rivalry) between those two states. With a Mexican San Andres wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler, the Red River Valley is a flavorful smoke coming from Espinosa’s La Zona Factory. Coming in 10-count boxes of 6” x 50 toros, the Red River Valley is definitely worth picking up on your next visit to a Texas or Oklahoma Tobacconist.

Pre-Light: The Epinosa Red River Valley’s dark Mexican San Andres wrapper makes the white, black, UT burnt orange and OU maroon band really stand out. Each of the two Rs on the band are the colors of Texas and Oklahoma’s two major universities. The cigar’s wrapper is very dark and earthy, with a fair amount of toothless to it. There are some noticeable veins, but fewer than are common on a Mexican San Andres Wrapper. Overall the cigar is a good looking little smoke.

The San Andres wrapper of the Espinosa Red River Valley has scents of earth, leather, cedar and sweet cocoa. The cigar’s unlit foot has a mix of cedar, earth, leather and nutmeg aromas. A   slightly firm pre-light draw allows through flavors of earth, cedar, sweet cocoa, coffee and mild pepper.

Burn: The burn of the Espinosa Red River Valley is a bit wobbly, but it never needs correcting. A very easy draw produces a ton of smoke. The gray ash of the cigar does have tendancy to fall of without warning, so it’s worth paying attention if you’re wearing a nice shirt.

Flavor: The Red River Valley begins with a lot of flavor from the very first puff. Flavors of cedar, cocoa, leather, salted peanuts and earth all mix together on the palate. There is a bit of black pepper in the background of the flavor profile during the first third of the cigar. As the Espinosa Red River Valley transitions to the second third, the cigar’s strength grows from medium to medium-full. Continuing into the second third of the cigar, the multitude of flavors offered up become more prominent, including notes of earth, coffee, cedar, peanuts, earth, barnyard hay and black pepper. A pleasant sweetness occurs underneath the cigar’s flavor profile, adding depth and balance to the flavor profile of the cigar’s flavor profile. There’s a nice earthiness to the cigar’s retrohale, along with a bit of pepper and cedar. Entering the final third of the cigar, the black pepper grows more prominent. The flavor of the Red River Valley continues with flavors of cedar, cocoa, coffee, peanuts, earth and pepper.  The Red River Valley remains flavorful right up to the point where it begins to burn your fingers.

Overall: Erik Espinosa’s new Red River Valley cigar is yet another great cigar coming our of his La Zona Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. There’s a lot of earth, cocoa and coffee flavors packed into this toro cigar. It’s a cigar with so much flavor, that I found myself smoking it right down to the point of burning my fingers on every single one. Personally, I enjoyed the Red River Valley and picked up three of the 10 count boxes. At $9.50, at the cigar is reasonably priced too, although we don’t take price into account during our reviews. The only real downside to the cigar is that the Red River Valley is that is only available in Texas and Oklahoma tobacconists, so if you happen to make a trip to those states make sure to swing by an Espinosa retailer to see if they have any. I definitely recommend giving the Red River Valley a try if you’re able to find.

Pairing: The Espinosa Red River Valley cigar pairs very well with a good sipping rum like a Zafra 21. The scotch drinker will find the Balvenie 14 CaribbeanCask is also a good choice for pairing. This is also a great cigar for pairing with a cup of cappuccino or espresso.

On a side note: The Red River Showdown (also know as the Red River Rivalry) is the annual college football game between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners. The game is named for the Red River that forms part of the boundary between he states of Oklahoma and Texas. The Red River Valley cigar was released at the Stogies Big Damn Cigar Jamboree & Wingding in Houston, Texas on October 14, 2017, which was the same day as the 112th Red River Rivalry Game.

Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)