In 2018, Espinosa Premium Cigars shipped the first cigar in a new series named Las 6 Provincias which will eventually include six different releases named after the original six provinces of Cuba that were created by the Spanish colonial government in 1879: Camagüey, La Habana, Las Villas, Matanzas, Oriente and Pinar del Río. Currently, there are 15 different provinces, though only four of them have the same names as one of the original six and the areas they cover are different.

Each cigar takes inspiration from one of the six original provinces, which extends to the unique packaging of each cigar. The three releases so far have been quite different in both design and size, but all have included imagery designed by Cuban artist Edin Gutierrez, who is based in south Florida and has also worked with Espinosa on the company’s Warzone.

The first release named Las 6 Provincias LHB was packaged in two very different boxes: a standard 10-count box and a limited edition version—of which only 300 were made—that featured a rectangular container that was stored vertically and suspended in the air by two pegs on either side that attached to legs above a base made of wood, allowing the box to swing freely back and forth. One year later, Espinosa released the Las 6 Provincias MTZ as a tribute to Matanzas, a region east of Havana. The box for this blend was made to mimic a house window with hand-painted artwork on top designed to look like stained glass. The box opens up to display 20 cigars, with additional artwork located inside the shutters.

 

After taking a year hiatus in 2020, the series was back last year, as the company released the Las 6 Provincias LV to commemorate the Las Villas province. The boxes for the newest release that was shipped just before the end of 2021 are fashioned in the style of a curio cabinet measuring approximately 16 inches tall and 7 1/2 inches wide, with each holding 10 cigars packaged in individual coffins. In addition, each box includes art that depicts scenes from Las Villas before the Cuban revolution, when it was the center of the Cuban cattle industry before shifting to sugar production in the 20th century.

As for the cigar, it’s a Nicaraguan puro measuring 5 1/2 x 54, produced at AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua. Las Villas is no longer used as a provincial name; in fact, before 1940, the Las Villas province was known as Santa Clara and it was previously made up of what are now four different present-day provinces: Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus, and Matanzas.

The Las 6 Provincias Las Villa has an MSRP of $22 and they are packaged in boxes of 10 priced at $220 that started shipping to retailers on Dec. 20, 2021.

Note: The following shows the various Espinosa Las 6 Provincias vitolas. Some of these cigars may have been released after this post was originally published. The list was last updated on Feb. 8, 2022.

86 Overall Score

Consistency is the name of the game for the Las 6 Provincias LV, with the main flavors of creamy cedar and earth that easily dominate the profile for the entire cigar across all three samples. There were some minor differences in the profile depending on the sample: my first cigar was fairly linear, while the last cigar I smoked had quite a bit more black pepper on the retrohale, albeit not enough to really affect the balance in any major way. Unfortunately, the one thing that is missing from the profile is a fairly major item: sweetness. While there is a brown sugar sweetness on the retrohale, it never gets strong enough to make any major impact. In the end, the Las 6 Provincias LV is an enjoyable release, but not as good as the Las 6 Provincias MTZ that came before it.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Espinosa Las 6 Provincias LV
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: San Lotano Factory
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • MSRP: $22 (Box of 10, $220)
  • Release Date: Dec. 20, 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Covered in a dark chocolate brown wrapper that is smooth as silk to the touch, the Las 6 Provincias LV features a soft-box press as well as a small amount of oil. In addition, there are a number of veins—albeit none that are too distracting—and the cigar has quite a bit of give when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of creamy wood, leather, earth, barnyard and generic fruity sweetness, while the foot brings notes of strong tea leaves, cedar, cocoa nibs and distinct apple juice sweetness. Finally, after a v-cut the cold draw includes flavors of dry tea leaves, leather, brewed coffee, bitter chocolate, black pepper and brown sugar sweetness.

Strong notes of leather and black pepper—along with some noticeable spice on my tongue—start off the Las 6 Provincias LV as soon as the foot is toasted, though the cigar quickly transitions into main flavors of creamy cedar and earth. Additional notes of peanut shells, toasted bread, cocoa nibs, cinnamon and slight sawdust flit in and out at various points, while the retrohale features both black pepper and a bit of the brown sugar sweetness seemingly pulled over from the cold draw. Construction-wise, the draw is excellent after a v-cut and there is plenty of dark gray smoke, and while two of the three cigars needed no help whatsoever, my second sample becomes problematic enough to warrant a quick correction. Flavor and body are both just under medium while the strength is fairly light and struggles to hit a point between mild and medium by the time the first third comes to an end.

Coming into the second third of the Las 6 Provincias LV the profile is very similar to the first third: creamy cedar and gritty earth remain on top of the profile—albeit a bit more of the former than the latter—followed by hay, peanuts, cocoa nibs, sourdough bread and light cinnamon in various amounts. The same can be said of the retrohale, which features slightly more black pepper as well as about the same amount of brown sugar sweetness, which is sadly just not enough to compensate. In terms of construction, two of the three cigars feature straight burn lines while one needs two corrections to keep it from getting out of control, but the draw and smoke production are giving me no issues whatsoever. Flavor is at a solid medium, body is just above the medium mark and the strength reaches a point between medium and full, but is still increasing in an obvious way.

There is not much change for the Las 6 Provincias LV during the final third, with the same creamy cedar and earth combination easily remaining the top flavors in the profile. Secondary notes of dry tea leaves, dark chocolate, espresso beans, leather, potato chips, cinnamon and bread make themselves known at different points, while the retrohale is still going strong with a combination of strong black pepper and very light brown sugar sweetness. Once again, only one sample needs any sort of attention with my lighter to keep the burn on track, but both the draw and smoke production continue along their excellent paths. Flavor ends the cigar just above medium while the body easily hits medium-full, but the one major change is the strength, which has no issue reaching a point just under the full mark just before I put the nub down with less than an inch remaining.

Final Notes

  • Although the apple juice sweetness I noted in my notes was present in all three samples emanating from the foot of the cigars, unfortunately, there was nothing like that in the actual profile of the cigars.
  • When I took the coffins out of the box to photograph them in the studio, it was very obvious that each coffin smelled strongly of paint, so I immediately took all of the cigars out of their respective coffins and put them in a separate bag. Thankfully, the actual cigars have no overt paint smell to them that I can discern and I did not detect any paint in the profile of the three cigars I smoked for this review. With that said, if you buy any of these cigars, I suggest removing them from their coffins post haste.
  • The boxes of each of the releases so far are extremely unique but there have been some issues. The first two boxes were quite fragile; one of the knobs fell off of the first box, while one of the door handles fell off of the second box. Second, they are much too large and unwieldy to actually store in anything other than something like a walk-in humidor.
  • Speaking of the packaging, all three releases of the Las 6 Provincias have made it onto halfwheel’s Top Ten Packaging Awards: last year’s release of the LV won the 8th spot, the MTZ took 4th place in 2019 and the LHB tied for 2nd place in 2018.
  • While putting different colored foot bands made of ribbon that are unique to every release is not exactly new—Crowned Heads has used them to differentiate different blends for almost a decade now—I do love how the ribbon colors match so well with the colors on the main bands on each of the Las 6 Provincias releases so far. Having said that, the debut cigar in the series featured a “6” that was printed in the same color as the ribbon, something that was not continued in the second and third additions.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time averaged one hour and 32 minutes for all three samples.
  • If you would like to purchase the Las 6 Provincias LV, site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler, Corona Cigar Co. and Famous Smoke Shop all have it in stock now.
86 Overall Score

Consistency is the name of the game for the Las 6 Provincias LV, with the main flavors of creamy cedar and earth that easily dominate the profile for the entire cigar across all three samples. There were some minor differences in the profile depending on the sample: my first cigar was fairly linear, while the last cigar I smoked had quite a bit more black pepper on the retrohale, albeit not enough to really affect the balance in any major way. Unfortunately, the one thing that is missing from the profile is a fairly major item: sweetness. While there is a brown sugar sweetness on the retrohale, it never gets strong enough to make any major impact. In the end, the Las 6 Provincias LV is an enjoyable release, but not as good as the Las 6 Provincias MTZ that came before it.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.