At this year’s IPCPR convention and trade show, the Espinosa Premium Cigars booth went orange—literally. The company’s newest release is the Laranja Reserva, which not only features orange bands, but also draws inspiration from an orange-hued Brazilian wrapper.
The cigar debuted at the trade show and will begin shipping later this month. It’s offered in three sizes, each of it will ship in a 20-count box: Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46, $9.90), Robusto Extra (5 1/2 x 54, $10.50) and Toro (6 x 52, $10.90).
- Cigar Reviewed: Laranja Reserva Robusto Extra
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory
- Wrapper: Brazil
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $10.50 (Boxes of 20, $210.00)
- Release Date: August 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
While it’s not the cleanest of rolls, leading to bumps, the wrapper itself is very smooth to the touch. Overall, it creates a very interesting texture. Aroma from the Brazilian wrapper is mild with some leather notes barely showing themselves, fairly lifeless even after being protected in cellophane. From the foot, there’s much more to get excited about: sweet cedar, gingerbread, sweetened coffee and a bit of baker’s spices. The cold draw is medium with a dominant floral note and some nuttiness underneath, rather Cuban-like.
It takes a few second to get going, but there’s a mixture of gingerbread and something rather reminiscent of the sauce used in sesame chicken over some nuttiness. The floral notes eventually make themselves known but the profile has quickly turned into one dominated by a full flavor of aged cedar. There’s some pepper notes as well, but they are restrained, particularly in face of the dominant and aggressive cedar flavors. I make two attempts at a retrohale, both are punishingly full, almost too much. The body is on the more extreme side of full, while the Laranja Reserva is medium in nicotine content. I have no complaints regarding construction, although the burn is uneven enough to require a correction.
Earthier flavors emerge as the second third gets going. In addition, there’s grass, wheat and some ground black pepper. A sweetness remains, although it’s fading behind the new flavors, which are also enjoyed by walnut, peppermint and sweet citrus. Fortunately, the Laranja Reserva’s burn corrects itself while retraining the solid smoke production and good draw. Unfortunately, the retrohales are still punishing. Strength is still medium.
As the final third burns down, I have issues with the construction of one sample as the wrapper begins to separate itself from the binder. Flavor-wise, things are improving. I’m able to make some attempts at the retrohale that deliver spices upfront and peach on the finish. The roasted cedar notes are much different than the earthier-ifnluenced ones I found in the second third. The familiar sweet sesame chicken sauce note returns at the one inch mark along with a few specks of grass.
- There is a lot of flavors present in the Laranja Reserva, what’s remarkable is little of it comes from the retrohale.
- While the wrapper is pretty, both samples I smoked were far from flawless in how they were rolled.
- Laranja is Portuguese for orange. I cannot think of another cigar that uses Portuguese words, although I imagine there are a few.
- As for the wrapper, it definitely looks quite orange and is rather bright. Very attractive, although somewhat delicate.
- I really like the band, it’s a great style particularly with the spiraling text.
- Brian Burt reviewed the other new cigar from Espinosa, the 601 La Bomba Warhead II.
- For those wondering about the orange ribbon foot bands, they might be familiar thanks to My Father’s use of them. These look significantly more red in color, although I haven’t compared directly.
- Strength is medium, flavor is full and the body is amongst the fullest I’ve smoked.
- Final smoking time is one hour and 35 minutes.
- Samples for this review were given to halfwheel by Espinosa Premium Cigars at the IPCPR 2014 convention and trade show.
A few weeks ago I smoked an Espinosa Habano with over a year of age on it, probably closer to two years if I had to guess. It was very good, a much different cigar than I remember it being fresh. Up until that point, I would have said that Laranja is the first complete cigar I’ve smoked from Espinosa; but now there’s at least two examples. This is a cigar that’s well-rounded, developed, ready to be smoked fresh and yet—the retrohales give me plenty of hope this will develop into something much more. I find the bulk of flavor on most cigars to come from the retrohale, at the moment, the Laranja is not there yet—it’s not developed and far too punishing. If this cigar is able to perform like most, there will likely be an abundance of flavors to be found over time as the retrohale mellows out. My recommendation would be to smoke some now, but definitely hold onto a few to see how they perform over time, although, that might be hard as Laranja is plenty enjoyable now.