I won "T-shirt Tuesday" a couple of weeks ago from Espinosa Cigars on twitter. When I DM'd my address, they asked if I would like a few sticks to review for the blog. Well of course I said Yes please. I received a couple of the La Zona in Connecticut and Habano wrapper as well as the "Espinosa" branded stick. They all look and smell terrific, so first up for review is the La Zona Habano. The La Zona line of cigars offered by Erik Espinosa is named after his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua and is a Nicaraguan puro. The wrapper is a light-medium chocolate brown with very small veins and some oily sheen. It is tightly packed with no soft spots or visible wrapper imperfections. The wrapper offers up a light scent of hay and the foot offers the same hay scent with a touch of sweetness. I clipped the cap with my Xikar MTX and found a perfect draw with a fruit-like sweetness. After a quick toasting of the foot with the single flame torch I was up and smoking. The initial flavors were rich and delicious. The first flavored I noticed were caramel and toasted nuts with a mild sweetness. The finish was lingering and toasty with a bit of zing on the retrohale. The body starts out on the strong side of medium. About an inch in the smoke takes on a creamy component. The second third brought some buttery notes and coffee toasted nut becomes more of a toasted almond. The caramel flavor is still present as the body picks up to a solid med-full in the second third.
Somewhere around the midway point there were a few faint floral notes that would pop in on occasion. They were faint but enough to make you stop and take notice. The natural sweetness really shines in the final third as the caramel, coffee, and toasted almond are joined by notes of leather and some oaky woodiness. Body remains a med-full as the leather really moves to the foreground shortly into the final third. There was a slight bitter sensation that came in on the final third but was nothing that detracted from the enjoyment of the cigar. The ash held tight for about two inches at a time and was light-med gray in color. The burn was perfect and required no corrections. The draw remained perfect throughout the burn as well. This was a great full flavor cigar with excellent construction and good complexity. I have been able to find these at very few online retailers but my friend Brad at cigarstix.com does carry them. They are available in robusto (5x52) and super toro (6.5x52) and can even be had in 80 count crates. Price point on these is around 5 bucks per stick if purchased in a box and a bit cheaper if the crate is purchased. Brad offers a "make your own sampler" so check with him if you would like to give them a try without committing to a crate of 80. I must say though, 80 of these are welcome in my humidor anytime. Thanks to Erik and Espinosa Cigars for providing these samples for review, they are super! Keep an eye out as the other blends will be up on the site soon. You can find more information on Espinosa Cigars at www.espinosacigars.com www.facebook.com/espinosacigars and http://twitter.com/espinosacigars If you would like the link to this cigar at cigarstix.com it can be found HERE. Like I said, if you want to try them but don't want to commit to 80 at a time just contact Brad and see what he can do for you.