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Cigars: Estella by Espinosa


Erik Espinosa began working in the cigar industry in 1997. During the early 2000s, he teamed up with Eddie Ortega to create EO Brands, which produced Murcielago, 601, and Cubao cigars. In 2012, he went out on his own and opened up his La Zona factory, where he continues to make outstanding cigars using some of the best premium aged tobaccos, such as La Zona, La Jugada, and 601.

In 2013, the guys at Atlantic Cigar began working with Espinosa to develop a small-batch cigar that adhered to the quality and blending style that has made Espinosa such a star in the industry. The final result, which has now been released in early 2014, is Estella by Espinosa, a medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan puro.


 

The Estella by Espinosa is made at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Estella is produced in small batches twice a year. It has been released in 3 sizes: a Robusto Extra, a Grand Toro and a Grand Corona. The cigar are available in 10-count boxes or 25-count bundles.

I tried the Robusto Extra for this review.

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here.


Appearance:

The Estella by Espinosa has a slightly oily wrapper that has a medium brown color. The texture is consistent and silky with a slight grain and minimal veins. The cigar is finished with a triple seam cap and feels well-packed with only a slight give when squeezed. The Robusto Extra size is good for those looking for a slightly larger robusto, but still want to enjoy a thicker and shorter smoke.

Tasting:

The unlit cigar offers aromas of barnyard, leather and dried fruit. Once cut, the cigar’s cold draw has mild sweet tobacco flavors with caramel, raisins and cedar.


1st Third:

There was very little spice on the light, with woody flavors upfront. The spice built and provided flavors of cinnamon and pepper. There was a hickory aftertaste with layers of sweetness. The draw was easy and provided good amounts of smoke. The strength began around medium-bodied.


2nd Third:

The middle of the cigar developed a toasty characteristic with roasted nuts and caramel. The hickory stuck around and was one of the predominant notes. A raisin and dried fruit sweetness lingered on the palate. The strength of the cigar remained around medium-bodied, perhaps moving slightly towards full-bodied.

Final Third:

The cigar finished with the many woody notes that were present throughout the smoke. A slight espresso developed and the caramel hung around. The strength increased slightly towards the end, but stayed below full-bodied. The cigar didn’t become harsh at the end, and I was able to nub it.



Overall:

This is a good cigar for fans of both Espinosa’s work. The flavors were very reminiscent of many cigars made with Aganorsa tobacco. I tasted some similarities to Illusione’s Le Epernay cigar. The construction was solid and the draw and burn were good. The cigar didn’t require any touch-ups while smoking. The strength is just about in the middle, so that there is plenty of flavor, but the nicotine content isn’t overwhelming. These cigars smoke well now, but given a few weeks in the humidor, they will probably really shine.

Estimated smoking time: 1 hour

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here.  Atlantic Cigar is the exclusive carrier of this great cigar.

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