Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Crema No. 4

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Cigar Details: Espinosa Crema No. 4

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $8.25
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: Espinosa Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a very light brown with a few medium sized veins present. The seams are easily visible but smooth. The triple cap is applied very nicely. The band is a fairly common Espinosa design, but the color selection is cream, black, gold and white. It looks very nice. The aroma from the wrapper is a light sweet hay. The foot has a good dose of tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw is a mix of slightly sweet hay and tobacco. There is also a slight spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Crema No.4 has a smooth and semi-oily Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are somewhat pressed and seams tight. Bunching and rolling feels on point as there is a nice uniformed give to the entire cigar. The parejo head is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper gives barnyard, dry cardboard and floral notes. Nosing the foot gives a mixture of natural sweet tobacco notes and a dry white pepper spice. Cold draw tells tongue and lip tingling white pepper, spicy wood and ripe stone fruits.

First Third

The cigar starts off with some nuttiness and peppery cedar. After a few draws, the nuttiness goes away and the peppery cedar is really in my face. The retrohale is also a peppery cedar, but not as intense. Half an inch in, some cream joins the profile and settles down the pepper. At an inch in, the pepper is really only on the finish and the creamy cedar is upfront. The retrohale is now a mildly peppery cedar. As the third nears the end, the creamy cedar is up front with a nice pepper finish. The strength in this third is slightly above medium.

First Third

First few draws shows a well balanced mixture of black pepper, spicy wood and medium bodied sweet cream (as a matter of fact, makes me think of a good cappuccino crema). Roughly a quarter inch in, a touch of bitter wood and dry biscuit enters into the profile. I’m pleasantly surprised by the higher level of body in this cigar (something the vast majority of Connecticut shades do not have). Through the nose, intensified black pepper and medium bodied sweet cream. The finish is long and lingering with balanced black pepper, dry oak and slight creamy bread. In regards to body and strength, medium.

Second Third

As this third begins, the cream increases to go along with the cedar. There is still a slight pepper finish. After a half inch, the cream decreases back to even with the cedar. At an inch in, the retrohale has in increase in the pepper giving a solid zing through the nose to go along with the cedar. At an inch and a quarter, the pepper really comes back and pushes the cream out while the cedar is in the background. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Second Third

The second third continues its stride with namely a mixture of spice and wood. Specifically, black pepper and dry oak. The first thirds distinctive and fuller medium bodied creamy sweetness has died down, making it more of a supporting cast. Still the same levels of wood bitterness and dry biscuit persists. Through retrohaling, still the same tasty levels of intensified black pepper and medium bodied sweet cream. There is also a dry oak coming through as well. The finish continues to linger with balanced black pepper, dry oak and slight creamy bread. Body and strength continues to be medium overall.

Final Third

As this third begins, the pepper has really faded to just the finish and the creamy cedar is back up front. A quarter inch in, the cedar transitions to a charred oak and the cream has gone away. Three quarters of an inch in, the cream comes back and is even with the charred oak. At an inch and a quarter in, the cream increases to make a very creamy oak. This is how the cigar finishes. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Final Third

The last third finishes off with the same mixture of namely black pepper and oak in the first tier of flavors, followed by wood bitterness and dry biscuits. Through the nose, still the same intensified levels of black pepper followed by creamy bread (as opposed to the medium bodied sweet cream within the first and second thirds). The finish still lingers with balanced notes of black pepper, dry oak and slight bread. Body and strength remains unchanged at the medium mark.

Burn

There was some waviness, but it always kept up with itself and didn’t cause any issues. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn was very good overall. Total smoking time came in at 1 hour and 51 minutes, in line with my expectations. Burn line was slightly wavy but most importantly, all the leaves burned in unison. Ashes held on tight, averaging one inch increments.

Draw

The draw was slightly tight in the first third and then got very tight at the middle of the cigar. I noticed if I squeezed the head with my teeth the draw really opened up, so I took a draw tool to it and then it was just slightly loose the rest of the way.

Overall

This was a fairly strong Connecticut, especially in the first third with the very full peppery cedar. It mellowed out a bit after that. The tight draw through the middle of the cigar slowed things down a bit, but once corrected brought the flavors back out. For those that like an edgier Connecticut, this one might be up their alley. Definitely not a Connecticut for the traditional mild smoker or a newbie. I could see this as a nice change of pace when wanting a Connecticut with a little oomph.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Very Good
Average Second Third Very Good
Good Final
Third
Very Good
Very Good Burn Very Good
Good Draw Amazing
Good Overall Very Good

Draw

The draw was perfection. I cut the cigar with a Xikar XO cutter right in between the first and second cap, which yielded the perfect resistance.

Overall

I smoked some great Connecticut shades thus far this year and this will no doubt be on the top of the list right next to the Charter Oak and Southern Draw Quick Draw. The Crema has such full and distinctive flavors that were well nuanced and balanced. In the recent(ish) wave of Connecticut Shades, I highly recommend consumers to navigate their way to this one.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.47

Cost/Point

$1.28

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

8.53

Cost/Point

$0.97

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Espinosa Crema No. 4

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