Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Dread

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Cigar Details: Espinosa Reggae Dread

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 56
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras and Jamaican Lengue de Vaca
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $12.00
  • Release Date: July 2017
  • Source: Espinosa

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a lighter brown and has a few slightly raised, medium sized veins present. The seams are smooth but easily visible due to slight color variations and the veins. The head has a unique triple cap as it is finished off with four twisted lengths of tobacco to look like dreadlocks. There is a foot band that is black and has the company and line name with the word Dread in the Jamaican flag colors. The band also has a bar code on the back which I don’t recall seeing designed into any other cigar bands. The aroma from the wrapper is a light barnyard with some distinct notes of earth and leather that fit that profile. The foot gives a refreshing mix of lightly sweet hay and leather. The pre-light draw is a twin of the foot aroma with slightly sweet hay and leather.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Reggae Dread has a medium leather brown wrapper shade. Seams are tight but visible and veins for the most part pressed tight. Bunch and roll feels well done as there is a uniformed give throughout with no soft or hard spots present. The unique dread hair cap is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells an abundance of barnyard and cedar. Nosing the foot gives spicy cedar and roasted nuts. Cold draw reveals hay, dry wood and faint must.

First Third

The cigar starts with some interesting vegetal notes, which I assume come from the Jamaican tobacco, along with some wood. At a half inch in, the two flavors mix together a bit more rather than being two distinct flavors. At an inch in, some pepper joins the mix of the vegetal note and wood. The retrohale is a slightly vegetal wood note. At an inch and a half in, the retrohale gains more of a vegetal note as the mouth flavor loses some of it to the wood and pepper. As the third comes to a close, the pepper is very faint in the background while the profile is back to the mix of wood and vegetal note. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

To my surprise, upon first draw, the profile is fairly delicate and really, very delicate for most Espinosa’s cigar standards. A smooth creamed dry roasted nuttiness and bread is front and center, followed by aged cedar and crushed rock minerals. Spice is introduced on the retrohale with black pepper, spicy cedar and deeper dry roasted nuttiness. The finish is light with a soft and lingering dry wood. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood is more identifiable as oak and the vegetal note has again decreased a bit. At a quarter inch in, the oak gains a toastiness to it as the vegetal note is present on the finish only. A little further in, the vegetal note creeps back in to the profile. It is now very pronounced on the retrohale with some wood in the background. At an inch in, the oak loses the toastiness and gains some char while the vegetal note remains in the background. As the third comes to a close, the slightly charred oak is up front with the vegetal note in the background. The retrohale is a mirror of this profile. The strength in this third was right at medium.

Second Third

Second third’s main difference is spice coming through on mouth draws. It’s a pretty tamed black pepper delivery in addition to the existing creamed dry roasted nuts, bread, aged cedar and crushed rock minerals. Retrohaling is unchanged, still giving deeper black pepper, spicy cedar and dry roasted nuttiness. The finish picks up a slight wooded bitterness with the same soft and lingering dry wood. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the charred oak and vegetal notes are mixing pretty well. A slight wood bitterness is also joining the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the vegetal note is only present on the finish while the charred and slightly bitter oak is up front. At an inch and a half, the vegetal note is completely gone and the charred and slightly bitter oak remains. This is how the cigar finishes out. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

Last third continues to show building complexities in spice. Now it’s an increase in sharper graphite like minerality in addition to a sharper cedar. The other mouth draw notes remain, but are less distinct. Retrohaling picks up a bread note with the same black pepper, spicy cedar and dry roasted nuts. The finish also has the graphite minerals with faint wood bitterness and soft dry wood. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was pretty wavy through the first inch and a half and the ash was pretty flaky. After that, the burn line was pretty straight and the flakiness went away.

Burn

Burn performance was overall very good. One touch up was required within the second third. Other than that, solid ash marks averaging 1.5 inches, relatively straight burn line and a cool burn.

Draw

The draw was a bit loose, especially with the large ring gauge through the first third and then things tightened up to right where I like it.

Overall

I was interested to see what Espinosa would do with Jamaican tobacco and I think this is a pretty good offering. It produced vegetal notes which I tend to get with Jamaican tobacco and enjoy. I’m not typically a fan of larger ring gauge cigars, but after a couple of inches, it wasn’t something I paid attention to. Construction was pretty good and the flavor profile presented a good offering through the first two thirds and then fell off a bit in the final third. I’m interested to smoke the regular Reggae line to see which I enjoy more as I would typically lean towards a smaller ring gauge to smoke regularly, but we’ll see how they match up.

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

Draw

Perfect draw. The cigar struck the perfect balance between resistance and airflow to take in all the flavors.

Overall

Before lighting the cigar, my obvious curiosity was what non-infused Jamaican tobacco tastes like. In the form of Espinosa’s take, I found it to be on the more delicate and smoother side of flavors. I enjoyed the nuances of the cigar with the earthed spice delivery and creamed roasted nuttiness prevalent throughout the entire cigar. Fans of Espinosa’s signature spice pop should be aware the Reggae Dread is not that, but it is definitely worth picking up a few to try.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.57

Cost/Point

$1.83

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

7.07

Cost/Point

$1.70

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Dread
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Dread

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