Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Crema de Laranja

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Cigar Details: Espinosa Crema de Laranja

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut and Brazilian Laranja
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: N/A
  • Release Date: September 2020
  • Source: Espinosa

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Crema de Laranja is a barber pole with a dark tan and light brown color combination and each strip is a varying size as it makes it’s way down the cigar. There are a couple of lightly raised veins present but the seams are very smooth. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap that uses the darker leaf. The band reminds me of an old school candy box or ice cream packaging design as the colors are orange, white and mustard with varying color vertical stripes around the band. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of lightly sweet hay, wood and light earth. The foot brings a mix of wood, jammy sweetness and light spice. The pre-light draw brings an airy mixture of cedar and hay.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Crema de Laranja is a nice barber pole and it is a subtle one at that. There is not much contrast between the Brazilian Laranja and Ecuadorian Connecticut wrappers. The wrapper give off this oily and silky texture and there are small veins present throughout. The triple cap is defined and the cigar is firm throughout. The wrapper gives off an aroma of wood, earth and tobacco while the foot is giving off some earthy and spicy notes as well.

Pre-light Experience

The first thing that stands out on the Espinosa Crema de Laranja is the barber pole look. The band then catches my eye with the 50’s – 60’s style retro color scheme and design. Examining the cigar with my nose, I picked out sweet earth, barnyard, stone fruit and Christmas cake hiding underneath. There’s a wonderful whisky barrel sweetness from the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Crema de Laranja has an evenly laid out barber pole. Veins are well pressed, tight seams, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper give abundant hay and barnyard. Aromas from the foot tell a large dose of white pepper spice and cedar. Cold draw gives hay, cedar and tart cherries.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of cedar, oak, mustiness and concentrated cinnamon. At a half inch in, the mustiness is up front with the combination of cedar and oak right behind and the concentrated cinnamon lightening up a bit to be in the background. At three quarters of an inch, the cinnamon transitions to black pepper. The retrohale is a mix of mustiness, oak and black pepper. At an inch and a half, some dry earth joins the profile as the cedar has departed. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering this orange cream flavor that is paired with some cocoa powder, earth and soft black pepper. There is this seasoned wood quality that has some sea salt as well, and it is a flavor I get with some Cubans. In terms of strength and body, the cigar is smoking at a medium level.

First Third

Graham cracker, short bread and delayed wood with spices welcome me for my first few puffs. A creaminess on the retrohale with a combination of sharp wood and spices on the tongue tip for the post draw. There’s a musty wood center to the retrohale that makes me think of Corojo tobacco. In the bottom half, a mild citrus adds a nice finish to each draw.

First Third

The first third starts with toasted cedar. Soon, the profile opens to a mixture of baking spices, stale roasted nuts and cream. Retrohaling lets you know how strong and peppery the cigar is. The finish has equal parts cream and assertive and spicy baking spices. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, musty oak is up front with dry earth and black pepper right behind. The retrohale is musty oak and light black pepper. At an inch in, the dry earth is now even with the musty oak up front. The strength remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third delivers a flavor profile that is earthy with some hay, mineral and barnyard qualities. I am picking up some black pepper notes as well and there is some orange rind present on the finish. Like before, the cigar is medium in strength and body.

Second Third

The second third starts things off with creamy short bread with a mild dry cedar and hints of citrus to finish. A musty cedar settles into the post draw. By the halfway mark, tannic hay joins the post draw, and chocolate joins the retrohale.

Second Third

The second third dials down the complexities. The profile is significantly less sweeter and creamier, making it now full of baking spices, toasted cedar and stale roasted nuts. The finish especially loses out on the cream, but gains toasted cedar along with the same spicy baking spices. Strength nears medium plus, while the body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, it maintains the musty oak and dry earth even up front with the black pepper just behind. The retrohale maintains the musty oak with light black pepper. At an inch in, some wood bitterness joins the profile. The cigar wraps up with the musty oak even with the dry wood with black pepper and wood bitterness in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

The final third finishes by delivering some core barnyard flavors that are paired with cream and hay qualities. There are faint pepper notes, and the finish has this leather, tobacco and mineral quality. Like it has been throughout, the cigar smokes at a medium level in strength and body.

Final Third

Dry cedar makes up the retrohale and middle of the profile as the cigar moves into the last third. Mild cocoa returns to the retrohale as it settles in. Tannic cedar sits on my palate for the post draw. Sweetness fights against the cedar as the last third progresses.

Final Third

The final third is very similar to the second third. Noticeably less sweeter and creamier, ample baking spices, toasted cedar and stale roasted nuts. Strength and body finishes overall medium.

Burn

The burn was a problem for this cigar. The burn line was wavy at times, but self corrected, but the real issue was the cigar going out frequently which occurred four times.

Burn

Very good burn throughout. Well constructed cigar.

Burn

The burn was fairly straight with some offset burn points at times, that self corrected. Ash held on up to 1-1/2 inch increments.

Burn

Burn performance was almost perfect. Some negatives due to a couple touch-ups and minor flakey ashes.

Draw

The draw was slightly looser than I prefer, which may have contributed to some of the burn issues.

Overall

The cigar had a really nice start with a combination of woods, mustiness and cinnamon that transitioned to black pepper. The cigar seemed to run out of steam after the first third as it was just musty oak, dry wood and black pepper and maintained that through the rest of the smoking experience. The burn was a big problem and required a lot of attention. I smoked another of these previous to the review and didn’t experience the burn issues, so I’m hoping this is a one off. If the other guys experienced better construction, I’d definitely revisit this to see if the first thirds profile would maintain itself longer. Since the Espinosa Crema de Laranja is an event only cigar at the moment, it’s worth going for if it’s available to you, just hope for better construction.

Draw

Very nice draw. Almost the perfect level of resistance for me. Again, a well constructed cigar.

Overall

Coop and I have talked about this cigar and we are both of the agreement that if you are a fan of the Espinosa Crema, you will really like this cigar. It offers more body and complexity as a blend, and is a gateway cigar to Laranja Reserva. Now, if you are a fan of the Laranja Reserva, this may not be your cup of tea. I pickup some Laranja qualities in the blend, but I find that it delivers more Crema qualities than it does Laranja. It is not as complex in that sense, and is a little less in body. A good cigar, and a nice barber pole, I would love to smoke this Espinosa Crema de Laranja after a Crema and before a Laranja Reserva.

Draw

The draw had a small amount of resistance to it, roughly 1-1/2 to 2 notches putting it into the very good rating category.

Overall

When you talk about barber pole cigars, my instinct is to react with cynicism as a result of experiencing so many barber poles that were entirely gimmick releases. The Espinosa Crema de Laranja is one of those cigars that defies that experience with a balanced and satisfying flavor combination that is far more subdued than a lot of cigars coming out of Espinosa. These are event only cigars, so you have to show up to be able to get your hands on some. Based on my experience, if you need that extra push to attend an Espinosa event, this should do it. Total smoking time was 2 hours on the button.

Draw

The draw on the other hand was perfect, striking the best air flow and resistance.

Overall

I think the barber pole aspect of the cigar throws me off. The profile shifts quite a bit, at times being creamier and sweeter, and other times being baking spice and toasted cedar forward. The overall vibe is, it’s too baking spice and toasted cedar driven, lacking in sweetness. It’s pretty to look at, but flavors deliver an average tasting experience.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
PoorBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawVery GoodDrawAmazing
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.45

Cost/Point

N/A

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

N/A

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

N/A

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

N/A

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Crema de Laranja
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Espinosa Crema de Laranja

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11 comments

Join the conversation
  • Tim McCabe - February 1, 2021 reply

    Love the concept of combining the two wrappers. As a fan of both sticks as well as Espinosa these fall right up my alley. Good luck everyone.

  • Bob Langmaid - February 1, 2021 reply

    Not a lot of barber poles I would care to try… this is definitely one of them!!

  • Chase Abernathy - February 1, 2021 reply

    This definitely has my curiosity peaked. Love both sticks already, and it just looks cool.

  • Nathan Wilkerson - February 1, 2021 reply

    Love barber poles myself, and look forward to the opportunity to try this! Great review.

  • Brian Ruppert - February 1, 2021 reply

    Looking forward to trying this one. I’m not really a Fan of the Laranja Reserva but this one sounds like a whole different animal.

  • Josh B - February 2, 2021 reply

    Interesting

  • Steve Toth - February 4, 2021 reply

    Nice review! Looks like a good burn, I do like the retro band.

  • George Maitland - February 7, 2021 reply

    Good read as always.

  • Minibootoo - February 7, 2021 reply

    This should be good, I’ve enjoyed everything from Espinosa so far.

  • Tim McCabe - February 11, 2021 reply

    Do they ever announce winners?

    Aaron Loomis - February 17, 2021 reply

    We notify the winner directly, but don’t typically announce who the winner was.

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