Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro

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Cigar Details: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: San Lotano
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $11.00
  • Release Date: April 2019
  • Source: Espinosa

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper around the rectangle press of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro is dark brown and has some slightly darker marbling. There is a large vein running down the back of the cigar but it is well pressed. The seams are smooth and only slightly visible while the head is finished off with a well applied double cap. There are two bands with the primary being the standard Laranja design but in a white, gold and black color combination for this variant. The foot band is a white ribbon. The aroma from the wrapper and foot are both the same and it is damp earth, bakers chocolate and wood. The pre-light draw is an airy cedar but there is a decent spiciness present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro has a lovely press and I am digging the marbled coloring on the wrapper. It has a lot of veins present throughout but they are small in size. It is a toothy wrapper and it is giving off aromas of rich earth, chocolate, raisins and spices. I would classify the cigar as being solid maduro in coloring.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro has a dark wrapper and a firm box press. The band is metallic gold, embossed and has white lettering on a white background with black accents. There is also a white ribbon foot band which slides off without too much effort. Nosing the wrapper, I pick up aromas of barnyard, coffee, aged wood and well fermented tobacco. In the foot, there is sweet raisin and tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro is aggressively square box pressed and has a rich Oscuro Brazillian Mata Fina wrapper. Bunch and roll is even and firm, veins neatly pressed, seams tight and head finished off with a well wrapped head. Nosing the wrapper gives namely burnt firewood and dry barnyard. Nosing the foot gives a balanced red pepper, nuts and cedar. Cold draw gives the same notes as the foot aroma.

First Third

The cigar begins with dark wood and heavy black pepper. At a half inch in, a slight mustiness joins the profile which smooths out the pepper a bit. At an inch in, the wood isn’t as dark and the pepper is even with it while the mustiness is now just behind them. The retrohale has the wood, pepper and mustiness all even. As the third comes to a close, the wood and black pepper, which has mellowed some more, remained paired up while the mustiness has slid back a bit further behind them. The strength in this third was medium-full.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering some strong spice notes. It is paired with some metallic and rich earth qualities and it has a finish of dark cocoa powder. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full in body and strength, and the flavors are aligned with that fairly well. Not a wowing start, but not a slow start either.

First Third

The first puffs are all dark toasted flavors. Earth, espresso and wood with the earth and cedar lingering well into the post draw. Earth sits on the middle of my tongue as sweetness and pepper almost immediately join at medium to medium plus strength. The pepper lingers across all parts of my tongue. Through the retrohale, there is sweetness and baking spices with some creaminess underneath it. Espresso pushes into the middle of the profile as the cigar settles in. At roughly the 20 minute mark, the pepper intensity recedes to light plus. At the halfway mark, a syrupy sweetness joins in.

First Third

The first third has a medium plus body and medium strength delivery of cocoa and a slight wood bitterness that I’m hoping will be slight the entire smoking time. Retrohaling brings a nice red pepper spice as well as a modest citrus. The finish is earthy with leather and dry wood.

Second Third

As the second third begins, a faint cocoa note joins the profile. At a half inch in, the cocoa has dropped out and the wood, pepper and mustiness are all at equal levels. The black pepper has a really long finish. At three quarters of an inch in, the mustiness takes the lead in the profile and a light char joins the wood. At an inch in, the charred wood has the lead while the mustiness is right behind. The pepper is in the background now. The retrohale is charred wood and mustiness with a light black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the profile is charred wood and mustiness with faint black pepper. The strength in this third dropped down to slightly above medium.

Second Third

When I enter into the second third of the cigar I am finding the spice notes to increase and it is showing some red and black pepper notes. There are some dry earth flavors with the cigar, dark cocoa powder present as well and the finish has this molasses quality. Like before, the cigar is smoking at a medium-full level in all areas.

Second Third

The profile takes on a sweet wood combination going into the second third. Baking spices and pepper are still present through the retrohale. As the cigar settles, creamy espresso takes up the middle of the flavor profile. Toasted earth and citrus as the cigar proceeds, with the citrus carrying into the post draw.

Second Third

Second third brings some new flavors to the mix, mainly a nice minerality. Luckily, the wood bitterness is still in check. Flavors of dry cocoa and red pepper spice are still in full swing. Strength increases to medium-full and body stays medium-full.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the pepper has dropped out and the charred wood and mustiness are even. At three quarters of an inch in, the charred wood is up front with the mustiness in the background. The retrohale is just musty wood without the char. At an inch in, the char has increased a fair amount and the mustiness has increased to be just behind the charred wood. Things warm up a bit as the cigar comes to a close, bringing a slight mintiness to the profile. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third has a somewhat harsher finish and it is delivering some dry wood and metallic notes. With that are some pepper spice qualities, rich earth and the finish has those dark cocoa powder notes. Like the first two thirds, the cigar is smoking at a medium-full level in body, strength and flavors.

Final Third

The last third has the pepper intensifying back up to medium plus, along with baking spices through the retrohale. The middle of the profile is creamy wood. Toasted earth takes hold as the cigar settles in and moves into the post draw. As the cigar progresses, the toasted earth takes over the palate for the remainder of the smoking experience.

Final Third

Last third finishes medium- full in strength and body. The flavors however decrease in range as it’s now mainly wood bitterness and mineral dominant with the dry cocoa being an afterthought.

Burn

The burn was straight the entire way. Ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

I thought the burn was solid on the cigar from start to finish. Never perfect, but far from faults that impacted the cigar.

Burn

The burn line was very straight, with a bright white ash. Burn became slightly uneven in the second third, and required a re-light during the transition into the last third. I was smoking in a very cold environment so it’s difficult to say whether that played a part, but there seemed to be no burn issues whatsoever until the cigar spontaneously went out.

Burn

No issues with the burn as the burn was even, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was perfect through the first two thirds and then became a bit snug in the final third.

Overall

The cigar began with a nice dark profile of dark wood, black pepper and mustiness. As it progressed, the pepper began fading away and the wood gained some char. Construction was great and strength moved from medium-full to slightly above medium. The first third of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro had a good profile with flavors that were focused, but as it progressed, things got a bit muddled and not as enjoyable as they had been. Compared to the original Laranja, I prefer that cigar more, but for those that like a darker profile with more strength, this might be a bit more in their wheelhouse. I would smoke this again when in the mood for something a bit darker, but wouldn’t be high on my list compared to some other cigars with a similar profile.

Draw

In terms of draw, I thought the cigar had a great level of resistance from start to finish. A well made cigar that delivered an enjoyable and slow smoking experience.

Overall

I am quite conflicted on the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro. It is not a bad cigar by any means; I think it is a good Brazilian Mata Fina offering, but it not game changing or inspiring to Brazilian tobacco. Like the Davidoff Escurio, it is a good cigar but it does not do justice to the Brazilian tobacco that the cigar/brand is revolved around. It’s a good cigar, not a great cigar. I think the second third shows the greatest aspects with some molasses qualities present. It had a nice strength, body and flavor level, and I believe it will do well with a lot of smokers. With that being said, it is a hard follow up to the original Laranja Reserva. I feel that this blend is weaker to the original and I hate that it is not made at La Zona. This is a brand, Laranja Reserva, that needs to be made at La Zona. Laranja Reserva Ecuro lacked complexity, depth and transitioning from start to finish. I have smoked quite a bit of these, in multiple sizes as well, and despite the change in ring gauge, nothing pops. It’s cool to see Espinosa’s take on Mata Fina, but the blend does not show the greatness of Brazilian tobacco or simply deliver a great/wowing blend. A solid release, but a weak follow up to the Laranja Reserva.

Draw

The draw was 2-1/2 almost 3 notches towards the resistant spectrum which surprised me. Normally I would anticipate a box press format to be well into the open spectrum. The draw did open up to roughly 2 notches by the halfway point.

Overall

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro was a medium-full, at times full bodied, cigar with dark and toasted flavors that were complex without being overwhelming on the palate. The first and second thirds were the best for me, with the toasted earth dominating the profile in the last third. Total smoking time was nice and slow ending up at 2 hours and 13 minutes. I found the Laranja Reserva Escuro to be quite enjoyable and will appeal to cigar smokers who like their flavors on the darker side.

Draw

The draw was a bit tight even after cutting to the bottom of the wrapped cap.

Overall

The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro was a decent offering from Espinosa. The first third was by far the best part since it had more favorable notes, namely in the form of dry cocoa. But past that mark, the profile was too wood bitter and minerals centric. The medium plus body was nice and gave it a viscous mouthfeel. But main focus being on flavors, it lacked depth.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
AmazingBurnVery GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawVery GoodDrawGoodDrawGood
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$1.85

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$2.00

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.42

Cost/Point

$1.71

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.15

Cost/Point

$1.79

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro

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