Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Robusto Grande

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Cigar Details: Espinosa Reggae Robusto Grande

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Jamaican Lengue de Vaca
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $9.90
  • Release Date: July 2017
  • Source: Espinosa

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John Reiner

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is golden brown with some darker marbling down by the foot. There are a couple of raised veins on one side of the cigar while the seams are smooth and well blended. The head is finished off with a well applied triple cap. The band is primarily black with green, yellow and red for the name of the line and the borders. The aroma from the wrapper is a bit of barnyard funkiness and hay while the foot is a good dose of hay and leather. The pre-light draw is just a nice, sweet hay with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Reggae had aromas of dry cedar, and a light barnyard. The barnyard was significantly more intense in the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Espinosa Reggae Robusto Grande has a refined sand paper feel to the Equadorian Rosado wrapper. Construction looks and feels top notch as there is an even uniformed give, tight seams, well pressed veins and a well applied triple cap. Aromas from the wrapper give sweet cedar and barnyard. Aromas off the foot provide the same sweet cedar and barnyard. Cold draw tells cedar, hay and soft white pepper.

First Third

Things start out with slightly bitter wood and a mild baking spice. At a quarter inch in, a light cream joins in which knocks down the bitterness. At a half inch in, the wood and cream are paired up pretty well while the baking spice is very faint in the background. The retrohale is toasted wood with a little bit of heat to it. At an inch in, a slight mustiness joins the creamy wood mixture. There is also a hint of sweetness present on some random draws. As the third comes to a close, some dry earthiness joins in with the creamy wood and slight mustiness. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

The flavor first impression was light spices mixed with peanuts. I found myself salivating a lot with each draw. As the first third settled in, some light pepper started to linger on my lips and at the back of my throat. That pepper was intensified through the retrohale, along with some rich spices and sweetness, up to a medium-plus strength. The sweetness served to balance the pepper and spice intensity. The peanut flavor that started the cigar off began to build and linger between draws. At around the 10 minute mark, the pepper and spice combination on the retrohale starts to ease in intensity back down to a medium minus. At the 25 minute mark, some powdered cocoa mixes into the sweetness, at about a light strength level, along with some citrus. As the Reggae moves into the middle third the spices and pepper pick back up to a medium intensity.

First Third

The first third’s mouth draw flavors give sweet cedar, dried nuts, soft black pepper spice and faint earthy wood bitterness. Retrohaling the cigar gives black pepper, baking spices and an underlying nuttiness. The finish consists of bread, faint wooded bitterness and baking spices. Strength and body is at a consistent medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the baking spice returns to the complex mixture of creamy wood, mustiness and dry earth. The retrohale is now creamy wood with some baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the baking spice has gone away, but some hay has now joined in. A half inch in, the profile becomes a bit drying and is now just a creamy and musty wood. Three quarters of an inch in, some bitterness enters the still drying profile. At an inch in, the cream leaves the profile and it is now just a musty and slightly bitter wood and is still dry. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

There were no sharp or notable flavor transitions as the middle third started. The spice gently picks up in intensity, but I didn’t find it overwhelming. As the middle third established itself, some light earthiness developed on the post draw. At the halfway point, the spices and pepper again decrease in intensity, this time to a light plus level. As the Reggae transitions to the final third, the earthiness starts to pick up strength.

Second Third

The second third shows increased earthiness in baking spices and minerals as well as a spike in black pepper spice. Even though there is greater earthiness and spice, this does not compromise the sweet cedar and dried nuts. Strength and body is still medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the bitterness is now up front while the musty wood is in the background, The profile is still drying and has me reaching for the water frequently. At a half inch in, after a purge, the bitterness settles way down and the musty wood moves back up front. At an inch in, the bitterness increases to become even with the musty wood as the cigar heats up, also adding some mintiness. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

The flavor profile continues as previously noted. The only changes in the final third is the earthiness, which increased in intensity settling at a medium-plus level.

Final Third

The last third’s profile continuously shows greater sweetness in both a sweet cedar and a creamed sweet bread. That’s not to say the spice and minerals have dissipated. The finish also picks up a greater sense of wooded bitterness and baking spices, tapering against the sweetness quite well. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy, but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

Burn was good, with some occasional touch-ups.

Burn

The only downside to the burn was a touch-up required within the first third and a slightly flaky ash. The burn however did correct itself by the middle of the second third becoming fairly razor sharp. Other than that, the burn was cool the entire smoking experience.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The first half of the cigar was good with the beginning of the second third building some really nice complexities. About a half inch into the second third, things fell off a cliff and became very linear with bitterness soon began creeping in and then building up the rest of the way. Construction was fantastic. I was a bit disappointed how things fell apart and am hoping Jiunn and John had a better experience for the entire cigar. I enjoy Jamaican tobacco, but I think the Dread is the better of the Reggae line. Worth picking one up to see what you think, and I’d like to revisit it later to see if what the first half offers can last the entire cigar.

Draw

Using a v-cut I found the draw to be in the ideal zone, with a satisfying amount of smoke production.

Overall

The Espinosa Reggae was very enjoyable. I wasn’t sure whether the cigar flavors were going to align with the packaging concept, but I should have had more faith in Espinosa to deliver another great blend.

Draw

Slightly loose for my liking but not a deterrent, as the cigar’s burn temperature was cool the entire time.

Overall

Now that I’ve smoked both iterations of Espinosa’s use of Jamaican Lengue de Vaca, the key takeaway is the Reggae’s profile is fuller in spice, earth and sweetness as compared to the Dread. The Dread was definitely more nuanced and soft. I enjoyed both blends, and the one I’ll choose is mainly based on my mood. But if you especially thought the Dread was too light, the Reggae should fit the bill quite nicely.

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

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$1.75

Scoring System

John Reiner

SCORE

7.32

Cost/Point

$1.35

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.92

Cost/Point

$1.43

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Robusto Grande
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Espinosa Reggae Robusto Grande

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