Cigar Details: Espinosa Wasabi
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length: 5″
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Candela
- Binder: Undisclosed
- Filler: Undisclosed
- Factory: La Zona
- Blender: Hector Alfonso
- Price: $7.95
- Release Date: April 2018
- Source: Espinosa
A very rustic candela wrapper with a number of raised veins goes around the box press. The seams are hardly visible with the number of veins criss-crossing the wrapper. The well applied triple cap is not candela. The band is a fairly simple strip band with green and red letters on white with some black bordering. The aroma from the wrapper is a dried stone fruit while the foot brings a fairly sweet hay note along with a bit of white pepper. The pre-light draw is a cross between green hay and dried stone fruit. There’s also a mild spiciness on the tip of my tongue.
The Espinosa Wasabi is two ring gauges thicker than your standard robusto. The wrapper is a spot on candela wrapper reminiscent of dehydrated green vegetables. Construction overall looks and feels good as the bunch and roll is uniform, seams tight, major veins well pressed and the head finished off with a neatly applied triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells fresh barnyard, sweet hay and dried vegetables. Foot aromas bring spice to life via white pepper. The cold draw tells cedar and hay.
The first few draws bring an immense amout of black pepper with some vegetal undertones. The black pepper then settles a bit to allow some creaminess to become present along with the faint vegetal note. An early retrohale gets my eyes watering with the pepper level present. At a half inch in, the pepper settles way down and the profile now consists of wood, cream, mild black pepper and faint vegetal notes. The retrohale is now wood and a much milder black pepper. As the third comes to a close, the flavors are all working together very well. The strength started out medium-full but settled in at medium.
The first third reveals a drier profile centered around white pepper, a slightly charred dry wood and bitter dry nuts. Retrohaling dramatically increases the white pepper spice, even feeling it in my head (dare I say, like wasabi). The finish is primarily dry wood and bitter nuts. Strength is slightly above medium and body is medium.
As the second third begins, the wood gains some char while some mustiness also joins in. The vegetal note is really only present on the finish. At a half inch in, the cigar gains a mesquite/barbecue note to go along with some cream, mustiness and slight black pepper. At an inch in, the barbecue profile continues as it gains some sweetness. There is still an overall mustiness to the profile. The retrohale carries a very musty wood note. As the third comes to a close, the mustiness takes the lead in the profile while the barbecue note is fairly faint. The strength in this third moved down to slightly below medium.
The second third continues the trend of white pepper, faintly charred wood and bitter dry nuts. The white pepper does take somewhat of a back step. When the wrapper is burning consistently, a nice sweet hay comes through. Retrohaling continues to show the white pepper’s dominance. Strength is almost near medium-full and body maintains medium.
As the final third begins, the profile consists of a very full musty wood. At a half inch in, the same profile continues and it is also present on the retrohale. At three quarters of an inch in, the cigar heats up a bit bringing some mintiness to the musty wood. This is how the cigar finishes out. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.
The last third is the same as the second third. White pepper, slightly charred wood, sweet hay and dry nuts. The strength is now a consistent medium-full, while body finishes medium.
The burn was wavy throughout and it went out a couple of times requiring re-lights.
Within the two examples smoked, the wrapper had a difficult time burning requiring three touch-ups. The ash did hold on strong and was relatively sturdy with slight flaking. Burn temperature and time was on point.
The draw started slightly tighter than I prefer and then tightened up a bit more as the cigar went along.
The cigar started out withe a punch of black pepper and then settled down fairly quickly and presented a nice profile of wood, cream, black pepper and some vegetal notes. The second third brought a unique sweet barbecue note while the final third dropped off significantly, becoming very musty. The burn was a challenge as it was very wavy and went out a few times. This is definitely a unique smoke, but it was all over the place in terms of flavor and burn. I could see going back to this to experience the unique flavors, but it would be something I could see smoking regularly. It’s definitely worth a try for the experience and to see what you think of it. There also might be a chance that some time can help smooth out the burn issues and create more balance in the flavor profile.
The draw was perfect, striking the ideal balance between air flow and resistance.
With a name like Wasabi with a candela wrapper, it is an oxymoron. My expectations pre-light was a spicy candela flavored offering. Given my expectations, the spice delivery was met in spades, although I’m not too sure if I would call it a wasabi/horseradish delivery. Instead, it was more white pepper driven. What’s interesting is, I rarely tasted conventional candela flavors (vegetal, grassy). When the wrapper was burning consistently, a nice sweet hay came through, which helped the spice and earthiness of the cigar. Overall, if you are a fan of bigger spice in a candela cigar, this is no doubt for you.
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