Arandoza Blue Label – Cigar Review
The Arandoza Blue Label is made by Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Estelli, Nicaragua. It features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a mix of Nicaraguan binders and fillers. It is available in four sizes, a 6 x 60 Trabuco, a 6 x 52 Torpedo, a 6 x 52 Toro, and a 5 x 52 Robusto which I am reviewing today. The line was introduced in April of 2011, and was “founded in the belief that through hard work and dedication, applying our knowledge of tobacco and passion for cigars, we would bring to market, a product that would honor the tradition and history of the cigar industry and for those that enjoy them.”
Size: 5 x 52
Strength: Medium to Full
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The band of the Arandoza Blue Label has an elegant look to it. It has a blue background with gold trimming and white writing on black. The wrapper of the Arandoza Blue Label looks just a bit rough, it has some teeth to it, but also a really nice oil, and is topped off with a neat triple cap. In terms of coloration it is a nice medium colored golden brown.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Arandoza Blue Label has notes of cedar, earth, and a little grass. The foot has the scent of earth, pepper, spice, grass, and a little sweetness to it. To prepare smoking the Arandoza Blue Label I go with a straight cut across the cap, on the cold draw there are flavors of earth, wood, spice, and a bit of natural tobacco.
Smoking Characteristics: The Arandoza Blue Label fires up with a bit of pepper, spice, and earth in the first few puffs. It has a sort of a typical Nicaraguan spicy start, which I am quite the fan of. After the first few puffs a bit of the pepper and spice starts to fade, but it is still quite present. Now there is a nice blend of earth, wood, and leather, along with the pepper and spice. The smoke is very cool, smooth, and rich, with a draw that has the perfect resistance. In terms of strength, the Arandoza Blue Label is sitting at a solid medium, which is a bit surprising considering the amount of spice.
Into the second third of the Arandoza Blue Label, the flavor remains very consistent. There are still rich notes of leather, earth, spice, wood, and a little pepper. I’ve also started to notice a little bit of a sweetness emerging in the flavor profile in this third, it is close to a caramel or butterscotch sweetness, but it remains subtle. In terms of strength, the blend is starting to amp up a bit, it is now resting in the medium to full range. The ash is holding firmly, well past the inch mark, and the burn is quite sharp. The draw on the Arandoza Blue Label is still quite wonderful, easily providing a full body of smoke with each puff.
During the final third of the Arandoza Blue Label, the sweetness has faded from the profile, yet the notes of leather, earth, wood, spice, and pepper all remain. The blend is quite enjoyable, it has a nice rich robust flavor, yet it isn’t very complex, and there is not much evolution to the blend. The construction remains excellent, the ash, and burn both wonderful. The strength in the final third remains in the medium to full range. The Arandoza Blue Label smokes cool to the nub, without pulling any heat.
Conclusion: It seems as if at least weekly I find myself coming across another cigar which I’ve yet to hear of. This was the case with the Arandoza Blue Label, these were sent to me for review a little while back, and I was more than happy to take a look at them. As I’ve often stated, I like to go into new cigars with an open mind. This is a times very difficult because I tend to like familiarity. We receive several unsolicited samples every month from different manufacturers. Often these cigars that I’ve not heard of turn out to be bland, or poorly constructed. I’ve been proven wrong. The Arandoza Blue Label performs quite well, especially at the price point. The construction stands up well and the flavors are quite enjoyable. I could see myself picking these up again as an everyday smoke.