Cigar Review: Espinosa Maduro

It’s funny when I was a blogger before being an industry insider I thought Erik Espinosa was one of those manufacturers that hated bloggers and didn’t particularly care for me. In fact, shortly after moving to Miami I heard Erik even poked fun at me and how my typos annoyed Gary Arzt at his eulogy. However, once I started being around Erik I realized he was the type of person who poked fun at the people he liked. Once I leave Miami in the coming weeks Erik will be one of those people I miss immensely.

Once a part of EO Brands as well as a sales rep for Drew Estate and Rocky Patel; Erik Espinosa launched his own brand in 2011 following a split with one time partner Eddie Ortega. The cigars are made at his factory; La Zona in Estelli, Nicaragua and the factory has one of the coolest terraces to smoke on. It was on this terrace I first experienced what was to come from them.

Size: Robusto (5 x 52)
Wrapper: Mexico
Binder: Not Disclosed
Binder: Nicaragua
Strength: Medium-Full
Cigars Smoked a For Review: 5+

Appearance & Construction: The Espinosa Maduro is a box pressed cigar with a dual band. The foot band denotes Maduro while the primary band of red, cream and blue show off the brand and logo. The cigar has a gritty wrapper with some tooth and a nice amount of magnesium bumps which is usually a sign of good things to come. In fact remove the bands from this cigar and it might be easily confused with another well known box pressed cigar. The cigar is firm to the touch, with a well packed foot and a perfectly placed triple cap.

Flavors & Notes: The nose of the Espinosa Maduro has a nice aroma of mocha while the cold draw serves up earth notes and a hint of bitterness from the Mexican wrapper. Like an old school Cuban I bite the cap off my cigar and use a quad flame lighter to toast and light up. The initial burst of smoke reveals a nice amount of spice with some wood notes. As we progress into the first third the wood notes are dominant with some nuttiness thrown in the mix as well. The retrohale brings some cocoa into the mix as well. In the middle of the second third the sweetness takes over and the cocoa becomes the dominant note with the wood disappearing into the background. The nuttiness all but disappears and a hint of leather joins the mix with an increase of pepper through the nose. As we enter the final third of the cigar, distinct flavors of the Mexican wrapper begin to take over. The bitterness and leather are a nice change from the first two thirds and occasionally the cigar offers up some flavors that remind you of where the smoke began.

Smoking Characteristics: While the burn of the cigar is good and never needs a touch up I wish the the carbon line would be a little bit thinner. But while that can denote the aging of tobacco I like the aesthetics of it more then anything else. The box press has a perfect draw and a firm ash that held on for inches at a time.

Conclusion: I’ve often said that Miami is the worst cigar market in the country and one day I will go into detail about that, but there are some brands down here that I wonder how they are doing up North, especially cigars from La Zona. This cigar is a great every day smoke that is full of body (flavor).

Rating: 94
Price: $7.90