Wrapper: Nicaraguan Oscuro Habano
Size: 5.625 x 46 “Grand Corona”
I am a huge Espinosa fan starting with EO Brands all the way through to Espinosa Premium Cigars. This guy just has the innate magic wand mixed with vision and knowledge that makes me love all of his cigars.
Per Atlantic Cigar:
“Estella by Espinosa is the result of collaboration between Erik Espinosa and Atlantic Cigar. Estella is a medium to full-bodied cigar made at Espinosa La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.”
The cigar comes in only three sizes: 5.625 x 46, 5.5 x 52, and 6.25 x 54.
The Estella is a small batch cigar that is only produced twice a year.
The cigar comes in 10 count boxes or bundles of 25.
I sent a message to Erik last night to see if he had some good stuff to add and he told me there was nothing left to divulge. He did make a correction to the Atlantic’s site about the wrapper. Atlantic leaves out the Oscuro portion of the wrapper description and Erik wanted that clear. I don’t blame him. Plus: “Yes it’s a higher prime that’s why it is a little darker.”
The cigar is rock solid. It has a nice coffee bean color. There are some veins but nothing to make you shriek in horror. The wrapper looks like it was dipped in oil.
The cigar band is very simple and classy with three words on it: “Estella.” And above and below: “Nicaragua” and “Espinosa.”
I clip the cap and find aromas of dark chocolate, spice, fruit, and a tiny bit of cinnamon.
Time to light up.
I get a little dab of sweetness. The red pepper continues on its climb skyward. I prefer cigars with that punch to the brain.
The draw is spot on, sending plumes of smoke into the room and making it hard to see my laptop screen as I always chomp while I type.
The char line needs a minor touch up and all is well in Munchkin land.
I get flavors of oak. And leather. The spiciness is driving the bus with cocoa and sweetness behind it…yelling for the bus to stop.
The cap is expertly applied as not a single piece of loose tobacco finds its way to my lips.
The tobacco is very rich. Earthy, and balanced nicely, very early in the game.
The cigar hits its stride halfway through the first third. A flavor profile that booms with voracity and boldness.
Here are the flavor stats in order: Spice, creaminess, earthy and rich tobacco, sweetness, wood, and leather.
Each puff brings a new status of imposing flavors. It’s like the big bang…things just explode from the epicenter and move outwards at light speed. This is such an unusual blend for Espinosa. He ventured into something a bit different than his signature blends. While this is a Nic puro, it doesn’t have the typical style or character. The cheese stands alone.
If I had to compare it to another brand and blend, I would say Dion Giolito’s La Grande Classe. Dion is the man behind Illusione. I believe the similarities come from the Aganorsa farm tobacco common to both cigars.
No major changes have occurred other than the boldness of the flavor profile has settled down. The red pepper has lessened. But the other flavors have created a bond amongst themselves that cause one major flavor out of six. It is pretty damn cool. Clearly, the cigar has reached its complex level status.
I should talk about the price point. All three sizes hover around the $5 mark, by the box. I like that you can buy a box of 10. Smart marketing.
And if you want to purchase 25, it is only by the bundle. If you join the Atlantic Cigar VIP Club, you will get a few shekels knocked off the advertised price. I am a member. For $60 a year, you can get your money back in one or two purchases…the rest is all cream.
I requested the smallest of the sticks from Atlantic and I’m glad I did. It is the perfect size for some very intense flavors.
As I near the beginning of the last third, the strength moves to full bodied.
Creaminess moves to the forefront. But the star of the show is the tobacco. It is dark, rich, and penetrating. It is by far, the boldest flavor of the stick.
I recommend this cigar for smokers with refined palates. I don’t think this is a newbie cigar. Flavors are very subtle and nuanced and your palate has to be trained to appreciate the flavor of the earthy tobacco.
The flavors, I have delineated earlier, are all there and totally enjoyable.
The char line has really behaved itself and only needed that one touch up early on.
The full body strength is smooth as glass. No nicotine. Just a very rich formula of ingredients. The stick now has a very long finish. Cocoa has moved up the ladder and fights creaminess for its place in line. But the star of the show is still the tobacco.
Erik just released an inexpensive new blend called La Zona Factory Selects. A bundle of 20 torpedoes goes for $50. You need to Google this to find them. I have a bundle cooling their heels in my humidor.
For a small stick, it burns slowly. I have less than a couple inches to go and I am hitting the 45 minute mark.
The cigar finishes out in style. What a great cigar. But remember, this is a very complex cigar and if you prefer wildly flavored cigars, then this stick is not for you. But it will make a lot of cigar aficionados very happy.
With a tiny bit to go, the strength brings on some nicotine but not a lot which surprises me. It ends without a bit of harshness or heat.
Clearly, I need to by a bundle of these cigars from Atlantic Cigars.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS