Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican, US Broadleaf
Size: 6 x 50 “No.3 – Toro”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00 by the Box


Today we take a look at the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano.

From the Cesar Cigars web site:
“Cesar Espinal had a dream in his youth. A third generation tobacco grower, Cesar was fifteen when he started working at his family’s farm in the Dominican Republic. He worked in the fields learning how to plant, cultivate and harvest tobacco. The Espinal family sold their yield to several of the most prominent cigar makers. In his late teens, Cesar started learning the art of making premium cigar from master blenders and rollers that came from the Dominican Republic.

“With his family’s help, he opened a small factory in San Diego in 1996 called Cesar Cigars where he began producing hand rolled cigars for the locals and tourist trade. Cesar desired to perfect his skills of the trade, so in 2000 decided to move to the Dominican Republic and started honing his craft.

“Driven by his passion, he took over the family farm in 2010, built a small factory near Santiago and began manufacturing cigars for several small retailers. By 2012, he moved his operation to Tamboril to continue expanding Cesar Cigars. The factory has grown to over 1,200 Acres for growing tobacco, and includes the box factory which produces packaging not only for Cesar Cigars as well as many other well-known Tabacaleras.

“Cesar values life’s simple pleasures. An exceptional cigar using three year old wrapper and five year aged fillers, a great presentation and an affordable price. Cesar Cigars recently acquired additional property to expand and build a larger facility. Fabrica de Cesar will be completed by 2015.”

After removing the cedar sleeve, the cigar is exposed and it has a mottled light medium brown wrapper with a bit of oily sheen. Seams are tight. Lots of small veins. A beautifully done triple cap on a flat top. The cigar band is incredibly ornate.

I clip the cap and find aromas of gingerbread, spice, red wine, cedar, sweetness, floral notes, and leather. Good start.
Time to light up.

The first puffs start with a blast of red pepper. Then followed by cedar, earthy tobacco notes, sweetness, and pumpkin seeds.
The draw is flawless. Plumes of smoke surround me and the cat goes running.

More flavors to pile on: Chocolate, cream, dried fruit, and wood.

The spiciness seems to be on an upward trajectory. I like that.
The burn line is hanging tough.

The sweetness is on the generic side at the moment but is becoming stronger with each I couldn’t find what the strength of the cigar is designed to be so I will wing it as I go. At the moment, it has already passed medium bodied. It is a potent little bugger.

The flavor profile is coming together and entering its first stage of complexity and balance.

I have to be honest…I had never heard of this brand. So, when Lazaro and I were talking, I asked him about this cigar as it was on his cigar list on the web site. He told this was a great cigar and would be a fine choice. Visit the Cesar Cigars web site for more info on the blends.

At the 1” burned mark, there is a flavor explosion. New elements, like coffee, cherries, and egg nog enter stage right.

I’ve been good and controlled my urge to use this phrase lately, but the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano is a bona fide flavor bomb!
Where have you been all my life? LOL.

Now this is a fine cigar. Right off the bat it hits you in the puss with flavor after flavor. And the spiciness continues throughout.

This is the second one I tried. I lit one up a week after receipt and it was a no go. But now three weeks later, it is more than good to go.

After the Katman15 discount, the stick is only $7.65 instead of $9.00. That makes for a great deal. And the price is the same whether you buy a 5 pack or a box. Next month, a box of these will be the first on my list. And in the Toro version. The Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano in this size has all the characteristics of a much smaller, more intense wrapper v. filler ratio.

I just took a look at the web site and it says that Cigar and Spirits Magazine gave the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano the #1 Boutique Cigar of 2014 award. So there you go. I’m not a shill. This is a brilliant blend.

My palate is on sensory overload. The cigar is so complex it can barely take it all in.

The creaminess, chocolate, coffee, nuttiness, dried cherries, and that nutmeg sprinkled egg nog flavor are just blasting away.

The second third begins.

I can tell you right now that this cigar will make my Top 25 Cigars of 2015 List.

It appears that the Brickell Cigar Co. is the only online store where they are available. But the list on the web site of B & M’s is plentiful. Available in 14 states. Check it out.

Everything is in sync. The char line is spot on. Long ashes. No wrapper issues. And the cap is maintaining an even keel despite my chomping.

More flavors: Cinnamon, caramel, and the egg nog turns into Crème brûlée (A dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel.) The Crème brûlée element really amplifies the coffee component.

I can’t help but fawn over the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano. It is a phenomenal blend. The complexity is pushing the limits of how high can you go? It has a beautiful long chewy finish.

And throughout the entire cigar experience, the flavors maintain their positions and don’t fade away.

The strength is a strong medium/full. It will probably hit full bodied in the last third.

I reach the halfway point. And the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano is screaming laughter.

What a nice change up. The last couple of reviews were dogs. Having high expectations for a cigar only to be let down ruins the day.
But smoking a flavor bomb like this puts a smile on my face all day long. And the best part is I have 3 left.

This goes to show what the New Breed of cigar blending should be like. The old school manufacturers can take a lesson from Cesar Espinal on how to make a blend ready to smoke in less than a month.

My daughter gave me an Amazon gift card for my 65th birthday. So what do I use it for? A new holster? No. Something cigar related? No. I bought a nice robe. LOL. I’m such an old man.

The cigar band comes off with ease and I am amazed at how beautiful the artwork is.

“Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek.”


I bought two boxes of cigars from Brickell: AJ Fernandez New World Gobernador Cigars 6.5 x 55 Box of 21 and Don Pepin Garcia El Centurion Robusto -Box of 20. With the Katman15 discount, I saved $35.75. I’ve reviewed both but I wanted something for my own enjoyment. I was completely out of cigars to smoke. And many thanks to Mike Simmons and Brian Austin for sending me some great cigars to get me through.

I order you to at least get a 5 pack. You will thank your Uncle Katman for introducing you to your new regular cigar.

The last third begins.

This cigar is about as perfect a blend for my palate as humanly possible.

The nuttiness transforms a bit. I get a peanut butter flavor.

Here are the flavors for one last time: Creaminess, chocolate, coffee, sweetness, peanut butter, cedar, caramel, custard, dried cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon, leather, and that rich earthy tobacco element.
I can’t remember smoking a cigar with this many flavors.

The last third, if possible, explodes once again. Ultra-flavor bomb.

When I finish this review, I am going to contact Lazaro and ask him to hold on to a box for me. Can’t get one til the beginning of the month when this old man’s social security drops.

At the moment, this will be my No.1 cigar on my 2015 Cigar list. Nothing comes close.

The Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano is now full bodied.
And with it, comes some minor Vitamin N.

I grab my crash helmet just in case.

The construction has been near flawless. A perfect char line. Zero wrapper issues. And a Mighty Mouse cap.

This has been a wonderful cigar experience.

BTW- The Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano comes in Maduro as well. I plan to review them in early March.

For a man who has only blended two cigars, Cesar Espinal has a brilliant future.

Technically, Cesar has only been in business since 2010. I expect that this was his first venture in cigar blending. It is only due to its somewhat obscurity that I will name it for my Top 25 list for 2015.

The Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano finishes just fine, thank you. No harshness or bitterness. Cool as a cuke.

Clearly, I highly recommend the Cesar Espinal Cigars No. 3 Habano.


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3 replies

  1. I juse smoked a freebie fron the rep.What a great cigar

  2. Just became introduced to these cigars at the Sequoia Cigar shop in Visalia. So impressed with them and completely agree with your assessment. Katman I have enjoyed your reviews for several years now. You do an excellent work with your site. I find your reviews accurate and consistent and I enjoy your colorful stories….
    Keep doing what you do. We will all be the more fortunate for them.