Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 2 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 54 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.15


I got lucky and snagged these sticks end of January, 2021…even though the official release was February 2021.

BACKGROUND:
Released February 2021
Regular Production
From Cigar Aficionado (10-30-2020):
“The second installment of the Trinidad Espiritu Series began shipping to retailers last week (Actually, it was delayed til February 2021), and this new cigar showcases Brazilian tobacco. Unlike the all-Nicaraguan Series No. 1, which came out in 2019, this follow-up blend consists of a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and filler from Nicaragua and Brazil.

“Made in Nicaragua by A.J. Fernandez, this brand is a collaboration between Fernandez and Rafael Nodal, head of product capability for Tabacalera USA.”

SIZES AND PRICING:
Belicoso 6.125 x 52 $10.40
Magnum 6 x 60 $10.65
Robusto 5 x 50 $9.90
Toro 6 x 54 $10.15

APPEARANCE:
Even in room light, the wrapper glistens with heavy oil. You can see the colors explode with the right light like the Exxon Valdez…oil spooge everywhere. One can also see how toothy the wrapper is…like a 16-year-old boy with acne. Seams are tight. What veins are present, are basically hidden by near black appearance. The triple cap is flawless, and the demarcation lines nearly disappear. And boy, oh, boy…the cigar is as heavy as Piette’s schmekel…6oz…don’t ask why I know this. The stick is jam packed. Barely any give. The cigar bands are very attractive with the metallic forest colors…no skulls. Always a good sign.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
First off is a big whiff of raisins, followed by dark chocolate, espresso, malt, cedar, black pepper, hints of creaminess, almonds and floral, and barnyard.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, natural tobacco sweetness, black cherries, licorice, espresso, raisins, cedar, malt, and earth, wind, and leather.
I’m amazed that this heavy stick has the perfect airflow. No need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for this cigar.

FIRST THIRD:
I have smoked one prior to this review. Look away for spoiler alert…I liked it.
The original Espiritu No.1 rated #22 on my top 25 list for 2019. Click here for review.

The Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 2 starts off smoothly with a satisfying tobacco flavor that is rich and creamy. It’s a real smoker too…clouds of white plume envelop my head like neurologists that keep demanding I submit to scrutiny.

Small notes of chocolate, coffee, malt, and a scosche of black pepper. Strength is very mild. Such a big difference in a cigar when it is the first of the day on a clean palate; compared to the last cigar of the evening and your palate is crispy.

Creaminess leads the attack. The spiciness is tamed and allows the early subtleties to sneak through and be accounted for.

I’m not sure exactly why, but the only review I read of this new cigar said there was a mob attack of black pepper that stayed pretty much through the entire experience. I’m not getting that at all. Either I hit the magical humi time or the cigar is not consistent. No idea.

“Ohio” by C,S,N,&Y. Damn. I was 20 in 1970 when the Kent State shootings occurred over students protesting against the Vietnam war and the National Guard let loose with live ammo. It was a very big deal. 9 wounded and 4 students killed. No generation has the lock on outrageous events during social upheaval. And don’t give me any shit about this. If you weren’t alive during this period, you have no fucking idea what the environment was like.

With 1” burned, complexity arrives in a green chariot. Balance is exceptional at this early stage. This is nice. With all these expensive double digit sticks out there, here is a company that puts out a beautiful cigar experience and charges a customer friendly $10. Shame on the others with their P.R. bullshit and lousy cigars.

Like all good blends, the cigar climbs with every puff. The char line is perfecto-mundo. (Hey, I live in a city that has a bronze Fonzi statue downtown).

Flavors are all on a level playing field. Nothing excels above the others. A nice, sweet v. savory balance.

If I was forced to pick out flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, raisins, espresso, black cherries, cedar, malt, and almonds.

I can see AJ’s fingerprints all over this blend. Not actually see them…but his influence is in the spotlight. And I am an AJ fan. So, while I am getting the usual suspects of flavors, a lot of care and passion was injected into this blend making it stand out.

This reminds me of the approach of the Casa Cuevas La Mandarria. What I mean is that the cigar’s tobacco didn’t strive for big bold flavor points. Rather, it focused on the whole, showing off the fine tobacco used for the blend. I like this a lot. I like flavor bombs too, but in my old age, I find myself preferring this style of blend over the cigar wheel flavor list.

SECOND THIRD:
Man, the first third was so good that it seemed to be in a time warp…I lost all track of the minutes.
Strength is medium. Construction is superb.

The second third takes off for the Orion Belt. Bigger and bolder flavors appear: green bell pepper, charred meat, chili pepper, sweet BBQ sauce, and an impressive degree of complexity.

The chocolate covered raisins is one of my favorite flavor points. The almonds change into Beer Nuts. The sweetness factors are blasting through the bank vault.

Fucking great cigar!
I love Brazilian Arapiraca. The Herrera Esteli Maduro is one of my go to sticks.

There is no stopping this cigar now. It sits on Elon Musk’s shoulders and reaches for the moon. The balance is dead nuts perfect.

Strength maintains an easy going medium. The one I smoked prior to this one was black pepper heavy. It’s nearly gone this time. The spiciness is barely there; but enough to give it a kick in the ass.

Another example of a cigar so delicate in its approach, that to really enjoy the nuances, one should smoke this cigar in a quiet setting to realize the subtleties. Drink water. You add liquor to this and that’s all you will taste.

I remove the secondary band and the band’s glue must have oozed on to the wrapper and it tears. I can’t begin to tell you how useful my PerfecRepair glue is in moments like this. A whisp of glue on the offending area, and two minutes later, we are good to go.

“Southbound” by The Allmans. Yeah, I’m a fan. Go, Pandora, go. As a bassist, I am reminded that some of their tunes require me to play like a wild man due to the tempo of the song. Bass players…ever get a friggin cramp in your right hand while you’re playing? Nothing worse. (The Craw!).

Strength makes a sudden jump to medium/full.

A thick and creamy chocolate milk shake takes over. Lawdy.
But the shish kabob of good meat and veggies is right there alongside. I can almost smell the mesquite.

Oh fuck. “Hey Joe” by the master, Jimi is playing. Every band in the 60’s and 70’s had to have this tune in their set list.

Halfway point and I’m plotzing. Godamm the Pusherman. I grab my syringe full of illegal drugs and insert it directly into my optic nerve. You gotta be careful not to blink.

The tobacco, without ancillary flavors, is just screaming laughter. Like a sea of swarming simbas.

I’m telling you the truth…Pandora senses when a blend is good and only plays the music I love. Stranger than fiction.

“Mary Had a Little Lamb.” SRV. Played that when I was in the Todd Hart Band in the 90’s. Since we were a blues power trio, I got to fly on my bass for this tune.

The PerfecRepair did a marvelous job. I can’t even find the injury to the wrapper now.

A sip of water and Soupy hits me with two pies.

“Days Like This.” Van the Man. I’m telling you the truth about this phenomenon.

Construction is immaculate with that dead nuts char line.
This is a classic blend.

I was very happy to read that the Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 2 is a regular production stick. I want more.

Perfect blend. It hits my G Spot.
Once while on tour with Curved Air, we were having breakfast in our Amsterdam hotel. All 5 of us were sitting together when someone noticed that Sonja was very quiet. Stewart told everyone to shut up. We did as he asked. “Do you hear that?” He started leaning his head towards Sonja until his ear was in her lap. He screamed, “She has the vibrator inside of her!!”
Sonja showed her famous Cheshire Cat smile and said nothing. Being young and on the road definitely had its perks.

Flavors are now rotating at quick step. Around and around they go.
Strength is increasing.

Nirvana. Is Kurt Cobain still dead? Or is he hanging out in Montana with Elvis playing grunge rockabilly?

The first three people to comment will get put into my will. Think of what you can do when you split my savings of $264. Of course, I might outlive you which would fuck everything up.

LAST THIRD:
Took an hour and a quarter to get here…but time has just flown.
No flavor changes. Don’t want to repeat them. But the complexity, nuances, subtleties, balance, and smoothness take the last train to Clarksville. In 1983, I exchanged an Eddie & The Monsters for a Monkees tee with Peter Tork in Chicago.

Creaminess pushes the envelope now. It brings the other flavors front and center.

The tobacco guts are phenomenal. They are the real driver of the bus.

If you love cigars the way I do, boy do I have a cigar for you. It will satisfy the most arrogant palate while, at the same time, please the shit out of newbies…if they can stand the strength. Over the years, I’ve been sent obituary notices of newbies who thought they could handle a strong cigar based upon my recommendations. Darwin.
I’ve been sued, in civil court, 63 times for involuntary manslaughter. I have a good gentile lawyer.

Sweet v. savory could not be more impressive.
Good chance this will make my top 25 for 2021.

We have full tilt strength now. I can barely type. But my vision remains intact.

Due to all the Brazilian tobacco in this cigar, it becomes quite unique. I can’t think of another cigar to compare it to. AJ amazes.

My body stiffens up. I’m worried. Then I realize it’s just a stroke…no biggie. Doesn’t affect my brain functions. (I heard what you’re thinking).

The cigar begins its death throes. An excellent two-hour adventure.
If you don’t have any of the Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 2 in your humidor, now is the time.

RATING: 95

And now for something completely different:

I’ve played musical instruments most of my life. My parents forced me to take accordion lessons at age 8. My teacher was this huge, pale, old, Polish woman who idolized Myron Floren and Lawrence Welk. The studio wall I faced was covered in both their photographs; autographed, of course. The woman was a task master. But I learned to read music and I loved playing. Although…my friends would run for the hills if they visited and I opened up the accordion suitcase.

My first-string instrument was a ukulele. After that, 1964, was the 5-string banjo at the height of the folk era. I remember taking the banjo to my 8th grade class to get extra credit. I played and sang. I remember, like it was yesterday, a girl sitting in the front row lean over to her friend and say, “Well, at least he’s loud enough.” I was crushed.

I remember after the Curved Air “Live” album was released, Sonja Kristina was convinced that if I could play that well, I could sing. I told them upfront I wasn’t a good vocalist. She took that challenge and told me she would teach me. At the end of two weeks, Sonja told me: “You were right. You can’t sing.”

In 1965, I added the bass guitar as I was swept up in rock n roll and the British invasion.
My best friend, Skip (since 4th grade) bought an acoustic guitar…a Harmony. We would sit and play Beatles’ tunes for hours at a time. But he started making me play bass lines on my banjo. The writing was on the wall.

My dad played golf religiously. His foursome paid me a dollar each to get them their starting time on Saturday mornings each week.

On Sunday night, I would park at El Dorado Golf Course in Long Beach. They numbered the parking spaces. And there you sat.
I would get there at around 2am. And still be 3rd or 4th in line. I would sack out in the back seat til 6am when the window opened.

Then we would all get in line according to our parking space numbers. And I got my dad’s foursome an 8am starting time.

This was 1965. I had my driving license learner’s permit. But the golf course was 60 seconds away. And my dad trusted me not to smash his company car. Besides, he had taught me to drive when I was 13 because we were rockhounds and would go out to the high desert in SoCal. He wanted me to be able to drive in case of some accident and he couldn’t drive.

I would return home and go to bed for an hour. The rest of the school day, I was out of it. Could barely keep my eyes open. For $4.

I did this for 6 months. I was doing this to save up for my first bass. I took my $80+ to downtown Long Beach to a pawn shop that had cool instruments.
I plunked my money down and bought a used 1964 Hofner violin bass. After that, I told my dad and his friends to go fish. I was done with those cheapskates.

I couldn’t afford an amp. Thankfully, the Hofner is a hollow body bass. So, I could still plunk away with it and hear it in a quiet room. I often stuck the head of the bass against the wall creating a diaphragm and the bass could be heard nicely.

1 month later, my mother and father saw I was serious. My dad took me to a guitar shop, owned by a ‘friend’ and bought me my first amp. It was a no name brand and was terrible. I complained all the time to my old man. The friggin amp would just go out on me in the middle of playing and I would have to kick it to start it up again.

My mother was looking out for me and talked my father into taking more dough out of his wallet. This time, we went to the big music store in Lakewood. Wallach’s Music City. And I got my first good amp: A Fender Bassman.

My band went crazy over that. The sound of my Hofner exploded. I have only one photo of me and the Hofner. I was in a musical at the Long Beach Community Theater. The play was “Take Her, She’s Mine.” I got to play two songs on bass and the finale with my banjo.

I knew then that I was destined to make a living playing music. While my music compadres had serious ideas of how their life would work out, none of them took music as seriously as I did.

I used the Hofner until 1970 when I decided I needed something with more punch. I bought a Gibson EBO bass. The same one that Jack Bruce of Cream used.

What a gorgeous sounding bass with those big humbucker pickups. I did some tweaking and added a couple Fender P pickups at the bridge that gave me some exciting variation in the bass’s sound.

In 7th grade, I would go to the Friday school dances and just stand in front of the bassist and let the low notes pound my chest…I was in love.

I took it to England with me and recorded the Curved Air “Live” album with it. The band talked me into getting a long scale bass. So, I bought a 1968 Fender Precision from Martin Turner of Wishbone Ash. They were also managed by our manager, Miles Copeland. In fact, Wishbone was his first band.

I had a lot of trouble with the P bass. It was like playing a 2 x 4 with that huge neck. My Gibson had a short scale neck perfect for my small hands.

So, that was a really stupid idea as I couldn’t fly like I did on the Gibson…especially, as I had two weeks to learn it before a tour began. I was 24 and stupid. I was thrilled because I thought I had ‘made it” and didn’t want to argue with anyone; lest I lose the gig.

I sold the Gibson while I was living in England. Another stupid thing to do.
In 2003, I sold the P bass in order to buy my daughter her first car.
I didn’t use it much as I mainly played my 1980 Schecter fretless. Or my Dobro electric upright.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

11 replies

  1. WordPress, man…I know two exact photos were published. Can’t fix it.
    It doesn’t exist when I look at the raw data so no way to delete it.
    Forgive me and I promise never to write again.

  2. Write me in for that $264 Phil. I’m here for the long hall. Thanks for the good reads for the last 3y since I’ve hopped on this train. You are fantastic.

  3. This cigar is outstanding!! I’ve been smoking it daily for the past 2 months and can’t get enough.

  4. I have smoked the Toro and the robusto. Both are great sticks but the one that wins me over totally is the robusto.

  5. Tasty tasty! Wow. Great cigar. Your tasting notes were spot on. I love chocolate cake. My daughters are great cake bakers, so I know cake. Great night on the porch with Espiriu 2 and SRV, Jimi, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Ronnie Earl, Albert King… With an inch to go the cosmic cloud played “I Can’t Quit you Baby” followed by Stan Webb & Chicken Shack with “The Thrill has Gone”. Fortunately, I have 4 more tucked away.
    Have to pick another fiver.

    Dan.

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