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Estella by Espinosa Cigar Review
By J. Wood
1/14/2014 2:29:00 PM  

Estella by Espinosa Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaragua

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Size: Robusto Extra, 5 ½ x 52

Factory: La Zona, Esteli, Nicaragua




Erik Espinosa began working in the cigar industry in 1997. During the early 2000s, he teamed up with Eddie Ortega to create EO Brands, which produced Murcielago, 601, and Cubao cigars. In 2012, he went out on his own and opened up his La Zona factory, where he continues to make outstanding cigars using some of the best premium aged tobaccos, such as La Zona, La Jugada, and 601.


In 2013, the guys at Atlantic Cigar began working with Espinosa to develop a small-batch cigar that adhered to the quality and blending style that has made Espinosa such a star in the industry. The final result, which has now been released in early 2014, is Estella by Espinosa, a medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan puro.





The Estella by Espinosa is made at the La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. Estella is produced in small batches twice a year. It has been released in 3 sizes: a Robusto Extra, a Grand Toro and a Grand Corona. The cigar are available in 10-count boxes or 25-count bundles.


I tried the Robusto Extra for this review.

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here.




Appearance:


The Estella by Espinosa has a slightly oily wrapper that has a medium brown color. The texture is consistent and silky with a slight grain and minimal veins. The cigar is finished with a triple seam cap and feels well-packed with only a slight give when squeezed. The Robusto Extra size is good for those looking for a slightly larger robusto, but still want to enjoy a thicker and shorter smoke.


Tasting:


The unlit cigar offers aromas of barnyard, leather and dried fruit. Once cut, the cigar’s cold draw has mild sweet tobacco flavors with caramel, raisins and cedar.





1st Third:


There was very little spice on the light, with woody flavors upfront. The spice built and provided flavors of cinnamon and pepper. There was a hickory aftertaste with layers of sweetness. The draw was easy and provided good amounts of smoke. The strength began around medium-bodied.


2nd Third:


The middle of the cigar developed a toasty characteristic with roasted nuts and caramel. The hickory stuck around and was one of the predominant notes. A raisin and dried fruit sweetness lingered on the palate. The strength of the cigar remained around medium-bodied, perhaps moving slightly towards full-bodied.




Final Third:


The cigar finished with the many woody notes that were present throughout the smoke. A slight espresso developed and the caramel hung around. The strength increased slightly towards the end, but stayed below full-bodied. The cigar didn’t become harsh at the end, and I was able to nub it.



Overall:


This is a good cigar for fans of both Espinosa's work. The flavors were very reminiscent of many cigars made with Aganorsa tobacco. I tasted some similarities to Illusione’s Le Epernay cigar. The construction was solid and the draw and burn were good. The cigar didn't require any touch-ups while smoking. The strength is just about in the middle, so that there is plenty of flavor, but the nicotine content isn’t overwhelming. These cigars smoke well now, but given a few weeks in the humidor, they will probably really shine.


Estimated smoking time: 1 hour

If you are interested in trying the Estella by Espinosa, you can check it out here. Atlantic Cigar is the exclusive carrier of this great cigar.

Currently rated 4.3 by 10 people

Tags: Erik Espinosa, La Zona, Estella, Aganorsa, Nicaragua
Categories: Product Reviews, What's New
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El Centurion Limited Edition Toria Cigar Review
By J. Wood
11/19/2013 4:35:00 PM  

El Centurion Limited Edition Toria Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua Corojo ‘99, Criollo ‘98

Size: 5 5/8 x 46

Factory: My Father Cigars, Esteli, Nicaragua




José “Pepin” Garcia’s history in the cigar world has been well-documented, but here are the cliff-notes for the unaware. Garcia was a noted cigar roller in Cuba before he left for Miami and opened his El Rey de Los Habanos factory in the early 2000s. He saw his first mainstream success with Tatuaje, which he produced for Pete Johnson. Shortly thereafter, with the help of his son, Jaime, the My Father Cigars factory was opened in Esteli, Nicaragua, and many new cigars were launched alongside Garcia’s core lines. Now My Father Cigars is responsible for some of the best cigars being produced, such as much of the Tatuaje portfolio, Flor de las Antillas, My Father and My Father Le Bijou 1922, as well as being the factory where Ortega’s new Cubao is being produced.


In 2007, Garcia put out a now-mythical small production cigar called El Centurion, which was his first ever limited release cigar. The cigar was reportedly Garcia’s personal blend, and production was limited to only 2,550 boxes (51,000 cigars). The cigar didn’t stay on shelves long before selling out. At the time, once the El Centurion was sold out, it was gone forever, except for the brief appearance in late 2007 of an El Centurion lancero as part of a sampler pack. Only 4,000 total Lanceros were produced.




Fast forward to 2013 and My Father Cigars has rereleased El Centurion with a tweaked blend to commemorate their 10th Anniversary. The cigar features a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99, Criollo ‘98 and Sancti Spiritus filler tobaccos. The regular production El Centurion comes in 4 sizes: the Belicoso (5 1/2 x 54), Robusto (5 3/4 x 50), Toro (6 1/4 x 52), and the Toro Grande (6 1/2 x 58).


Atlantic Cigar, however, is one of 3 retailers to receive a special, limited release size of the El Centurion, called the Toria, which is a corona gorda that measures 5 5/8 x 46. I tried the limited Toria size for this review.



Appearance:


The El Centurion Toria sports a darker Nicaraguan wrapper that is fairly rustic looking with plenty of tooth, though the veins are minimal. This corona gorda has a comfortable feel in the hand. It isn’t too long, too wide, too short, etc. The cigar feel well-packed, but not tight, and is finished with a triple-seam cap.


Tasting:

Before lighting up the cigar, it provides smells of fermented tobacco, coffee and dried fruit. The cold draw has flavors of spice, pepper, raisins and hints of earth.




1st Third:


There was very little spice on light, but some peppery spice gradually built in the first few puffs. The El Centurion Toria started medium-bodied, and the first third of the cigar featured flavors of pepper, hints of earth, spice and leather.




2nd Third:


The cigar stayed medium-bodied throughout the middle. Some hickory and salt, sort of a barbeque taste, developed and was complemented by interesting sweet flavors such as dried cherry and toffee. The draw gave a little resistance, but it wasn’t at all tight and there was plenty of smoke production. The ash was bright white and clung nicely to the cigar. Some pepper returned heading into the final parts of the cigar.