In 2014, Espinosa Cigars introduced Laranja Reserva to the market. It was, and continues to be, an extremely successful cigar. Laranja Reserva has received great ratings from multiple cigar media platforms, including the Toro size achieving the rank of #13 cigar of the year on the CA Top 25 List in 2015. Earlier this year, Espinosa announced the release of the Laranja Reserva Escuro, essentially a “maduro” rendition within this line of cigars. I was able to find some soon after release at a local shop, so I picked some up to enjoy. Here is a review of that experience.
In addition to the Toro size reviewed here, The Laranja Reserva Escuro is also available in a 6 x 46 Corona Larga ($10.00 MSRP), and a 5.5 x 56 Robusto Grande ($10.50 MSRP)
Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Toro
Size: 6 x 52
Origin: San Lotano Factory (Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
The color is so dark, it draws attention. It has a pronounced tooth, but not much of an oil sheen. The appearance is cleanly rolled and neatly constructed. The wrapper smells like cocoa and cedar. The foot has aromas of espresso beans, pepper, and anise. The cold draw is a little snug, but has some nice sweet notes like hay, grass, and cocoa.
When this cigar is lit, the smoke output is immediately thick and bold. The flavors are intense from the very beginning. Black pepper spice, charred wood, and a salty finish are the predominate notes at the beginning. It mellows a bit, but still stays a solid medium-plus. The retrohale is spicy and bright in the nose, but has a nice sweet finish that reminds me of irish coffee with a twist of citrus.
I am struck by the balance of sweet and salty flavors in the middle of this burn. While it is not exactly like a salted caramel, it’s almost like salted molasses, or peanut brittle. That balance is enhanced every once in a while with a zing of red pepper, and some charred wood. I occasionally get a pop of citrus aromas. As it intensifies, the retrohale gains some leathery aromas, and coffee to go along with the pepper and sweetness, but is still bold in the nose.
As the cigar finishes out, some licorice/anise notes join with the sweet and salty core to form an interesting combo. There is also a bitter coffee note in there. Some earthiness and dryness also appear in some of the puffs. Still, some slight hints of citrus intermittently come into the profile. This makes a beverage a welcome accompaniment as the cigar gets down to the very end. The retrohale is bolder than ever, with red and black pepper and more of that anise note.
Overall, this cigar was one of the more complex that I have has tried in quite a while. It just seemed like the flavors and aromas were intense and varied, yet easy to discern. The best part for me was the sweet and salty mix of the flavor profile, juxtaposed against the spicy nose and earthy background. It kept me interested and curious about what might come next. I would recommend this cigar to smokers who enjoy depth, complexity, and balance.
Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 92
PAD: +0.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Salty-Sweet, Coffee, Anise, Earth, Pepper, Citrus
Strength Assessment: Medium-Full
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC