The man behind the highly rated 601 brand, Erik Espinosa, is back! To say he knows cigars is an understatement – to say the least – as he’s worked with Alec Bradley, Gurkha, Rocky Patel, and Drew Estate, just to name a few. Born in Cuba, Erik is one of the best in the business and has just about mastered every aspect of the cigar industry while earning high ratings for his impressive 601 creations. Hailing from the La Zona factory in Nicaragua, the Espinosa Laranja Reserva is another blend that has earned a well-deserved rating of 94 from Cigar Aficionado and earned the #13 spot in their 2015 Top 25. Looking at this unique stick, the first thing you might notice is the orange hue of the Brazilian Laranja wrapper that comes from the Reconcavo region of Bahia, Brazil, hence the name, Laranja, meaning orange in Portuguese. If you have never heard of that wrapper before, it’s because it doesn’t technically exist; Erik gave the tobacco leaf the name when he first encountered it and based the entire cigar around the color and fragrance of it. Underneath the wrapper is a zesty Nicaraguan binder and a bold blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers. Together, this smoke offers medium to full bodied notes of spice, pepper, citrus, nuts, cedar, and an impressive natural sweetness. Our panel suggested pairing it with a Malbec.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.