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#nowsmoking: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Caixa
#nowsmoking: Laranja Reserva Caixa Cigar Review
#nowsmoking: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Cigar Review – Caixa
Factory: La Zona – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6½x48 box pressed
Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja Habano seed
Binder & Filler: Nicaragua
The Laranja Reserva back story. . .
Released in 2014 Laranja Reserva cigars are made at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Cigar factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The highlight of the line, not to mention the inspiration for its unusual name is the flavorful and fragrant Brazilian “Laranja” wrapper, so named by Erik. Grown from Habano seed in the Recôncavo region of Brazil when combined with the diverse Nicaraguan binder and fillers, the result is a medium to full-bodied, Nicaraguan-forward cigar that took Espinosa Cigars to the top of the artisan-crafted cigars ladder. It was also the first time Erik used a Brazilian wrapper on his cigars.
“I wanted to release something different,” said Erik Espinosa in the cigar’s 2014 press release. “We had started working with this orange Brazilian Laranja wrapper last year and we are very excited with the end result. I have always liked the color orange – laranja is the Portuguese word for ‘orange’ – and the positive energy associated with that color. It is the color of enthusiasm, creativity, determination and success, that’s what we are all about here.”
Then there are the scores: Within its first year of release, the Laranja Reserva Toro received a 94 rating from Aficionado – that’s a “classic” on their scale – and landed the Aficionado’s in 2015 placing it in #13 slot of their Top 25 Cigars of 2015. Cigar Dojo gave the Laranja Reserva Robusto Extra a 93 for “Endless flavor.”
Laranja Reserva cigars are presented in 20-count cedar lined boxes and available in six sizes:
- Corona (5×42)
- Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x46)
- Robusto Extra (5½ x 54)
- Toro (6×52)
- Lancero (7½x38)
- Caixa (6½x48 BP)
How well is the cigar made?
Outstanding. The cigar’s pressing has softer edges and feels good in the hand – more like a Lonsdale. I found no soft spots, the rolling was seamless and topped with a well-fashioned triple cap. Cold draw notes were woody and a little sweet.
How does the cigar smoke?
Like a dream. The foot took easily to flame offering an excellent burn and aroma. Early puffs revealed mellow notes of light pepper, leather, cedar, and sweet tobacco, then rounded out to mostly leather, cedar, sweet tobacco, and cream with a nuance of citrusy tang that came out of the shadows every so often. Retrohales were spicy, but far from sharp. The smoke also boasted plenty of volume, a chewy creaminess, and shifted towards the full-bodied realm in the latter inches, but never totally committed.
What is the cigar’s flavor profile?
Medium plus and full-flavored with a woody, sweet, and tangy character. Not overly complex, but extremely well-balanced and creamy. Taking it nice and slow will reveal some additional subtleties including suggestions of leather, toasty notes, and light spice.
What drink can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?
Wicked Weed Brewery Freak of Nature, a Double India Pale Ale that Jack raved about in the video. I had some Dove Tale Puerto Rican Rum, which was also a nice match with my Caixa.
Should I buy this cigar?
Let’s put it this way. . .the entire Laranja selection is destined for classic status. What I personally like about the Caixa is that it’s box-pressed. Plus, it offers just the right amount of everything—strength, flavor, body, and soul. It can be appreciated by just about every cigar smoker. I think Jack put it best when he said (and I paraphrase) that it was ‘mellow enough for new cigar smokers, yet full-flavored enough for the more experienced.’ Plus, the Caixa carries a reasonable price, and can be enjoyed morning, noon, or night.
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