Cigar Review – Espinosa Crema

Espinosa delivers a hit in the Connecticut cigar market

“And you gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.” – Jeremiah 32:22

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About

The name Espinosa has long been associated with powerhouse cigars with tons of spice and erring on the side of full bodied cigars.  The decision to create a “gateway” cigar to introduce cigar smokers to the Espinosa brand resulted in a mild to medium bodied cigar that all cigar smokers can enjoy.

Construction

A solidly constructed cigar, the Crema is a good looking stick that appears a bit more “golden” than some other Connecticut wrappers.  My preference toward Robusto cigars led me to do this review on this vitola. The label is the identifiable Espinosa artwork that is both classy and distinctive to their brand.  The white, cream, gold and black really accents the wrapper and the white ribbon at the foot of the cigar adds just a bit more aesthetics to the cigar.

Wrapper –  Ecuadorean Connecticut Shade

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan Long-Fillers

Vitolas:

5 1/2 X 52 – Robusto

6 X 56 – Toro

7 X 48 – Churchill

Box of 20 – $150 – $161

5 Pick – $38 – $41

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Draw and Light

I used a punch for my “cut” and was excited by the smell and flavours in the cold draw.  The cigar had a smooth draw; not too loose and not too tight. There was not as much hay as I’ve experienced in other Connecticut Shade cigars.  A hint of sweet was noted and the buttery toast was immediately noticeable.  The cigar lit nicely with no extra work noted.  This is a cigar that lights right from the beginning.

First Third

I noticed right away that this was a fuller Connecticut than I have smoked before but it certainly didn’t produce any spice or pepper.  It was smooth with cedar notes and the butter and toast was noticeable right away.  There is a hint of honey that is more predominent on the retrohale.  The combination is very pleasing to this reviewers palette.

The burn line is dark and shows a well constructed wrapper and binder.  The ash is predominently white with dark gray dispursed throughout.  Smoke output is plentiful and creamy.

Second Third

As I got into the second third of the smoke, the honey remained interspersed with butter and toast.  The cedar and mild hay remained in the background which was a nice departure from other Connecticuts that I’ve smoked.  I would classify this cigar as on the high side of mild and low side of medium and it keeps my attention even though I am not expecting a lot of transitional flavors in this experience.

The ash is light and fluffy yet sturdy.  As a side note; those looking for a good cigar for long ash contests might be interested in this cigar.  It’s not overbearing yet it has a solid enough ash to hang in there for a long while.

Last Third

The cigar continues to burn nicely and only required one touchup because I’m just a bit anal retentive about straight burn lines.  When I reached the label I found that it was difficult to remove.  I actually find this with the majority of Espinosa Cigars.  I always swear I’m going to ask Erik Espinosa what he used for glue as the labels are extremely difficult to remove without tearing them or damaging the wrapper.  As I’ve experienced before the removal of this label is no different.  I wound up using the point of a sharp knife to cut the label off.  I did minor damage to the wrapper and not enough to cause any unraveling or further cracking but it still remains a pet peeve of mine with the Espinosa line.  It certainly won’t stop me from smoking them though!

The honey has subsided and I am now getting more of the cedar mixed in with the butter and toast.  I am well pleased with the flavors of this cigar and the creaminess that I’ve experienced all the way through.  I nub the cigar as I approach the end.  This was a great smoking experience.

Tasting Notes

Cream with hints of cedar and subtle hay.  Honey drizzled on a buttered roll or toast.  This cigar pairs nicely with coffee and makes it a perfect breakfast cigar or after dinner treat.

Overall Rating – 92.5

Extremely well balanced, well constructed Connecticut Shade cigar.  Pleasant and easy smoking experience that is well suited for a breakfast or after dinner cigar for the advanced smoker yet provides a great beginner stick for those exploring the Espinosa line of fuller bodied cigars.  Great with coffee or perhaps a light bourbon with minimal peat.

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