Bite Size Review: Laranja Reserva

 

This is the first review I’ve conducted while sitting in a cigar lounge. There were a few more distractions than I’m accustomed to and limited room to work, but it all worked out. I also don’t typically conduct reviews while I’m traveling, but I was eager to kick the tires on this beautiful cigar from Erik Espinosa. Like many, I’m a fan of cigars hewn with Brazilian tobacco (eg Mata Fina, Mata Norte) and my drool-o-meter was registering a 9.0 just dreaming of the pairing of Brazilian leaf and the blending badassery of Espinosa. Launched in 2014, the Laranja Reserva was well received, landing #13 cigar honors on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2015.

 

ELR1

 

The Portuguese word for ‘orange’ is ‘laranja’, and the orange-hued Brazilian wrapper of our toro is sumptuous. Seamless, oily and fragranced with cacao, caramel and dark fruit, the best of the Laranja was yet to come. The draw was effortless, in fact just shy of being too open. The initial profile is yummy, highlighted by a blast of cinnamon followed by rich notes of caramel, sweet oats and baked bread. Transitions become bolder, more savory and spicier complementing an already well-balanced and wicked flavor palette. This thing is just delicious! Combustion is very good but it does struggle to hold a straight char at times. Oh, and she likes to be smoked (1 hour 12 minutes). Orange happens to be my favorite color, and it hasn’t let me down yet. Get a box of these things. – In Fumo Pax!

 

Did you KnowThere is no such Brazilian tobacco called “Laranja” – Espinosa coined the name himself when he saw the orange hue of the Brazilian wrapper tobacco used.

 

 

ELR2
 
 
  • Profile: Med
  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″ x 52
  • Purchased: B&M
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Brazilian “Laranja”
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Cutter: Colibri ‘V’
  • Lighter: Colibri Firebird
  • Price: $9.85
  • Humidor Age: 9.5 mo.
  • Box: 20
  • Other Vitolas: Corona Gorda [5.625″ x 46], Robusto Extra [5.5″ x 54], Caixa [6.5″ x 48 BP], Lancero [7.5 x 38]

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights

Smoke Time: 1:12
Draw: Effortless
Construction: Oily, orange hue; lumpy, veiny with some tooth; seamless; uniformly firm with some give; ok cap; holds 1″ near-white ash; ash becomes flaky.
Aromas

  • WrapperMuted
  • Foot – Cacao; caramel
  • Cold Draw – Dark fruit

Tasting Notes:

  • Initial: Blast of cinnamon; notes of caramel, toasted nuts; baked bread on finish; sweet oats on draw; light, pleasant spice; hints of sweet oats and vanilla on retro.
  • Transition: Savory profile punctuated by notes of oak, a cedar tang and earth; uptick in spice and body; long finish of mocha; good balance with hints of sweet oats and intermittent cinnamon.
  • Transition: Full body dominated by woody and earthy intonations; notes of oats and cinnamon continue; spice level unchanged;

Complexity: Outstanding
Balance: Excellent
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Very Good, but with slight wavy char at times
Weaknesses:  N/A
Recommendation: 1. Boxworthy

Recommendation scale:

  1. Go-to (boxworthy)
  2. 5-packer
  3. Yard ‘gar
  4. Smoke a banana instead

 

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