|The Alibi by Espinosa Cigars (alaart of the Backroom Series)|
The Alibi is the first release in the Backroom Series by Espinosa Cigars. About a month ago, Espinosa Cigars announced the launch of its Backroom Series. This series marks Espinosa Cigars’ entry into the world of lounge exclusive cigars. Currently, there are three such lounges available nationwide – Casa Belicoso in Walnut Creek, California; Cordova Cigars in Pensacola, Florida, and Smoke Inn VI in Margate, Florida. The Alibi is a limited production cigar that is currently only available through those three retailers. The cigar is produced at Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Nicaragua. Recently I have had an opportunity to smoke The Alibi. Overall I found this to be a cigar worthy of being a lounge exclusive cigar as well as an excellent release.
In a press release announcing the Backroom Series and the Alibi, company founder Erik Espinosa said, “My guys have been pushing me to get some limited and exclusive stuff out there. I have been waiting for the right time and never at the expense of our core lines, which remain our company’s priority. At the end of the day, we are cigar makers, it’s what we love to do. This gives us a chance to be creative and an opportunity to further showcase our factory, La Zona.”
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at The Alibi and see what this cigar brings to the table
The Alibi features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. Details of the binder and filler have not been disclosed.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona)
The Alibi will be available in one size – a 6 x 48 Short Churchill. The cigar is packaged in ten count boxes with a total of 200 produced.
|Packaging of The Alibi (Photo Credit: Espinosa Cigars)|
The Alibi’s Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper has a chocolate brown color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen. While the wrapper is on the oily side, the surface of the wrapper is slight bumpy. There are a few visible veins and there are some visible wrapper seams.
The band of the Alibi has a pale yellow color with all text in black font. Prominently on the center of the band is the text “ALIBI” in a western style font. To the left of that text is a black small “scroll-like” design with the text “THE” on it. On the left side of the band is the text “ESPINOSA LOUNGE EXCLUSIVE”. On the right side of the band is he text “BACKROOM SERIES”. On the far right is a metallic red La Zona logo. The top and bottom of the band is trimmed with stripes of black and pale yellow. There are also pale yellow rivets in-between the black stripes. There is also a metallic red stipe on the innermost top and bottom of the trim design.
The footer of the band has a black ribbon on it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before lighting up my Alibi cigar, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. After successfully clipping the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The pre-light draw treated me to notes of chocolate, earth, pepper, and some mild citrus notes. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of the Alibi to be excellent. At this point, I removed the footer band, lit up the Alibi and prepared for the smoking phase.
The start to the Alibi treated me to a mix of assorted black, red, and exotic pepper spices. I also detected some chocolate notes up front. As the pepper receded, the chocolate notes moved into the forefront and were joined by notes of mandarin orange. While the pepper notes moved into the background, the pepper was quite prominent on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first half the chocolate and orange notes alternated as to what was the primary note. The pepper notes remained secondary, but occasionally crept into the forefront. During this stage, the pepper seemed to exhibit more of a red pepper quality compared to some of the other spices that were present. On the retro-hale the pepper remained prominent.
At the start of the second third, some earth notes moved into the forefront. The last third saw the orange notes diminish significantly. Throughout these last stages, the earth and chocolate notes remained in the forefront. The pepper notes slightly increased, but never eclipsed the earth and chocolate. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Alibi to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn path remained straight from start to finish requiring some occasional touch-ups. There was a slight curvature from time to time on the burn line. but this did not prove to be problem-some. The resulting ash was firm with a nice silvery gray color. The ash came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
|Burn of the Alibi by Espinosa Cigars|
The draw performed quite well. I didn’t find this to be a loose draw, but it was not a tight one either. I found this to be a low maintenance cigar to puff on and derive flavors from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, I did find the Alibi to be a cigar that has some kick. From a strength level, this is a cigar I assessed on the upper end of medium to full – falling just short of being a full strength cigar. As for the body, when you factor in the retro-hale, this is a cigar that has some weight on the palate. I assessed the Alibi to be a full-bodied cigar from start to finish. When comparing strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
Lounge Edition cigars are not a new concept in the cigar industry. While there have been some good ones, there have been several that have been disappointing. With the case of the Alibi, this is one of the better lounge editions I have seen hit the market. I found this to be a cigar that delivered excellent flavor, was well-balanced, and had excellent construction. I also found the Short Churchill format to be ideal for this blend. The one drawback with the Alibi is going to be its availability, as right now there are only three Espinosa lounges that can carry this cigar (and the total production for the first batch was 2,000 cigars). Because this is a stronger and more full-bodied cigar, this is a cigar I’d steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one that is box worthy.
Strength: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: Espinosa Launches Backroom Lounge Exclusive; Announces First Release “The Alibi”
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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