|Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3|
The Cesar Espinal Habano is one of two lines offered by Cesar Cigars. The company is named for its owner, Cesar Espinal. Cesar Cigars is based in the Dominican Republic and is a small vertically integrated company that has its own factory and farming operations. In addition to the Habano line, the company also makes a Maduro offering. Today, we take a closer look at the Cesar Espinal Habano in the No. 3 (Toro) size. After smoking the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3, I found this to be an impressive and very different smoke. In a time where many brands are competing for shelf space in retail shops, Cesar Cigars has a product that can compete with the best.
Espinal comes a family of cigar growers in the Dominican Republic. At a young age, Espinal started working in the fields and learned all aspects of cigar making. In 1996, he opened a small factory in San Diego and began producing product for locals and tourists. By 2000, Espinal returned to the Dominican Republic and started to further develop his craft. In 2010, he took over his family’s farm and built a snall factory near Santiago. Two years later he would move the operation to Tamboril. There are further plans to expand the factory later this year.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Cesar Espinal No. 3 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
In addition to using tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, the Cesar Espinal Habano also incorporates an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper as well as U.S. tobacco in the filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Dominican Corojo
Filler: Dominican and US
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
The Cesar Espinal Habano is available in the following sizes:
Robusto 5 1/2 x 52
No. 3: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6 x 54
Gran Toro: 6 x 60
Gran Torpedo: 6 1/2 x 62
The Habano wrapper to the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 had a cinnamon color to it. The wrapper itself also had a light coating of oil on it. Most of the wrapper seams were on the thin side. While there were some visible veins, I still found this to be a wrapper on the smooth side.
|Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 (Cedar Sleeve Removed)|
The band to the Cesar Espinal has a shield-like design at the center of the band. The color of the shield is black, but toward the top there is a slight gradient effect to red. On the shield is a large “C” in a gold wreath-like (sideways) design. Inside the “C” are the letters “esar” in smaller gold font. Above the shield is a gold crown. Below the shield is a red ribbon-like design with the text “Cesar Espinal” in small white font. The remainder of the band has gold, red, and black adornments making up the design.
The lower half of the Cesar Espinal cigar has a cedar sleeve. On the footer of the cigar is an actual red ribbon.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting or cutting the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3, I removed the ribbon and cedar sleeve. I then placed a straight cut into the cigar to remove the cap. I then proceeded to the pre-light draw. Cedar flavor was definitely the story of this dry draw as I detected notes of sweet cedar and generic wood. While it wasn’t the most overly complex pre-light draw, I really enjoyed the sweet cedar flavors from this cigar. At this point I was ready to light up the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The dominant sweet cedar notes continued right out of the gate with the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3. There was also a lime note that was present in the forefront. In the background, there were some earth and red pepper notes present. Meanwhile on the retro-hale I detected black pepper notes. I found the retro-hale added a layer of spice throughout the smoking experience.
During the first third, the cedar and lime notes continued in the forefront. At this point, I found the fusion between these two flavors made for an interesting combination. The earth notes in the background took on more of a chocolate flavor. The red pepper notes also remained in the background.
By the midway point, the lime notes receded into the background joining the pepper and chocolate notes. At this point, a cinnamon spice now joined the cedar in the forefront as a primary flavor.
Toward the end of the second third, the cedar and cinnamon combination remained in the forefront. In the background, the red pepper notes remained and now were re-joined by some earth notes. The chocolate and lime notes also remained, but they were much more distant. This is the way the flavor profile remained until the end. The resulting nub was slightly lukewarm in temperature as well as slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, I did find the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 to perform well, but it did need some “tlc” along the way. The burn did require several touch-ups along the way. While the touch-ups kept the burn on a straight path, each time I smoked this cigar, it seemed like it needed more frequent touch-ups than I prefer. The resulting ash was a salt and pepper color. I also found this ash to be on the looser side. The burn rate was ideal. Except for a little lukewarm-ness at the end, the burn temperature was also ideal.
|Burn of the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3|
The draw to the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 was outstanding. It was not too loose, nor was it too tight. There was also an ample amount of smoke produced by this cigar. This cigar was a low maintenance cigar to puff on.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I didn’t find the Cesar Espinal Habano No. 3 to be overpowering. I found the strength level to fall right in the middle of the spectrum – making it a solid medium. As for the flavors, they had some nice depth to them. Overal I assessed these flavors as being medium to full-bodied. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body throughout this smoking experience.
Overall this was quite an impressive cigar. No doubt is that this cigar has a lot of cedar flavor, but what I also liked was how there was plenty of other flavors to complement it. As a result, I found this cigar to deliver a nice amount of complexity in terms of flavor nuances and flavor transitions. At the same time, this wasn’t a “cookie cutter” smoke as the flavor profile was definitely unique. This is a cigar I would recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d easily smoke again – and it’s one worthy of a box split.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 3.5 – Box Split