Last month Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Metro Cigars received a shop-exclusive release from Espinosa Cigars called the Espinosa Cream City MKE. The Cream City pays homage to the city of Milwaukee. While Milwaukee is known as the “brew city” for its long history in the beer business, it has also been referred to as the Cream City. This is because of the use of cream / light yellow-colored bricks used as building materials during the mid to late 19th century. From a blend standpoint, the Cream City MKE is different than other Espinosa Cigars’ releases in that this is the first one to utilize Honduran tobacco. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke the Cream City MKE. Overall I found this to be an excellent release from Espinosa and quite an enjoyable cigar.
Espinosa Cigars has been building an impressive list of limited shop exclusive cigars. Some of the notable releases include:
- Espinosa Cream City MKE (Metro Cigars)
- 601 Pennsylvania Edition (Best Cigar Prices)
- 601 Steel (Famous Smoke Shop)
- 601 La Bomba Bunker Buster (Smoke Inn)
- Evil Clown (West Coast Cigars)
- Espinosa Laranja DeSocio (Available as a distribution exclusive to Alliance Cigar)
- Sensei’s Sensational Sarsaparilla (Exclusive for Cigar Dojo via Famous Smoke Shop)
- Renzulli (Oirginally Shop Exclusive for Twins Smoke Shoppe, but now also Cigars International)
- The Alibi (Espinosa Lounge Exclusive)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Espinosa Cream City MKE:
The Honduran tobacco used in this blend is a part of the filler. In addition the cigar also features Nicaraguan tobacco in the filler as well as the binder. The cigar is finished with an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper. The cigar is made at Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona SA)
The Espinosa Cream City MKE is available in one size -a 6 x 50 Toro. The cigars are packaged in ten count paper bundles.
The Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper of the Espinosa Cream City MKE had a medium color with a slight cinnamon colored tint to it. I found this wrapper to have a decent amount of oil not he surface. The surface of the wrapper was slightly bumpy. There were some visible veins and most of the wrapper seams were well hidden.
The band to the Espinosa Cream City MKE has a cream-brick design on it. The front of the band has a black and beige diamond outlined interlocked. Insider those diamonds is the text “CREAM CITY” in large black font. Above that text is the text “EST 2016” in small black font. Meanwhile below the “CREAM CITY” text is the text “MKE” in black font. The text “MKE” appears vertically arranged in large gray font not he far right of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Before lighting up the Espinosa Cream City MKE, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw provided a mix of earth and floral notes. There also was a slight fruit sweetness in the background. Overall I considered the preflight draw of this cigar to be satisfactory. At this point I was ready to light up the Espinosa Cream City MKE and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Espinosa Cream City MKE started out with a mix of earth, white pepper, and a natural tobacco sweetness. The earth notes became primary right out of the gate. There was a smoothness and softness to the earth notes that was present throughout the smoking experience. The white pepper and natural tobacco sweetness also settled into the background. At times the tobacco sweetness had a slight mixed fruit quality. Meanwhile while I detected white pepper on the tongue, I detected more black pepper on there retro-hale.
Throughout the first half, in general I found the earth notes were grounded in the forefront and the white pepper in the background. From time to time the natural tobacco / fruit sweetness inched into the forefront.
During the second half of the Cream City MKE, I found a floral component joined the earth notes in the forefront. The natural tobacco sweetness with the fruit component also remained present. I picked up a little more in the way of spice during the latter stages, but this was never an overpowering smoke. This is the way the cigar experience of the Cream City MKE came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
When it comes to both the burn an draw, the Cream City MKE scored very well. The burn path and burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish. The resulting ash had a silvery gray color when some darker marbling mixed in. I found the ash to be on the firm side – coming off the cigar in nice clean chunks. As for the combustion, I also found it to be excellent as the Cream City MKE maintained an ideal burn rate and had an ideal burn temperature.
The Espinosa Cream City MKE also an excellent draw. This was a draw that was not too tight, nor too loose. This was a cigar that was easy to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength and body perspective, I found the Espinosa Cream City MKE to start out medium. By the second half, I found both attributes had progressed enough to be considered medium to full. If you are cigar enthusiast who doesn’t retro-hale, you might not find this to be a medium to full-bodied cigar in the second half. In terms of strength versus body, I did find both attributes complemented each other nicely with neither one overshadowing the other.
One that was clear to me is that Espinosa Cream City MKE had some Honduran tobacco incorporated. The influence of the Honduran tobacco delivers the earthy profile this cigar has. I do find Honduran tobacco to sometimes have a drying effect on the palate. To some extent I found this the case with the Cream City MKE, but there is enough other things going on with this cigar to keep things interesting and mitigate some of the dryness. The result was an enjoyable cigar. It’s a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. It’s certainly one a novice can enjoy – looking for something in the medium / medium plus range. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d reach for again – and it’s easily worth of a box split.
Strength: Medium (1st half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Body: Medium (1st half), Medium to Full (Second Half)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Espinosa Cream City MKE Released as Shop Exclusive for Metro Cigars in Milwaukee
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 190
Stogie Feed: Espinosa Cream City MKE
Brand Reference: Espinosa