“Overall not only is this an excellent offering, but in my opinion, succeeds in delivering a great Connecticut Shade cigar in a larger ring format.”
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona SA)
Toro Grande: 6 x 56
Review: Espinosa Crema Toro Grande
Brand Appearances on Countdown: 4 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Coming in at #16 is the Espinosa Crema Toro Grande. Over the past few years, many of Espinosa releases have focused around medium / medium to full offerings. With the Espinosa Crema, this cigar has a milder profile. With the Espinosa Crema, it is meant to offer what La Zona Factory Operations Manager Hector Alfonso has termed a “gateway cigar” – namely a cigar that could appeal to newer cigar enthusiast. At the same time, this is a cigar that can still appeal to all cigar enthusiasts looking to reach for a milder offering.
For Espinosa Cigars, this is the fourth consecutive year, the company has landed on the Cigar Coop Cigar of the Year Countdown. It is also the third cigar on this year’s countdown from the La Zona cigar factory. Using an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, this is the first Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar to make this year’s Countdown.
The Espinosa Crema is not the first Espinosa offering to use a Connecticut Shade wrapper. Most notably, in 2012 the company released a Connecticut Shade offering under the La Zona name. In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the Crema incorporates Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler. The Toro Grande is the largest vitola in the line – measuring 6 x 56.
The flavor profile of the Espinosa Crema Toro Grande is going to be more on the traditional side as opposed to delivering something radically different. These notes include classic wood, cedar, citrus, black pepper, nut, and of course cream. The notes are start out on the mild to medium-bodied side before progressing to medium-bodied in the last third. Meanwhile the strength level is in the mild range before advancing to mild to medium in the last third.
Overall this short, the Espinosa Crema Toro Grande’s 6 x 56 format worked quite well with this blend. The fact that the Crema is traditional in terms of flavor profile, strength, and body is what sets this cigar part. The bottom line is that Espinosa has succeeded in delivering its “gateway cigar” – and it’s one certainly a box worthy offering.
For details of the 2016 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2016 criteria.
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop