Back in April, Espinosa Premium Cigars began shipping a new offering known as the Laranja Reserva Escuro to retailers. The Laranja Reserva Escuro introduced a dark wrapper offering highlighted by a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, the first major Espinosa Cigar to feature this wrapper. Last November, at Espinosa’s annual La Zona Palooza event it holds at its company headquarters in Florida, the cigar made a debut for attendees of the event. While Laranja Reserva Escuro was originally targeted to be a release at the 2019 IPCPR Trade Show (scheduled to open June 29, 2019, in Las Vegas), but based on the positive response to the cigar at La Zona Palooza, the release was moved up to April. Today we take a closer look at the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro in the Corona Gorda format.
Back in 2014, Espinosa Cigars launched the original Laranja Reserva cigar. It featured a wrapper from Brazil the company dubbed “Laranja.” This was because the wrapper had an orange-colored hue to it and since Laranja is the Portuguese (language of Brazil) word for orange, it also became the cigar name. This time the dark color of the Brazilian wrapper played a role in the name. “Escuro” is Portuguese for dark, and since the Laranja Escuro features a dark Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, it also became part of the cigar name.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Espinosa Laranja Escuro Corona Gorda and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, the Laranja Reserva Escuro features a blend of all-Nicaraguan tobacco. While the original Espinosa Laranja Reserva line comes out of the La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua, the Laranja Escuro comes out of AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocotel, Nicaragua. This is a factory where Espinosa is doing production for most of its 601 line as well as Murcielago.
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: San Lotano
The Espinosa Laranja Escuro is offered in three sizes with each size presented in ten-count boxes.
Corona Gorda: 6 x 46
Robusto Grande: 5 1/2 x 56
Toro: 6 x 52
The Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper of the Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda definitely counts as “dark.” It has a rich dark roasted espresso bean color to it. There was a very light coating of oil on the surface. This was a wrapper that exhibited a few veins. The darker color of this wrapper did a nice job at hiding the wrapper seams. The box-press itself firm and not overly tight.
The band is the variation of the design found on the regular Laranja line. This band features the Laranja line’s black, white and gold color scheme. The design of the band resembles a shield with a gold crown on it. There is a black ribbon design going across the shield diagonally with the text “LARANJA” in white font. On the lower part of the band, there is a white wedge-design with the text “RESERVA” in a small dark font. There are also adornments reminiscent of the La Zona and Espinosa logos to the left and right.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda. Once the cap was clipped, it was on to the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered notes of coffee with a hint of chocolate sweetness, dried fruit, earth, and a slight amount of spice. This was a satisfying pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to light up the Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda started out with notes of mocha, black cherry, earth, cedar, and a touch of black pepper. The mocha notes were a fusion between chocolate and coffee. Early on the mocha and black cherry took over as the primary note. Midway through the first third, the mocha notes became the sole primary note. Meanwhile, the black cherry settled with the notes of earth, cedar, and pepper in the background. At the same time, there were also notes of mocha, cedar, and black pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third, the mocha notes shed some of the chocolate sweetness and developed more into a classic black coffee note. The black cherry, earth, cedar, and pepper notes remained in the background. During this stage, the pepper also increased on the retro-hale.
The final third saw earth notes join the coffee in the forefront. The pepper and cedar notes had increased in intensity, but did not quite make into the forefront. In the background, there still were touches of black cherry in the background. This is the way the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in the temperature.
Construction-wise, the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda is as good as they come and this will be reflected in the scores of burn and draw. The burn maintained a straight burn path as well as a straight burn line. The resulting ash was most light gray with some medium to dark splotches mixed in. This was an ash that was on the firm side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda also scored nicely. For a box-press, I found this cigar had the right amount of resistance – and was something that wasn’t too open. At the same time, this was a cigar that was low maintenance to derive flavor from and produced a nice amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro Corona Gorda is not going to knock you down. I found this cigar to be in the medium strength, medium-bodied range. For the most part, I didn’t find a lot of variation in the intensity levels. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When the original Laranja Reserva was released in 2014, it became a game changer for Erik Espinosa’s company and really put them on the map. Now almost five years later I think the time was right to turn Laranja into its own brand and making a maduro offering was the perfect complement. I also like that Espinosa Cigars ventured out into using a different wrapper than it had used – Brazilian Mata Fina. While they seemed to check all of the boxes with brand positioning, the company has succeeded in creating a cigar that is equally compelling. It’s a profile that’s very different for Espinosa’s profile, but one that is quite satisfying. It’s a cigar that can be enjoyed by everyone – novice or experienced. As for myself, I’d buy this cigar again. It certainly warrants box worthy consideration as well.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee, Chocolate), Earth, Black Cherry, Black Pepper, Cedar
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop