Back in 2014, Espinosa Cigars would release a cigar that became a game-changer for the company known as the Espinosa Laranja Reserva. The thing that made this cigar a game-changer was the use of a Brazilian wrapper known as “Laranja” because of its orange-colored hue (Laranja is Portuguese for orange). Five years later, Espinosa would have a second installment to the series, this time with a dark Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper known as Espinosa Laranja Reserva Escuro. Fast forward to 2021 and Espinosa Cigars would release its next installment of the Laranja series known as Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo. This time the Brazilian tobacco would be incorporated into the binder. Today we take a closer look at the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo in the Gordo size.
As for the name Azulejo, unlike the original Laranja Reserva and Laranja Reserva Escuro, it does not reflect the color of the wrapper. It refers to the color of a blue-glazed tile that was used on Spanish and Portuguese edifices. Blue is also one of the colors featured on the Portuguese flag.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
As mentioned for the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo, the Brazilian tobacco this time is incorporated into the binder. Specifically, it’s a Brazilian Arapiraca binder (Espinosa is not known for its use of Arapiraca tobacco). The cigar uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and the cigar itself contains all-Nicaraguan fillers. Production comes from AJ Fernandez’s San Lotano factory in Ocatal, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Binder: Brazilian Arapiraca
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: San Lotano
The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo is available in four box-pressed sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Corona Gorda: 6 x 46
Robusto Grande: 5 1/2 x 54
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo had a dark coffee bean color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some mottling present on the surface. There was also a very light coating of oil on the surface. In addition, the wrapper had some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.
The band is the variation of the design found on the regular Laranja line. This band features a blue, white, and gold color scheme. The top of the band has a gold crown on it. There is a glazed blue 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 “AZULEJO ” in a small blue font. There are also adornments reminiscent of the La Zona and Espinosa logos to the left and right.
A blue ribbon surrounds the footer.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of coffee, leather, and cedar. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
More notes of coffee, cedar, and leather were present as the cigar experience of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo kicked off. These notes were also joined by notes of black pepper. Early on the coffee notes moved into the forefront with the cedar, leather, and pepper notes selling in the background. As the cigar reached the latter part of the first third, some citrus notes also popped into the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo, the coffee notes remained grounded in the forefront. There was a slight increase in the pepper and cedar. Meanwhile, the leather and citrus notes remained in the more distant background.
The final third didn’t see much change. The coffee notes remained in the forefront. The cedar and pepper notes were close secondary notes and the leather and citrus were in the far distant background. This is the way the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo had a slightly wavy burn line, the cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. In the end, most of the touch-ups that were required were more cosmetic than anything. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it was not a loose or flaky ash. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo also performed very well. For a box press there was just enough resistance making for an ideal smoking experience.
Strength and Body
The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience. There was a nominal increase in the intensity of both attributes along the way, however in the end the cigar remained in the medium range of the spectrum for both strength and body right until the end. When it came to strength versus body, the body had a slight edge.
When it comes to my personal tastes; if you asked me whether I would enjoy a cigar with a Sumatra wrapper and Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper, I would tell you chances are “no.”. The Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo Gordo completely surprised me, delivering a cigar experience that excelled in the most important category – flavor. Not only is this a cigar that is completely different than anything Espinosa Cigars has delivered before, but it’s all one of the more unique Sumatra offerings I have had. It also is a blend that shined in the box-pressed Gordo offering. The result is another winner for Espinosa Cigars. This is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again and buy multiples to keep in the humidor. Coming in at 91 points, this exceeds the threshold for the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Leather, Citrus, Cedar, Pepper
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: Espinosa Laranja Reserva Azulejo to Launch at PCA 2021
Source: Espinosa Cigars, Purchased
Brand Reference: Espinosa
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop