Boutique Cigars

Wasabi From Espinosa

Espinosa WasabiIn November 2016, a series of cigars from Espinosa Cigars were released. There was a total of eight to be used as part of the company’s “Backroom Series” available exclusively to the Espinosa-branded lounges. In April one of these cigars, the Wasabi, was brought onto the market again as a limited release of 500 boxes of 10. This release just happened to co-ordinate during our annual Crawfish Boil that we hosted along with Erik and his son so I managed to get my hands on quite a few of these guys.

Of course as we talked about the cigar the mention of people thinking it was flavored with wasabi came up (much like how some people seemed to think that the Pickle Juice was also flavored with pickles). Of course this is not the case and the name was picked solely because he liked the name. Of course Erik does refer to it as a spicy candela so I have a sneaking suspicion that might have had something to do with it as well.

When you first look at the cigar it has a pleasing overall look to it. The color of the candela is a nice pale green color. There are some noticeable veins throughout the wrapper but over all it is smooth to the touch and the seams are tight and even. The Habano tip adds a nice contrast to the overall look of the cigar. Construction feels firm but giving enough not to feel over packed when pressure is applied with the fingers and no dead spots were apparent when inspected.

The odor from the body is light and sweet, while the odor from the foot leans a bit more towards a hay or barnyard odor with a hint of pepper. The cap cuts easily with no damage done to the construction. Pre-light draw is easy and has a mild tobacco flavor, some sweetness and a touch of pepper to it. The cigar lights evenly and produces plenty of medium weight smoke on the tongue.

The first half of this cigar comes across with a decent amount of spice to it. In the foreground to me is a good amount of white pepper and citrus. Definitely a solid medium / medium heavy cigar at this point. The burn is even and stays consistent for the most part. The ash is a dark grey in color and drops off about every ½ inch.

Reaching the second half the cigar really starts to mellow out and more of its earthy tones start to move to the front. The spice is still there on the finish but the taste of smoked cedar and peat become more prominent. This lasts until reaching the end of the cigar where the full strength becomes noticeable and the pepper fights its way back to the forefront of the flavors.

In all after smoking several of these I have to say I really enjoy them. Not something I’d recommend for the beginner but would easily recommend it to someone who likes a variety of flavor and is looking for something to try that you don’t see every day. Better go out and grab some before they all disappear. 500 boxes sounds like a lot but trust me, with how good these guys are they will be gone before you know it.

Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Ancient Japanese Secret

Website: https://www.espinosacigars.com

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 pints

Debonaire Daybreak Toro

Debonaire Daybreak ToroWith the expanded availability of Debonaire Cigars I have found myself trying more of them lately. The more recent one has been the Daybreak Toro. Drew Estate offers this opinion about the cigar, “Wrapped in Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade, the Daybreak offers a full flavor version of a Connecticut wrapped cigar and comes into market at a more introductory price. While enjoying Daybreak, smokers can expect crisp notes of spice and earthiness from the Nicaraguan fillers, a nutty and sweet richness from the Dominican tobacco in the binder and filler, and a smooth finish from the Connecticut wrapper.” While that’s a charming description I’m curious to see what I discover.

A view of the body shows a well constructed cigar with tight seams and very minimal veining. The Connecticut Shade wrapper is a milk chocolate color, feels like silk and has a slight oily sheen to it. The roll feels ample but not bulging and no dead spots can be found. The odor from the body is present but soft on the nose giving odors of raisin and cedar. From the foot the same odors are noticed along with earth tones.

The cap cuts easily and the construction holds. The pre-light draw is easy and there is no struggle and gives flavors of rich tobacco and leather. The cigar lights with no issue and the burn is sharp.

The first half has light bread flavors with a touch of spice falling into the medium body range for me. While smoking through the first half the flavor profile remains consistent and enjoyable. It produces plenty of light weight smoke with an ash that is light grey and holds on for about a half inch at a time. The burn line stays sharp with no need to retouch.

Moving into the second half the flavor intensity begins to pick up. The softer bread flavors are still there but move to the back and the spices become a bit more present along with a citrus note that I wasn’t aware of in the first half. Still definitely in the medium body flavor range but a fun shift in taste. It continues to burn sharp for the remainder of the smoke and the construction holds up for the duration as well.

In all I enjoyed this cigar, it’s perfect for that morning smoke with coffee or great later in the evening if you want something enjoyable for your palate while you watch a movie. Given that it’s made by Debonaire you know the quality is going to be top notch and the tobacco is going to be superb. While some have criticized the price point it’s worth the couple extra bucks for the quality. If you are looking for a nice medium flavored smoke or are a new smoker that likes a light cigar and wants to step up a bit in flavor without going too heavy, I recommend picking up a couple of these. You won’t be disappointed. Be sure to check out the review of their Sagita Petite Lancero too.

Wrapper: Ecuadorean Connecticut Shade

Binder: San Vicente (DR)

Filler Nicaraguan & Dominican

Website: Debonairerum.com

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 pints

Debonaire Sagita Petite Lancero

Debonaire Petite LanceroI’ve been enjoying the Debonaire line for a while now and with the new distributorship from Drew Estate it’s thankfully making them much more accessible to everyone. I managed to get my hands on some of the Sagita Petite Lancero and enjoyed it so much I wanted to get an article up about it. The Sagita offers a medium-plus strength profile with the rich, deep sweetness we all look for out of the thick and durable broadleaf wrapper. Blender and owner Philip S. Zanghi III says, ” the dried fruit flavors, like currants and raisins, really stand out in this particular size. The Lancero is a size I love, however I love this one just a bit more because it comes in at a 5.5 inch length; its size, along with its balanced strength and refined flavor remind me of an arrow and what the arrow represents in an archers quiver.” Sagita is in fact a Latin word for arrow, which is traditionally spelled Sagitta, but when Phil presented it as a production item in the Dominican Republic it was spelled Sagita, missing a “t“. Phil chose to keep it this way as a celebration of the Dominican’s spelling of the word.Debonaire Petite Lancero

The construction of the cigar is firm and full to the touch but not hard and gives to pressure between the fingers. There is some noticeable veining which adds to the overall rustic look of the cigar. The seems are nice and tight and when the light pigtail cap is cut the cigar is unaffected. The color is of dark rich coffee beans.

The smell form the body had a lovely leather and cedar aroma with a hint of sweetness. From the foot these were more noticeable along with a nice punch of spices. The pre-light notes offer the usual tobacco flavors that always makes me think of unsweetened tea.

Debonaire Petite LanceroThe cigar lights easily and at first has a slightly bitter citric flavor. This quickly disappears and becomes an espresso with lemon flavor for the next couple of draws then settles into a rich coffee flavor with plenty of pepper. The cigar produces plenty of nice heavy smoke that weighs on the tongue. It has an easy draw that gives just a touch of resistance. The ash falls easily and has a dark gray color with solid bands.

This flavor stays through to the halfway point while the dried fruit flavors that Phil had mentioned become more apparent. Continuing on through the cigar the flavor begins to intensify and become more of a smooth tobacco with a nice peppery kick. By the end of the smoke it has a much fuller flavor than expected from something this size.

For a small sized cigar really has a full flavor, starting off somewhat timid but ramping up to a large taste by the midpoint made this an interesting smoke. Not sure if I would recommend this to novice smokers out there but for all you maduro smokers out there that want to be surprised by the flavor you can get out of a 38 ring gauge this is one you should pick up.

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (USA)

Binder: San Vicente (DR)

Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican (ft. Reñe Ligero)

Website: Debonairerum.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints