If you have been around cigars for a few years or so, you have surely heard of such brands as 601, Murcielago or Cubao. Well, one of the men behind these brands, Erik Espinosa, has started his own cigar company and purchased his own factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. One of the first lines from the factory is the La Zona and is named after the factory. The La Zona is the “economical” cigar line from Erik and can be purchased in bundles of 20 for around $75+/-. For $3 and change, you wouldn’t expect much; so lets take a further look and see how this economical La Zona turns out.
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
Rolled in: Esteli, Nicaragua in the La Zona Factory
First Looks: A simplistic band covers a slightly veiny wrapped cigar that is fairly firm to the feel. For being a cigar with its price point, you would expect to see a shoddy wrapper, no band, etc… Not the case with the La Zona, this is a nice looking cigar. The wrapper has a very nice woody aroma to it, that is not too bold or mild. A stronger wood note comes out of the foot, but not too bold. The cold draw is slightly firm with some resistance, but offers flavors of cedar and light wood.
Construction: The draw stayed fairly thick throughout the entire cigar. It was that milkshake thick type of draw. I usually don’t particularly care for such a thick draw, but the flavors offset any worries of the draw. The ash held nicely for an “economical” stick. Most cigars in its price point usually drop ash all over you. But, each white and slightly grey ash held for well over an inch. The burn wasn’t dead on perfect, but it was far from wavy. Never needed any touch-ups or relights. This cigar had been dry-boxed for a day or two and smoked well from it. I also like the 52 ring gauge robusto size. The 52rg is just right for me, I don’t like a ring gauge any bigger than a 54, and the 52 seems to work well with this blend.
Flavor: First few puffs are of a nice creamy, yet slightly spicy, that are subtle and buttery smooth. The spice falls off into a more creamy spice shortly after getting into the smoke, then diminishing all together once into the smoke more. The creaminess reminds me of a buttered toast. More like a fresh hot buttered English Muffin. Maybe its my stomach talking, but that is what it reminds me of. Its got a good buttery smoothness to it with a slight, but nice, twang to it. The La Zona Connecticut is looking like it would be a good breakfast smoke with a cup of coffee and an English Muffin. Which is usually how I start y day when off of work. I am really digging the toast notes that I encountered in the first third.
Working into the second third, the toast flavor is still present. Not much changed from the first third to the second, except with an undertone of a faint note of light wood. Medium to full flavors of buttered toast that is really pleasant on the palate.
The last third was pretty much like the first parts of the cigar. Yet, the creaminess eased off and the buttered toast notes eased off into just a toast note with some wood undertones that has a short finish. The retrohale during the last third reveals a faint cedar/woody note to it. Overall the La Zona Connecticut ended pretty nicely as I laid it to rest with a little over a half inch left.
Overall: I really and mean really enjoyed this cigar! Its medium bodied with medium to full flavor strength. The main flavor is a creamy and buttery toast. Even though, it was fairly one dimensional, I liked the constant buttered English Muffin (toast) notes. For the price point of a little over $3, it makes this cigar just a bit more enjoyable on the wallet and palate. I would really like to see this blend in a corona or corona extra, to see if the blend shines more in a smaller ring gauge. But for now, I am happy with the robusto size.
I highly recommend anyone to try this cigar. From a new cigar smoker, to a seasoned cigar enjoyer who is looking for a cigar that has good flavor, but not too strong body to start their day off with. Its not an overly complex cigar, but its a good solid smoke.
Espinosa contact information
Online: Espinosa Cigars by Erik Espinosa
Facebook: Espinosa Cigars