Erik Espinosa was born in Havana, Cuba and relocated with his family to Miami at the age of 3 months. Being raised in Miami, Erik inherited his passion for cigars from his father. He began working in the cigar industry in 1997 and during the last fifteen years he has been involved in almost every facet of the cigar industry. He has worked in numerous roles with many successful cigar makers, including Alec Bradley, Gurkha, Rocky Patel and Drew Estate.
In 2004, Erik along with his former partner, Eddie Ortega, formed EO Brands, which produced the highly rated cigars 601, Murcielago, Cubao and 601 La Bomba. Always the innovator, when he introduced the Murcielago line, only a handful of cigars makers dared to use a Maduro San Andres wrapper in its blends; he was a pioneer in this now frequently used methodology.
For more than a decade Erik has been creating cigars that smokers have come to love. In his next logical progression, La Zona was born in 2012. La Zona now serves an instrument for him to create new blends, re-introduce old ones and add his own flavor along the way. La Zona gives Erik complete autonomy allowing him to do things his way (“A Mi Manera”).
This cigar has a hearty brown wrapper with a light and oily sheen that was solid to the touch. The pre-light smell offered a rare combination of spices, sweetness, cocoa and earthy notes.
1st quarter: A smooth draw with the slightest resistance produced full flavored smoke at the start. A delicious flavor engaged early and continued well into the cigar. A slight creaminess was then followed by peppery spice. 2nd quarter: A mouthwatering and creamy texture lingered along with spice on the palate and through the nose. Later, rich earthy tones with cedar and cocoa notes appeared both on the palate and in the aroma. 3rd quarter: Hints of cocoa and spiciness continued through the nose. There was a very tasty and consistently sweet undertone on the palate with some woody notes appearing later. 4th quarter: The burn remained slow and even, holding onto a flaky ash. The flavors continued to develop and intensify as the body became more pronounced. Very rich, alluring characters presented themselves, culminating into a full body. The cigar was very flavorful with a spicy finish.
The Alibi cigar has a very rich character overall. Its outstanding construction allowed for a slow and even burn that produced nice thick clouds of smoke. Alibi is a medium-full body with deep flavors and an enticing aroma. Overall, its great balance and flavor make it a must try.
Myron Gooch Sr.
Reviewed at: The Man Cave.
Time Smoked: 1 hour 20 minutes.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro.
Size: 6” x 48.