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 an oily, hearty looking wrapper with a slightly reddish coloration and minimal veins. Its pre-light smell has earth and cedar notes, along with a floral aroma on the wrapper.
1st quarter: Once lit, an incredibly smooth draw allowed a lot of thick and spicy aroma through to the palate. A rich underlying sweet tone was in the air with an earthy texture. Some light and dry fruit texture along with notes of wood and tobacco provided ample aroma in the air. 2nd quarter: A very smooth draw produced a lot of dense full flavored smoke with spices in the aroma. Hints of earthy tones and light cedar tones were softly introduced. 3rd quarter: A slow and even burn produced dense full flavors with a creamy texture and a body that started to increase with boldness. Interesting spice flavors were introduced to the palate. Some cedar and hints of nutty flavor developed. 4th quarter: A medium body developed and intensified in the flavor profile as the cigar was smoked down. An earthy character remained with some spicy notes that persisted to the very end. An even burn held onto a white and gray flaky ash.
The Espinosa Laranja Reserva offers full flavors with a medium-full body. There are earthy, rich tobacco flavors both in the aroma and finish, along with some slightly sweet undertones that lingered on the palate. It is extremely well balanced on the palate and its excellent construction allows for very rich tobacco flavors with good complexity.
Myron Gooch Sr.
Reviewed at: The Man Cave.
Time Smoked: 1 hour 50 minutes.
Size: 6’ x 52.