Espinosa Laranja Reserva Caixa
Yup, into about 20 days of consecutive 100+ weather. The rain lately hasn’t made it feel any more tolerable either. Let’s head out back, brave the heat, and fire up a Espinosa Laranja Reserva Caixa paired with a bottle of Santa Fe brewing’s Ever Changing Series Chaiway to Hell.
The Good Stuff:
The Espinosa Laranja Reserva line is no stranger at Casas Fumando. I first reviewed the Corona Gorda back in 2014 and it also made my top 10 list in the same here. Recently, Jeremy took a look at one of the formats in the line extension called the DeSocio. Now here I am taking a look at the another one of those recent additions to the Laranja line, the Caixa.
The Laranja Reserva Caixa carries the same blend as the rest of the cigars, starting with a Brazilian wrapper around Nicaraguan binder and filer tobaccos. Here is an excerpt from one of our recent reviews with a bit more detail on the blend:
Espinosa Premium Cigars has been on a roll lately as many of you know. Much of his success has come from the La Zona factory in Nicaragua which is the same factory in which the Laranja is manufactured. The name “Laranja” means “Orange” in some Portuguese. Aptly named, the Laranja Reserve carries a Brazilian wrapper from the Recôncavo region in the state of Bahia which is known for it’s orange hue. Erik Espinosa wanted to do something different this year as he started to experiment with different tobaccos he was drawn to this orange Brazilian wrapper. Erik states:
“It is the color of enthusiasm, creativity, determination and success, that’s what we are all about here”
The Laranja Reserva now comes in four sizes: The Caixa: (6.5 x 48 box pressed), The Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46), the Robusto Extra (5.5 x 54), the Toro (6 x 52) and the DeSocio (5.625 x 54 Perfecto) which all come packaged in boxes of 20 running between $9.90 and $11.50 a stick. Thanks goes out again to the Espinosa team for sending samples our way.
Size: 6.5 x 48
Pairing: Santa Fe Ever Changing Series: Chairway to Hell (Spice Porter 8.1% ABV)
The Laranja Reserva Ciaxa starts out with an absolutely gorgeous, rustic looking wrapper. The wrapper is a medium brown with lots of darker brown splotches scattered across the cigar’s body and a nice little orange tint as promised. The wrapper is laid seamlessly while the cigar shows only a few very minor veins running through the cigar’s long, slender, box-pressed body. The wrapper’s texture is pretty toothy with some slight oil and is decently hard and thick. The Laranja Reserva Ciaxa is polished off with a round triple cap. The cigar carries the standard white, orange, and gold Laranja band as well as a secondary band with the word “Ciaxa” across the front. The cigar also features the standard orange ribbon around the foot that we’ve grown to expect from the Laranja line.
The wrapper on the Laranja Reserva Ciaxa gives off some soft honey, spice, and grassiness while the foot of the cigar is much more spice-forward with some pepper and natural tobacco aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a great mixture of oat, honey, sweetness around natural tobacco flavors.
The Laranja Reserva Ciaxa starts out with a decent black pepper boom which quickly fades after the first few puffs to reveal some great spice, sweetness, honey, roasted cashew, cedar, and musk. The flavor profile is kicking right off the bat. The draw is perfect. Each little puff kicks out a great amount of thick, white smoke as the cigar gives off very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a trail of decently compacted medium to light gray ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Laranja Reserva Ciaxa and the flavor profile is just killer. Leading with bold spice, sweetness, cedar, and honey backed by roasted nut, clove, and natural tobacco flavors. It hasn’t switched up too much, and it doesn’t need to. The retrohale really brings out the clove and the cedar in the cigar. The burn line is still razor thin, while it’s gotten slightly wavy. I close out the second third with almost nothing more than a very slight nip of nicotine.
Into the final third of the Laranja Reserva Ciaxa and it’s been a great ride. The flavors are still heavy on the cedar, sweetness, spice, and a ton of musk moved back in while the clove and roasted nut have been gradually fading out. The burn line has corrected itself and has burned almost flawlessly down to the very nub. It took me two hours to take this cigar down and each minute was very much enjoyed. I experienced absolutely no harshness, no extra heat and never once had to reach for my torch to relight, or touch up the cigar. The Laranja Reserva Ciaxa left me with little more than just a nice, subtle, little nicotine kick.
So is this cigar still top 10 worthy 2 years after it’s release? Absolutely. I can’t say it enough times, this cigar rocks. The flavor profile is right up my alley which is both bold, and complex. The cigar isn’t overpowered with strength and the price point is worth paying time and time again. It’s easy to see why this is a box-worthy cigar. I think that any seasoned cigar smoker would agree, while its a great basis of comparison to the novice cigar smoker looking to get into the premium cigar market.
Every so often Santa Fe Brewing releases a limited, exotic, experimental beer as part of it’s “Ever Changing Series”. Some of these beers are incredible, others are just fun to try. Either way I get excited to give them a go. Brewed at the Santa Fe Brewery in Santa Fe, New Mexico the Chaiway to Hell is a 8.1% Chai spiced baltic porter. The Chaiway to hell leads with a ton of sweetness, vanilla, clove, chai, spice, and roasted malt with a medium mouthfeel before finishing with even more sweetness, spice, clove, honey and vanilla. The sweet flavors definitely dominate the roastiness of the porter that lies underneath. I knew right away I needed to pair this with a cigar that could hold it’s own, and the Laranja Reserva Ciaxa did just that while the honey, spice, and sweetness mashed up ridiculously well.
We often post pairings here on Casas Fumando and have always been advocates on finding the right pairing for your cigar smoking experience. Our friends over at Famous Smoke Shop recently released a very easy to use tool which helps you choose the right pairing for your cigar or drink. Check it out here: https://www.famous-smoke.com/cigar-pairing