Brand: Espinosa Cigars
Size: Toro (6 x 52)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Cigars smoked for review: 2
Cigars for review provided by: Espinosa Cigars
Quick Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
The latest iteration of the Murcielago is the result of another collaboration between Espinosa Cigars and A.J. Fernandez. The cigars are produced at the San Lotano factory in Ocotal, Nicaragua. Fernandez was able to provide access to aged tobacco that was used to make some adjustments to the blend. The cigar also received a packaging and label update.
The dark espresso colored wrapper had an oily shine and some tooth. The seams were barely noticeable and I had to look carefully to notice any distinct veins. These elements gave the wrapper a very smooth appearance. The dark wrapper, box press, and new band really make this cigar pop. The prelight draw brought some notes of cocoa, black pepper and a little leather.
After an initial toasting of the foot I took a few puffs and was surprised by strong sweet flavors coming through; It was like candy. After getting the cigar fully lit the sweetness faded and deep early flavors came to the forefront backed by a strong black pepper spice, especially on the retrohale. As the first third progressed some flavor notes of dark cocoa and espresso quickly joined providing a nice balance to the pepper. There was still a sweetness, but it was subtle and difficult to fully describe. This sweet quality tended to be most noticeable toward the end of each retrohale and lingered on the palate as part of the finish.
Going into the second third the chocolate flavors transitioned from dryer cocoa to rich dark chocolate candy bar. The pepper backed off compared to the first third and at this point the cigar seemed to achieve a perfect balanced of flavors. As the second third progressed some coffee and natural earthy tobacco flavors started to develop. There were also some subtle wood flavors, especially on the retrohale, that blended with the sweetness as part of the finish.
There was not a noticeable flavor transition into the final third, but about halfway through the final third the spice started to ramp back up again. At that point the chocolate transitioned back to the dryer dark cacao flavors. There was a more pronounced earthy natural tobacco note, and the sweetness was less pronounced but still there, and lingered on the finish along with the black pepper spice.
I think this version of the Murcielago is an improvement over the previous iteration of this blend. The flavor profile is more well rounded and there is a greater depth of complexity that I attribute to the addition of aged tobaccos. I think the bat is officially back and better than ever. This cigar achieves a great flavor balance and complexity that is very hard to describe but makes for an awesome smoking experience. One of the things I really enjoyed was the finish with that subtle sweetness; it kept making me want to go back for more. I think this is a cigar that you can enjoy casually in a herf setting, but will also reward you with nuance and complexity if you take the time to really focus on what the cigar has to offer. Smoking at a slower pace also brought out the most balance and complexity, so be sure to smoke this one at an easy pace.
Total smoking time was about an hour and forty minutes.
Jason’s Rating: 92 (AKA, “Box Split”)