In the Spring of this year, Espinosa Premium Cigars announced that Laranja Reserva, their latest and most "traditional" of lines, would be receiving a line addition. Released last year, Laranja Reserva was a very exciting release for the company, and I believe it was a release that showed a whole new side to Espinosa Premium Cigars. This upcoming release was being called Caixa, Portuguese for box, and it would be a regular production release. Given the name, it was clear that the cigar was going to be box-pressed, and I as eager to see how the cigar would smoke. I have always been a fan of box-pressed cigars, I love how they smoke, and with a ring gauge being announced in the high 40's rather than in the 50's, I was excited as well. When I first smoked the line I thought it needed age, which it did, and when I came back to it in smaller ring gauge offerings as well I was really blown away. It is a special wrapper that is used on the cigar, so make it the focus. Enough of the introductions though, let's see how the new Laranja Reserva Caixa smokes.
Cigar: Laranja Reserva Caixa
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory
Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja
Length: 6 1/2"
Ring Gauge: 48
Vitola: Toro (Box-Pressed)
Caixa has a nice soft press and it comes with a solid triple cap. The cigar is firm throughout, showing no soft spots, and it has some medium sized veins throughout. The cigar itself has a nice light Colorado coloring, and there is this natural brown with a faded orange coloring. If you have ever seen a dried orange rind, that coloring is present in the wrapper. The foot has a very rich and sweet aroma, and I am picking up some raisin notes with rich tobacco, chocolate, spices, and tobacco. The wrapper has some tobacco and leather qualities, and there is some sweet spice present there.
The cigar opens up by showing some nice dried cedar qualities, and it has some milk chocolate and earth flavors with that. I am getting some subtle orange rind notes with that, and there is a touch of red pepper present as well. It has a finish that is nutty and creamy, and it has some qualities of walnuts that are prevalent. I would classify the cigar as being medium-full to full overall, and I would say the flavors are full, body as well, with a medium-full strength level. The construction thus far has been stellar and it is showing an even burn line with a nice light charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool, giving off a nice amount of smoke, and this is a flavorful smoke.
When I get into the second third of the cigar I find that there is a slight change in the flavor profile, and overall it is not as full as it was in the introduction. I am getting those cedar qualities still, leather notes as well, and it has that red pepper and earth flavor that follows. The finish remains to be creamy and nutty, and it is a nice finish to the opening flavors. It remains a complex blend, and it has shown transitioning and depth thus far. I would say that the cigar is smoking more around a medium-full level in this third and it is even across the board for flavors, strength and body. The construction continues to be top notch as well and it is showing that even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw remains cool in this third and there is a nice amount of smoke production.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and I am seeing a slight return to the first third, but also some new qualities as well. The orange rind flavors have made a return and I am getting some nice tobacco and cedar notes with that. There is a touch of leather and soft red pepper notes as well, and it has a creamy and toasty finish which adds so much to the experience. The complexity throughout has been great and it has shown nothing but incredible depth throughout as well. There has been transitioning throughout the thirds and it is a great smoking experience. The cigar remains at that medium-full level in all categories in this third, and the finish is smooth and cool, showing an even burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the finish.
Laranja Reserva is a unique line for Espinosa Premium Cigars, and in someways it does not "fit in" with the rest of the company's portfolio. I think it's a line that goes in a different direction when compared to the entire portfolio, but it is a necessary direction at the same time. Laranja Reserva has shown the company's diversity, and it has been a successful and well scored release as well. I would not classify it as a flagship line for the company, but in some ways it king of is. When first released I thought it needed some time to truly open up, and I can tell you that with age the cigar reached a whole new level. With the Caixai though, the cigar is great out of the gate and I am hooked. It has a great flavor profile that is very complex, and it shows an abundance of depth and a nice bit of transitioning throughout as well. It is a cigar that hooks you in, and with the perfect construction you can sit back, smoke it, and get lost in time. To top it off, the cigar itself is beautiful and the presentation is stunning. It has been several months since a cigar has spoken to me in this nature, and I am glad that it has; I was a afraid I was becoming a curmudgeon. Laranja Reserva Caixa gets a 93 in my book, and I believe this to be the best Laranja Reserva yet. This is a cigar that many should pay attention to at the 2015 IPCPR, and I will most definitely be picking up a box of these when they are released.