We're proud to bring you our second Factory Reveal cigar, the first one coming from Tabacalera La Isla in the Dominican Republic. We believe the Factory Reveal takes our blind tasting experience a bit further. Smoking one brand's cigars can be a bit misleading, because if they aren't producing their own cigars (many are not), then often they are using multiple factories for their cigars, resulting in a totally different experience from one of their brands to another. So we thought, what if instead of smoking one cigar from the company's portfolio, we blind smoked a cigar straight from the source (the factories themselves)?
This cigar comes from the esteemed La Zona factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, owned by the man himself, Erik Espinosa, maker of award winning cigar lines like 601, Laranja, and Espinosa Habano, Crema, and Especial. For Factory Reveals, our goal is find a cigar that is representative of the factory. While cigar factories obviously make many cigars, they tend to have certain traits, preferences, and specialties. While Espinosa does many things well, certainly his biggest preference is in slow-burning, full-bodied, flavor bombs. And, well, this one is, for better or worse depending on your preference... the perfect representation of that!
But unlike some of the stronger cigars emerging from La Zona that punch you right off the bat, this one has a more subtle, sneakiness to it. If you find yourself reaching for more whiskey or water about 2/3 into it, don't worry you're not alone. "A real meat and potatoes cigar," said one S+T member. No, it's not for the faint of heart, but this cigar is also packed full of flavor and complexity, bouncing from one dense flavor to another for the full 1.5+ hour smoke. If you're a lover of full-bodied, fullll-flavored smokes, you're welcome. If not, well, don't shoot the messenger, we didn't make it!