The Laranja Reserva turned more than a few heads upon its release in 2014. It was a more mature blend from the surging Espinosa brand—going on to receive multiple year-end awards and high rankings throughout the industry—including Cigar Dojo’s 2014 #2 Cigar of the Year.
A year later, Espinosa launched the Laranja Reserva Caixa at the 2015 IPCPR show, showcasing a new, box-pressed Churchill vitola. The success of Laranja became increasingly evident, inspiring a complete design overall of many of Espinosa’s core-line cigars (matching the clean, bright look of Laranja), also displayed at Espinosa’s trade show booth.
For 2016, the first update to the Espinosa line once again comes in the form of the mighty Laranja (often pronounced “Larange” by Erik and friends). The new size is dubbed DeSocio and is the 5th addition to the Laranja lineup, showcasing a more intricate, double perfecto vitola—similar to the brand’s previous La Bomba Bunker Buster release with Smoke Inn.
DeSocio has been crafted for Alliance Cigar’s “DeSocio” series, which uses familiar brands to showcase unique sizes not found in the traditional lineup—Laranja Reserva marks the 6th cigar in the series. It is sold exclusively through Superior Cigars.
Laranja DeSocio Breakdown
- Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: La Zona (Nicaragua)
- Production: Small Batch / Shop Exclusive
- Vitola: 5 ⅝” x 54 “DeSocio” Double Perfecto
- Price: $10.50
The cigar looks and feels great, as any double perfecto should! The band remains the same bright orange, having a similar sub-band as the Caixa—replaced by “DeSocio”. The wrapper has an orange-brown hue (whether or not that’s a mind trick I’m not sure) with an oily surface. There are a couple water spots, but the cigar appears very well-constructed overall.
On the nose there is a sharp pepper aroma, with cedar not too far in the distance. This cedar is very evident in the pre-draw, which has a surprisingly easy resistance for the cigar’s shape.
Sweet and cedar-filled flavors engulf the palate with a quick light—followed by a nice, lingering spice in the retrohale. Again, the draw is much better than expected—and though it’s slightly tighter than “perfect”, it’s miles better than most double perfectos. As with the original, there is a noticeable brightness to the profile, with vibrant and lively flavors—as advertised, like a shot of vitamin C!
Medium body, medium/full flavors, and a medium strength level (which is growing steadily) mark the cigar’s current mood. Flavor-wise, there is white pepper on the tongue (as opposed to the usual spiciness in the nostrils), a light and creamy caramel, and a small amount of leather in the backdrop. After the ring gauge opens up to the cigar’s full size, the surprisingly good draw is now virtually perfect.
The “brightness” persists, which I’d love to describe as citrus, I’m only hesitant that I’m falling into the cigar’s oh-so-suggestive marketing… But hey, if orange has me tasting orange—why fight it? Milky smooth creaminess covers the palate, with a floral aroma and retrohale—having a clean finish and virtually no unwanted elements whatsoever.
As the smoke progresses, the strength amps up to around medium+, while the fullness of the flavors pulls back a bit. Final nuances are of wild brush, a touch of anise, caramel, and roasted malts.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
I would! It sure ain’t the cheapest cigar in the Espinosa lineup, but hey, you get what you pay for people. I’d say, if you have the room and perfectos strike your fancy, a box purchase is totally reasonable. For me, the size is a fun way to switch things up, but my favorite size in the lineup is still the Corona Gorda—which seemed to capture a tad bit more of that brightness and vibrance that makes this such a fun smoking experience. If I’m buying, I’ll take 10 of these bad boys (box split) for the ol’ humi.
- Fun, vibrant flavors
- Solid construction/great draw
- Clean (no unwanted harsh qualities)
- Complexity dwindles a bit, crossing the halfway mark