At this years IPCPR trade show in Las Vegas, Arandoza Cigars released their new Red Label cigar, which will join the Blue and the White label, rounding out the Arandoza line. The red label is billed as a much more full bodied release than the previous two and this one is sporting a dark, rich maduro Mexican San Andreas wrapper. I will be smoking and reviewing the 6×52 Toro vitola.
For those unfamiliar with the Arandoza line, these are made at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli Nicaragua. La Zona has been pumping out some great stuff the last couple of years, such as the Espinosa Habano, La Jugada Prieto and Habano, as well as the new Laranja Reserva.
Tale of the tape…
- Manufacturer: Arandoza Cigars
- Factory: La Zona
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Vitola: Toro
- Length: 6”
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Box Count: 20
- Price: $8.50
So lets cut the head of this triple capped beast and see how she smokes. Typical of any La Zona cigar, the Arandoza Red Label has a near perfect draw and right off the bat I can tell this is going to be a strong, strong cigar. With a triple helping of ligero, this cigar is not for beginners and you had better have had a full meal before embarking in this journey, because this is a powerful full-bodied stick.
The flavors I am picking up are of dark fruits, maybe like if you combined a cherry with a raisin. Yet at the same time there is a really nice milky cream finish that rounds out the flavor in really pleasant way. I’m not kidding you when I tell you that after the first couple of draws this cigar literally numbed my tongue a bit with its raw power. That numbing power blast quickly departs, but be prepared because this stick remains strong from start to finish.
As I worked my way down the stick, I start picking up the flavor of hickory beef jerky along with a leathery richness. The retrohale on the Arandoza Red Label is a zing of white pepper followed by the now subdued dark cherry flavor. In all honesty, I am not a huge fan of super strong sticks, but I have to say I am enjoying this one and maybe it’s because this cigar has a full enough flavor to cut through my palette – which I had recently abused at the Rocky Mountain Cigar Festival.
The burn was wavy and uneven, and the ash was a bit flaky and unpredictable, but none of that adversely affected my smoking experience.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes. While I don’t consider myself a huge fan of the “in your face” MEGA strong cigars, this one had a lot of character and flavor and was able to penetrate my wounded palette. This is a cigar that you should smoke at night with a pour of bourbon that can compete with this cigars raw power.
- Full flavor
- Makes for an excellent pairing cigar
- Wavy burn throughout (touchups)