“I smoked this cigar the other day and forgot to tell my wife my whereabouts. When she asked me where I was, I had no alibi – I had already smoked it…”
Now that we have taken care of the necessary pun associated with this cigar, let’s get down to business!
The Alibi is the first release in a new series created by Espinosa Premium Cigars, in where the brand will release select, custom blends available only to Espinosa-branded lounges. Espinosa announced The Backroom Series in late 2014, with its first release, The Alibi, following shortly after. The concept will include future releases of unique blends and may consist of 1 or 2 releases per year.
Espinosa has 3 lounges across the country, including the 601 Cigar Lounge at Casa Belicoso in Walnut Creek, California, Cordova Cigars in Pensacola, Florida, and their newest lounge, located at Smoke Inn VI in Margate, Florida. The cigars were briefly available through Smoke Inn’s online store, but are currently sold out.
The Alibi Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Binder/Filler: Undisclosed
- Factory: La Zona (Estelí, Nicaragua)
- Production: Limited to 200 boxes of 10
- Vitola: 6″ x 48 “Small Churchill”
- Price: $9
The first thing anyone will notice about this release, and one of the contributing factors to the buzz surrounding this cigar, is the interesting (and I mean interesting) packaging. I’ll have to admit, I couldn’t quite figure out what it was when I first saw it, “Maybe some sort of Arabian treasure chest…” I thought. No, this boldly decorated box is modeled after a couch, of all things! Fitting, considering the cigar’s lounge-based concept. I must say, though, there isn’t a single other packaging presentation like it!
The cigars themselves look very nice, with a retro, western style, similar to carnival posters from the late 1800’s; in a cream, black, and bright red color scheme. The red on the band is subtle, but its metallic finish makes it really stand out. There is also a black ribbon on the foot, I’ll say, this cigar looked nice in my humidor.
The Alibi has a darker brown appearance, with hues of red and purple. The exterior is bumpy and wavy, but feels solid–and I love its “Small Churchill” size, with the ring gauge right in my wheelhouse, at 48. On the nose, the Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper smells of pigmented leather, like sitting in a new Cadillac!
A clean cut shows notes of oak and a medium pressure on the draw. I fumbled around trying to get my bearings after the cigar was lit – I’m used to an initial blast of pepper or spice with a cigar like this, but surprisingly, there was none. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t disappointed, merely caught off guard. Soon I noticed delicate notes of cherry tobacco, leather, chestnut, and maple – the palate reminded me of a nice pipe tobacco. This is not your typical start for an Espinosa, but then again, these guys are always offering up something new.
Approaching 2 inches, the ash fell, and along with it came a dousing of the flame, correcting a pretty wavy burn line. Here, the flavors started to intensify, bringing a little bit of familiar spice into the retrohale.
Up until the halfway point, the cigar burned quite fast – of the 70 minutes I spent smoking it, only 25 were spent for its first half! But I think the cigar really came into its own around this point, having a better burn, more vibrant flavors, and fuller body. There was a cold burn of nicotine strength in the back of the nostrils and the flavors were very interesting – notes of creamy chocolate, anise, salted nuts, wood, and earth all contributed. I felt like everything about this cigar was totally different, comparing the 1st half to the 2nd.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
I would, I think there are some serious complexities going on with this smoke and I’d love to see what I could find with a few more – though I may not have the chance, these cigars are completely sold out! I recommend buying a few of these if you ever have the chance.
- Atypical flavors
- Dynamic profile
- Satisfying smoke output
- Wavy burn line
- Required touchups