In 2012—the inaugural year for both Espinosa Premium Cigars and Cigar Dojo—the newly formed cigar manufacturer became the first cigar to claim the top spot for the newly formed cigar blog/app (Espinosa Habano). This cigar managed to distinctively capture the “Joe six-pack” spirit of our list, which was initially limited to cigars in the $10 price range. But with six years of maturing, both companies have evolved and adapted to the appetite of hungry cigar enthusiasts; evidenced by Cigar Dojo’s modern-day price cap of $20, and countered by Espinosa’s most expensive offering to date: Las 6 Provincias LHB ($16.50 per cigar).

While Espinosa has become a fan-favorite brand in craft-minded circles—known for offering big flavors at low price points—the 2018 release of Las 6 Provincias LHB proved that the company could compete in the luxury-priced market as well. The cigars are the brainchild of Erik Espinosa, Jr. (son of company owner Erik Espinosa), being the first in a planned six-part series, each themed around one of the original six provinces of pre-Castro-era Cuba.

And while the majority of Espinosa’s cigars have been rolled at Erik’s own La Zona factory in Estelí, Las 6 Provincias LHB differentiates itself from the pack, being produced at A.J. Fernández’s remote San Lotano factory in Ocotal (50 miles north of Estelí). This premium-minded blend features a dark Ecuadorian Habano 2000 wrapper, built around all-Nicaraguan binder/fillers. The blend is then box-pressed and, as with multiple other cigars on our year-end list, rolled in a singular format. The resulting cigar is practically incomparable to anything else in the company’s vast portfolio, showing a calculated profile that progresses smoothly and deliberately from start to finish. Gone is the “amped-up Habano” profile that the brand has become known for, replaced with deeper and (perhaps) more sophisticated flavors of mineral, punchy horseradish spice, prune juice (especially on the finish), brown sugar, and atypical, clove-like spices. This profile is heavy and contemplative, requiring the smoker’s full attention to be best appreciated.

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Las 6 Provincias LHB Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano 2000
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: San Lotano (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitolas: 1
  • Price: $16.50 (MSRP)

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