Sunday, August 17, 2008

Esencia (Corona Gorda)

Photobucket


.

The Esencia cigar is yet another full flavored cigar coming out of this year's IPCPR show. I think that it is following in the footsteps of last year's successful new brand, Illusione. Like Illusione cigars, the Esencia is also a Nicaraguan puro. It uses what the makers call an "Old World Havana" blend of Criollo and Corojo tobacco for the fillers and binder. The wrapper is Nicaraguan Corojo. There are four vitolas available (belicoso, corona gorda, petite corona and robusto) and the prices range from $5.58 to $8 a cigar. They come packaged in boxes of 21.

.

The cigar is the creation of BOTL , suppliers of Palio cutters. I recently heard an interview done by Doc of Stogie Fresh with Marc Aub of Palio cutters. He explains that Esencia is Spanish for essence. Since the fall of 2007, BOTL/Palio wanted to create a cigar whose "essence" would be a throwback Cuban blend of the highest quality. (Very similar to Dion Giolitto's quest to create a throwback full flavored pre-Sandinista Nicaraguan cigar with his Illusione brand.)

.

I decided to try the corona gorda and petite corona sizes for this brand. After having smoked one of each, I decided that I much prefer the corona gorda size because it showed a better balance of flavors compared to the petite corona which had overwhelmingly strong burnt flavors. The corona gorda has a nice feel to it at 46 ring gauge by 5 and 5/8 inches. This cigar benefits well with extra filler and you may want to keep that in mind when you are ready to try it.

.

The cigar overall looks very attractive. It is neatly rolled and has a nice dark wrapper which feels smooth to the touch. The cigar band is simple yet elegant looking except for the cartoon-like white horses on each side of the name. One drawback I had was a small crack near the cap. As long as I kept it covered up when I took a draw, it posed no problem. The rest of my cigars did seem a little dry and some of them had problems with pieces of the wrapper splitting even though I placed them in my humidor as soon as I got them.

.

Examining the cigar, I could see that the ligero is distributed nicely in the center. The cigar has a nice earthy aroma and warm spices can be detected on the pre-light draw. The draw was free and clear with no resistance despite the cigar feeling nicely packed.

.

The initial flavors were similar to an Illusione cigar. It starts off with rich full flavors and a creamy full body. Charred wood and spice with pepper and cinnamon on the back end. There was a nice caramel sweetness and roasted nuts flavor as well. I thought the blend showed nice balance and smoothness. Eventually some rich leather flavor develops while still retaining it's sweetness. The heat tones down a bit in the second third but still remains spicy with cinnamon notes. The last third gets richer and earthier while the spice creeps up on you on the finish. The final stages are not as sweet and there is some bitterness as the cigar burns hotter.

.

The best part of this cigar was the nice easy draw and the thick plumes of smoke that is generated with each draw. I felt bad for my neighbor who was sitting outside the same time I was smoking this cigar. It just happened that he was downwind of my "mini smokestack". Hopefully he found the aroma to be pleasant.

.

The worse part of this cigar was the ash. It was flaky and dirty looking. (Sort of like the Alec Bradley Tempus) It didn't hold on very well and I wouldn't recommend smoking this cigar while driving unless you want to catch hot ash in your lap. I've heard that a pretty ash is reflective of the minerals contained in the soil. If so, this cigar definitely needs a good multi-vitamin.

.

Overall, the bottom line is the flavor and for the Esencia brand I will go against my preferences for thinner cigars and say that bigger is probably better to enjoy what this cigar has to offer. The petite corona was way too strong in burnt flavors. It had nothing in it to balance out the bitterness whereas the corona gorda was just fantastic in it's harmonious blend. The caramel sweetness worked well with the pepper spice to make this cigar interesting. It's earthiness and creaminess will satisfy all lovers of full flavored, full bodied cigars. I would definitely smoke this one again. Plus, it shows great aging potential if you have the patience to do so.

2 comments:

Niko said...

Great review, I have been wanting to try this cigar... Then I will post up my own review.

Lisa B. said...

Hey Niko! Thanks brother, I look forward to reading your views on this cigar. Take care.