I don’t know much about this cigar other than it was introduced at the 2014 IPCPR trade show. And what I know about the trade show is that Josh went to it and brought back a bunch of cigars for review. Thank you for all your hard work Josh.
Erik Espinosa did a quick introduction to his Laranja Reserva. His son, Erik Jr. told us the name comes from the slightly orange hue of the Brazilian Habano cover leaf. Orange is a color not often featured on a cigar band which made the Laranja one of the most striking cigars on the show floor. As you can see in the video the Laranja will come in three sizes: 5.625×46 Corona Gorda, 5.5×54 Robusto Extra and a 6×52 Toro.
Rolled: La Zona Factory
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 6×52 (Toro)
Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja
- Exceptional construction, perfect/stiff pack
- No soft spots
- Golden brown/orange wrapper
- Foot – dessert bread, coffee, residual red pepper
- Wrapper – faint earth, faint general tobacco
- Wide open draw, little resistance
- Neutral bread note, slight vegetal off cold draw
The Laranja kicks off with a healthy amount of sharp red pepper through the nose that resonates for around 5 seconds before mellowing-out. A nondescript sweetness coats my palate to a meager degree. Cedar is the most prominent flavor on the palate at this point but still hails to the sharp red pepper on the nose. At the 1-inch mark, a gingerbread flavor makes an entrance. Smoke characteristic is slightly arid but not abrasive on the palate. Finish during the first third is the resonating red pepper through the nose along with the sweet gingerbread tone on the palate that dissipates within 5-seconds. Medium body. Mild-Medium strength.
The red pepper on the nose continues to dominate. It’s not overbearing in its intensity, but due to the fact that the other flavors aren’t as strong, it stands out. The gingerbread note would be the most discernible tone on the palate throughout the 2nd third. Undertones of cedar, coffee & a very faint anise occur during this third. Once again the smoke characteristic manages to be arid while not drying-out my palate. The finish in the 2nd third is composed of the resonating red pepper on the nose, while gingerbread & coffee stick around for 7-10 seconds on the palate. Medium body. Medium strength.
The Laranja develops a “velvety” characteristic in the final third. It’s a sensation that is hard to put into words. I attribute it to the smoke characteristic becoming less arid & more silky/velvety while the red pepper backs-off in intensity, letting the overall profile become a more balanced experience. Flavor-wise the gingerbread becomes more of a caramel-like sweetness accompanied by baking spices. The coffee & cedar remain as undertones but are now joined by a faint dried apricot. The medium-length finish in the final third contains notes of red pepper with light caramel & baking spices. Medium-full body. Medium strength.
There’s no better sign of a Santa Fe than an abundance of red pepper, and The Laranja had it in spades for the majority of the cigar. There wasn’t any dry earth which is also a key characteristic of this class, but the pepper, with the cedar & caramel put this cigar at home in the Santa Fe class.
For the first & second third, this cigar was IV. Pleasant. To me it was a good, spicy cigar that I could see pairing well with alcohol. But the final third is where it became another cigar. The way it balanced itself out while taking on the velvety characteristics easily made this cigar III. Satisfying for me, it finished on a high note to say the least. Although it became III. Satisfying at the end, for the other two thirds it was IV. Pleasant. Factoring this into quality placement, The Laranja Reserva Toro receives a high IV. Pleasant.