Published on May 13th, 2014 | by0
Espinosa La Zona Habano Robusto
The last review I did was of the Espinosa Habano. While this one is also an Espinosa and also a Habano, this is the La Zona. The La Zona Habano is another Nicaraguan Puro that is a no frills, medium strength, medium-full flavored “bargain” cigar that has nice notes of spice, grass, graham cracker, earth, and wood.
- Made By:Espinosa Premium Cigars at La Zona Factory
- Wrapper:Nicaraguan Habano
- Average Price:$3+
- Ring Gauge:52
I went into some of the history about Erik Espinosa and how Espinosa Premium Cigars came to be in the last review. I won’t rehash all of that for this review, just go here to check it out. Or look up the Espinosa Habano review on Seth’s Humidor, where I go most of the info!
After the success of the Habano, Erik went with a bargain style cigar that most any smoker can afford, the La Zona. It is named after his factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. But don’t confuse the Habano and the La Zona; the La Zona has its name on the top band and does not have the foot band. The Habano just says it was made at La Zona on the foot band.
From there, don’t confuse the La Zona Habano from the Connecticut, which is very easy to do. The La Zona Habano has a slightly darker wrapper and the band is more of a grayish-green. The Connecticut has a lighter wrapper and more of a yellow-green band. The differences are very subtle! Both blends come in two vitolas; a robusto and super toro. They are available in bundles of 20 and crates of 80.
Just like the Habano, the La Zona sample was sent to us from Espinosa Premium Cigars. We are grateful for the samples, but their generosity will not affect the rating.
The La Zona Habano is by no means a flashy cigar. It has a light brown wrapper with several veins and rough, raised seams. I can see a few lumps where some stems seem to be lying under the surface. Even the cap is a little lumpy looking. Despite the rugged appearance, the foot looks well packed, even with a slightly flattened edge on one side.
The band is also lackluster. As mentioned earlier, the band color is grayish-green with black print. There are some black dots all over it as well. The edges are cut in a wavy pattern. Quite frankly, it looks very cheap. The good thing about it is that it slides off easily when its time to remove it.
The La Zona Habano feels like it looks: bumpy! The lumps under the wrapper and the veins make it feel like some rocky terrain. However, it also feels solid and I do not detect any soft spots. There is just a slight give the barrel when squeezed.
Like the other Habano, the foot has a molasses and earth aroma. The barrel aroma is faint as well, but has a grass and earth smell to it.
I clip the cap, but it is tough to get a clean cut. I have to snip at the edges to get the entire cap off. This probably has more to do with my cutter blades needing a good cleaning than the cigar. The draws reveal decent airflow. The only note I can detect is earth.
It’s time to light this La Zona Habano up. Using a single flame torch, I am able to light the cigar pretty easily and evenly. The cigar burns evenly throughout the smoke, which is always good!
The ash is mostly gray and white. It starts to bend after about a ½” and hangs on until the ¾” mark. I decide to go ahead and tap it off. It looked a little loose so I decided to play it safe!
The draw is pretty good on the La Zona, but is a little tight. I do have to take double pulls to get enough smoke, but it is certainly manageable. I was hoping it would open up as it went along but it never really did.
The Espinosa La Zona Habano is not a cigar that is going to wow you in appearance, drawing you in with flashy presentation to snag a sale. It has certainly been a “no-frills” cigar so far. But, if you have read any of my other reviews, you know that flavor is the most important factor for me. Did it deliver?
The first third begins with a spicy mix of black and white pepper. That is about all I can taste for the first several puffs. Then a nice grass flavor creeps in. Partnered with the retrohale, it almost tastes like lemongrass, but not exactly. It might just be the grass plus the spice, which is essentially the same thing, minus the lemon, I guess. Some graham cracker sweetness enters near the end of this section.
In the second-third, the spice has become white pepper and is still rather fragrant. This has given way to some nice floral notes along with the grass and graham cracker. Some earth develops as well.
The final third continues with the same flavors. As it progresses, the graham and spice start to die down and a strong wood note appears. The grass/semi-lemongrass note is still hanging in there all the way till the end.
The Espinosa La Zona Habano is a medium strength/medium-full flavor cigar that was very tasty. Despite the somewhat loose ash and slightly tight draw, I had no issues while smoking it. The total smoke time was right at 1 hour 30 minutes.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Would I Buy a Box?
I would get a bundle but not a full crate, but that’s because I don’t smoke the same cigar everyday. I like variety!
The Espinosa La Zona Habano is a deceptive cigar. If I saw it on the shelf, I would probably walk right past it because of how plain it looks. However, once I lit it up, I was pleasantly surprised with how flavorful it was. I felt the same way the first time I smoked the La Zona Connecticut. In fact, these cigars taste very similar to me and I enjoyed them both. For the price, I can’t really think of a cigar that I’ve enjoyed more than both of these La Zonas. If you are on the fence about giving it a try, just do it already!