Sippin' with Stogies
Trinidad Espiritu Series No. 2
Origin Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Brazilian Arapiraca
Binder and Filler: Brazil, Nicaragua
Vitola: Robusto, 5 x 50
What makes it special:
I was drawn to this cigar for its Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper but found it had much more to offer beneath the surface. After trying the Espiritu Series No. 2 in every vitola, I find myself with a renewed respect for Brazilian tobacco and especially how it blends with Nicaraguan.
What strikes me:
One of the things that fascinates me is the impact a vitola may – or may not – have on a cigar’s palate. Some cigars taste completely different when smoked as a box-press vs. a lancero, but not the Espiritu Series No. 2. If you love the Toro, you’ll love the robusto and the lancero (Fundador) for the same great flavors and smoking experience.
Visual / Pre-light Draw
The Espiritu Series No. 2 looks remarkably well-constructed, so even it’s almost as if it were 3D--printed. Some lines and veins faintly show, but so smoothly that it’s difficult to see where they begin and end. The pre--light draw is earthy but tangy--sweet, like pure cocoa powder with a hint of coffee. The texture of the wrapper is velvety to the touch and exceptionally consistent.
The tanginess of the Arapiraca wrapper lends flavor before the smoke even comes in – a worthy announcement of the forthcoming flavor. The first third is straightforward and delicious, rich and full of very dark chocolate and a naturally sweet espresso. It’s a full-bodied cigar constructed perfectly, with just the right draw and a near-perfect burn. There is some complexity that adds to the flavor, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… maybe a rich raisin rounding out the flavor profile. I suspect it’s coming from the Nicaraguan binder complementing the Brazilian. The flavor is something special; not peppery, just full, smooth and tasty.
The burn is perfect as the first band comes off, and the cigar tastes a bit more complex but smoother at the same time. The dark chocolate notes are still there but they’re not in center stage. The same applies to the notes of espresso; there’s more earthiness, but it’s not “dull” at all. This smoke is still full of flavor. There’s a brief hint of cinnamon in the puff but it doesn’t linger.
Not a touch--up yet, and the cigar burns evenly with rich, heavy ash. In its final third the Espiritu Series No. 2 has reached full--strength but still has its flavor. The draw has remained consistent throughout, and the wrapper still kisses every draw with its tanginess. Notes of raisin still peek through and complement the cocoa notes, even down to the nub. This cigar is a rare treat in that, in the final third, it’s still as difficult to put down as it was in the first. The robusto was used for this review, but this is a great cigar in any size.
I paired the Espiritu Series No. 2 with Four Roses Yellow, which came highly recommended at the lounge as a “staple for my collection”. I’m happy I took the recommendation, as the pairing was surprising but pleasant with somewhat contrasting flavors. Four Roses Yellow is 40% ABV, which I felt let those flavors come through well. The nose was sweet like honey, followed by caramel and vanilla on the tongue – which paired well with the cocoa and espresso notes of the Espiritu Series No. 2. I picked up some fruit flavors but they didn’t seem to interfere. There was a very brief kick of spice that quickly mellowed back out to a sweeter, caramel finish. I’d say it was a good pairing.