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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Espinosa Alpha Dawg Corona Gorda
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Chuck (Cfickter)
87
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member 05Venturer (Kent).  The cigar provided for this round is the Espinosa Alpha Dawg Corona Gorda.

Those who have attended an Espinosa event already know all about the Alpha Dawg. For those who don’t, let me give you a brief backstory. This uh… interestingly named cigar used to be an event only cigar for Espinosa’s biggest fans. Word and demand quickly spread though, and people wanted to get their hands on this awesome handmade. Well, luckily, Espionsa is letting the Dawgs out, and has pushed Alpha Dawg into regular production for all to enjoy.

Offered in lovingly dressed boxes of ten, Espinosa Alpha Dawg uses a Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper over Nicaragun binder and long-filler in order to create a cigar that will satisfy even the biggest appetite. The wrapper itself is special, bringing tons of rich dark chocolate, espresso, earthiness, and a big of dark fruity flavors with each puff. It’s complex and chewy, as dense peppery spice works its way in and out of the profile. Alpha Dawg is a medium to full-bodied treat, and after trying one you’ll be howling for more. Alright, that’s enough dog jokes for one day.


Length:
5.5
Ring Gauge:
46
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Nicaragua
Wrapper:
Habano
Color:
Rosado
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Corona Extra

This cigar was enjoyed with Dark Roast Coffee, Black

Pre-Light: 18 Points of 20 Possible

Nice presentation with a good-looking band and matching cloth foot band.  Wrapper has a nice medium brown color, very toothy, with very noticeable leaf edges and plenty of veins. Very hard to the feel, aroma has a light chocolate and graham cracker.  Cold draw shows a very light spice

Light & Burn: 14 Points of 15 Possible

Cap cut was very clean (XIkar XO) with no fraying or loose cap ends.  Very quick to light, initial burn was slightly wobbly but mostly due to the constant wind.  During the course of smoking the burn self-corrected. Smoke volume started very light and wispy but later increased and more smoke was generated. Ash was very layered but held well for the smaller gauge.  It tended to stay lit even after longer rests.  No tunneling or canoeing was experienced.

Construction: 27 Points of 30 Possible

Very firm body that slightly softened as the smoke progressed.  Toothy wrapper with plenty of veins. Cap held both the shape and edges very well.  Wrapper held together very well with no loose edges or ends.  Draw was excellent

Flavor: 28 Points of 35 Possible

The first third opened with a surprising harshness.  Not pepper, not ammonia. Hit the mid tongue very hard.  First retrohale showed strong pepper notes.  The harshness slowly disappeared, and more earthy and woody tones appeared.  Towards the end of the 1/3 some of the pre-light spices began to show up including the graham cracker notes.  Retrohale still very peppery.

The second third continues much as the first third ended with the spices still showing. Feeling a slight burn in the throat.  A reemergence of the earthy and woody notes.  Retrohale still shows a pepper note , but perhaps a little more toned down.

The last third continues with the earth and wood notes, retro-hale has really mellows and a slightly nutty taste appears.  Things really improve in overall profile, the last half of this final third is the cigar I was hoping for.  Much more balanced and creamy


Summary

The opening harshness probably influenced the taste through out the rest of the smoke.  It more than likely covered up some of the more subtle flavors initially. Overall perhaps not the Best AJ I have smoked but would consider smoking again



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