Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Cafe
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Factory: La Zona
Brand: Espinosa
Size: 5 x 52
Source: IPCPR 2016
CigarNoise Price Range: $8 – $10

Espinosa Pier 28 – Opening Thoughts

Until 2017, the Espinosa Pier 28 will remain a west coast exclusive cigar.  The rollout at the 2016 IPCPR in Las Vegas featured their Habano line of the Pier 28.  In August, Espinosa announced the addition of three further offerings of the Pier 28.  Maduro, Sumatra and Connecticut versions will join the Habano Pier 28.

Reportedly 13 years in the making, Pier 28 was made for Espinosa’s west coast representative, Tim Wong.  The cigar is available in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.  All Espinosa lounges have access to Pier 28 as well.

The Pier 28 I’m reviewing is a gorgeous cigar with a smooth habano wrapper that’s velvety to the touch.  Smells from the wrapper include cocoa, cedar and a hint of barnyard scent.  I choose a straight cut to remove the cap and experience the cold draw.  Cocoa, hay and spice dance together nicely making me eager to light this cigar and get smoking.

Espinosa Pier 28

Espinosa Pier 28 – First Third

Oak, Cashew, Cocoa, Citrus, White Pepper, Baked Bread, Cedar, Licorice

My first few puffs produce smoke heavy with oak, cashew and cocoa flavors.  The short finish has an interesting citrus note with lingering pepper that covers my whole mouth.  It is mild but distinct, with a bitter note lingering in the profile as well.  I won’t be sorry to see it disappear as I venture through the beginning stage of this cigar.

Baked bread and cedar in the retro hale are smooth and creamy in nature, providing a pleasant addition.  I find myself enjoying the retro hale very much on every draw.  Nearing the end of this third, the bitterness is gone and taking it’s place is a licorice sweetness on my tongue.  Every time I set the cigar down to jot tasting notes, smoke continues to produce heavily in the rest.  It’s satisfyingly aromatic in the area around me.

To speak on the construction of the cigar, the burn line is wavy and slightly choppy, but the ash holds together like a champ.  This first section ends with the bright ash hanging off the end.  The draw during this first portion was snug – it isn’t requiring a lot of work on my part, but it isn’t a particularly easy draw either.

Espinosa Pier 28

Espinosa Pier 28 – Middle Third

Cedar, Cream, Cocoa, Licorice, White Pepper, Cherry, Vanilla

Just as I pick up the cigar from the rest to start this third, the ash falls in a nice solid piece.  It’s white with barely any mess at all.  Cedar rolls in to push the oak notes aside.  Following the cedar in profile are cream, cocoa and the same licorice note I tasted previously.  Finishing strong, white pepper washes over my palate with a tingling effect.

The flavor profile makes another positive change, dropping any hint of bitterness to mess things up.  The retro hale remains warm, charged with cedar and towing along mild hints of cherry and vanilla.  The finish is short, but rewarding.  Notably, the draw has loosened considerably, complimenting the second third nicely.  This improved draw is producing considerably more smoke.  The smoke is quite thick and satisfying.

In addition to the 5 x 52 size I am smoking today, Pier 28 is available in 6 x 46, a box-pressed 6 x 50 and a 6 x 60 as well.  Aficionados should be able to find a cigar to their liking somewhere in the line-up from Espinosa.

Espinosa Pier 28

Espinosa Pier 28 – Final Third

Cedar, Cream, White Pepper

Picking up right where it left off, the final stage of the Pier 28 kicks off with cedar ruling the roost, joined by a nice cream note in the profile and, if anything, the peppery finish has kicked up a notch in this final third.

The complexity of Pier 28 is definitely waning in the final minutes.  Smoke production suddenly falls off and I find myself holding a dead cigar.  I re-light it and continue on.  After my re-light, the smoke is light and airy, losing the billowy essence it had earlier on.

WIth just a short bit of cigar remaining, the heat from the cigar and the drop in smoke production leads me to call it quits.

Espinosa Pier 28

Espinosa Pier 28 Review
8.7 Reviewer
0 Cigar Noise Network (0 votes)
Pros

Good Construction

Middle Third Perfection

Affordable Pricepoint

Cons

Bitterness in First Third

Linear Flavors Final Third

Smoke Production Final Third

Required Re-Light

Summary
I enjoyed most of the Pier 28. Had the bitter note been absent from the first third, I'd have enjoyed that part more thoroughly. The middle section of Pier 28 really rocked though, producing complex flavors and smoke for days. Unfortunately, it ended with far less complexity and required a re-light. Those two low notes found me less fulfilled with the final third. I'd really like to try this cigar again in 6 months or so to see if the flavors improve at the beginning and end of the experience.
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Enjoyment
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Ted

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