This year at IPCPR Espinosa Cigars launched a line extension to the very popular Laranja Reserva line that was released last year. The Caixa, Portuguese for box, is a box pressed corona gorda that hit shelves in the middle of the year. The Laranja, Portuguese for orange, was named after the Brazilian wrapper which is featured on this cigar line. Portuguese is still spoken widely in Brazil so Espinosa ran with it. The Wrapper coloring is slightly orange hued giving the basis for the name. The Caixa is produced at Espinosa’s La Zona Factory in Nicaragua.
Vitolas: The Laranja Reserva is currently available in three vitolas, a Corona Gorda at 5 5/8 x 46 a Robusto Extra at 5 1/2 x 54, and a Toro at 6 x 52 and the Caixa is the fourth vitola at 6 1/2×48. All vitolas come in 20 count boxes.
Blend: Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja
Appearance: The Caixa featured that Laranja band that really pops, with white background featuring orange and gold. The Caixa also has the standard orange ribbon at the foot, something I really like and respect due to the added protection it provides the foot of a cigar. The wrapper is a golden brown with just a hint of an orange shade to it, no flaws appear to be evident from an inspection. The cigar is box pressed but not sharply, the cap is still mostly rounded.
Pre-Light: The Laranja Caixa gives an earthy note from the wrapper with a distinct cocoa smell on the foot. The cold draw has some slight citrus notes and cinnamon.
1st Third: The first third opens with cinnamon and baking spice, some black pepper is noticed after a little bit. As the first third of the Caixa progresses I begin to notice a slight citrus note, but not sweet.
2nd Third: As I move into the second third of the Caixa I notice the spice begins to fade on the palate and give way to a very earthy flavor and caramel note. The late stages of the second third start to give me a nice cedar flavor and just a bit of tang or sharpness.
Last Third: The Caixa continues the last third pretty much the same as the second. The flavors become a bit more concentrated and the woody notes are powerful. At this point the tangy notes begin to fade out. There is a return of just a bit of spice. After the removal of the band a leather note starts to show up, it mingles very well with the rest of the flavors. The Laranja Caixa was very smooth to the end, allowing a nubbing of the cigar.
Construction: The construction of the Caixa is spot on. There were never any issues and the cigar performed beautifully to the end. The nub never became too soft and the cigar was very smoke-able all the way down. The ash was a bit flaky, although I cannot ding the construction for that as this is a box pressed cigar and some of the tobacco is intentionally crushed in the process.
Burn: The burn was fantastic on the Laranja Caixa. There were never any issues with touch ups or relights. The cigar was straight as a razor throughout the entire smoke.
Final Assessment: Overall I am very impressed with the Caixa, as I was with the Laranja the first time around. This vitola is a great addition to the line and a big hit for Erik Espinosa and La Zona. The flavors should appeal to any veteran smoker while the smooth smoke and medium strength make this cigar perfect for the novice as well.