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Cigar Review: Espinosa Alpha Dawg Short Churchill

14 Aug 2019

Even without the name and the black-and-white sketch of cigar maker Erik Espinosa on the box top, this cigar would stand out. The Habano Rosado wrapper is nearly flawless and has a nut-like pre-light aroma.

The profile begins with pepper, befitting the Nicaraguan binder and filler. Performance is excellent: solid burn, tight ash, lots of smoke, and a good draw. It does, however, burn a little fast.

There are quite a few changes along the way. The pepper recedes a bit after the start, giving way to woodsy notes and spice. Other flavors include a honey sweetness, espresso, and leather. Strength is generally in the upper range of medium, tending to increase somewhat as the cigar burns down.

I’ve smoked a box of the Short Churchills and found them very consistent from cigar to cigar.

Alpha Dawg comes in three sizes, all packaged in boxes of 10. The Short Churchills (6 x 48) list for $8.75 each. The two other sizes are a Corona Gorda (5.6 x 46) and Robusto (5 x 50).

The cigar began life as an event-only stick, chosen by attendees from three blends presented a few years ago at an event celebrating cigars from Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. According to Espinosa, demand pushed it into regular production.

I’ve gone on record before about silly cigar names. And I’d have to put Alpha Dawg into that category, though I probably should add an asterisk.

I can’t say I know Espinosa, but I have met and talked with him several times, and he’s an interesting, larger-than-life sort of guy. It’s that personality that makes me believe the name and presentation overall comes with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The Alpha Dawg is an interesting, satisfying smoke, especially for those who like Nicaraguan tobacco and appreciate subtlety. I recommend the cigar and give it four stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Cigar Review: Espinosa Alpha Dawg Short Churchill”

  1. pRCKqIdDTznP Friday, August 16, 2019 at 9:15 pm #
  2. Stan Walker Friday, August 16, 2019 at 10:52 pm #

    I met Erik at an event in KC and found him to be very personable and entertaining. He recommended the Laranja and has turned out to be a go to for me. Have tried several other of his blends and have to say I haven’t been disappointed. Look forward to finding this one and giving it a try.
    Thanks for the article.

  3. XOAjFKCpJRnf Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 1:03 am #

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