Espinosa is one of the stops along the journey that is a little extra exciting since they had an award to receive this year. Hector J Alfonso was the recipient of our 2022 Man of the Year Award. You can see that presentation in our interview with Hector below. Outside of that, it is a more popular booth at the show between the Knuckle Sandwich and Guy Fieri collaboration and the fact that Espinosa is one of those brands that has done a great job of creating such a cult following.
Situated closer to the front near Foundation Cigar Co, Espinosa is in a slightly larger booth than last year, and even larger since 2021. I must say, very colorful, plenty of branding and an abundance of space for retailers to come in and relax as they do business in the booth. Most of the booth uses red and white with the Espinosa logo except for a section at the far left which is reserved for Knuckle Sandwich and the place where Guy Fieri was in the booth for a few days towards the beginning of the show. As far as what Espinosa brought with them for display, here is what we saw…and didn’t see.
First of all, Espinosa announced they would be adding a 6 x 60 to four of their lines: 601 Blue, Laranja Escuro, Knuckle Sandwich Habano and Knuckle Sandwich Maduro. None of these were on display as only one box of each was brough to PCA and they didn’t last long after an event with Guy Fieri. We are told these are expected to release this summer and will be available in the following prices and box formats:
601 Blue (6 x 60): $11.95; Box of 20
Laranja Escuro (6 x 60); $13.35; Box of 10
Knuckle Sandwich Habano (6 x 60); $14.00; Box of 20
Knuckle Sandwich Maduro (6 x 60); $14.00; Box of 20
The next version of the 601 La Bomba Warhead made its debut with the IX. The newest release is a Nicaraguan puro with a Nicaraguan broadleaf wrapper. It is a 6 x 56 perfecto and will retail for $13, or a box of 10 for $130. Production is limited to 5,000 boxes and shipped back in June.
The fifth release of the highly sought after Las 6 Provincias line was also on display and will go by the name of ZDT. ZDT stands for Zona de Tabaco, a reference to the primary tobacco growing region in Cuba called Pinar de Rio. It comes in a beautiful jar designed by Cuban-born artist Eden Gutierrez who has worked on previous versions of Las 6 Provincias.
Just like the Warhead IX, ZDT is a Nicaraguan puro, and uses a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper. ZDT measures 6 1/2 x 48 and comes in jars of 20 cigars. Each jar has an MSRP of $360 or $18 per cigar. Expect to see these sometime in October.
Last year at PCA, we saw a limited edition of the Knuckle Sandwich for the first time called Chef Special. This year we saw a second installment of using the same name and the same 6 1/2 x 52 box-pressed figurado but with a different blend. This year’s blend uses Ecuador Sumatra over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. These are manufactured at the San Lotano factory in Nicaragua and the total production will be 15,000 cigars or 1,500 boxes total. Pricing is set at $150 per box or $15 per cigar. These are expected to ship to retailers in July.
Also in the Knuckle Sandwich realm was the addition of the Prix Fixe sampler. It features nine cigars, three from each of the core lines: maduro, habano and Connecticut. All of the cigars are a 5 x 58 figurado and the entire set retails for $162. The box also features a Knuckle Sandwich challenge coin that I am sure will become a collectable amongst consumers. Production is limited to only 1,500 boxes/13,500 cigars total and will ship this month.
But wait, there’s more. In addition to both of those products, a third Knuckle Sandwich release was being waved around at PCA 2023, a three pack robusto (5 x 52) sampler with one of each of the core blends inside. Each pack has a retail price of $29.95 and will hit retailers in August. This will be a regular production item.
Make sure to check out our interview with Hector Alfonso below from PCA 2023.
Born and raised in New England, Matthew Tabacco began smoking cigars and living up to his unique namesake in 2017. What began as just a social indulgence became a world of everything premium cigars- learning from some of the biggest and best in the business. From casual smoking to lighting up on the hit podcast The Smokin Tabacco Show, Matthew can usually be found in some of the largest smoke shops in the Northeast enjoying a cigar, talking business, or preparing for a show.