Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
Size: 5 x 54 “Robusto Grande” (Measures 5.5 x 56)
Price: $6.50 MSRP
NOTICE: I review cigars first thing in the morning when my palate is fresh and unencumbered by any previous cigars. What I taste may differ from what you taste if this is your 6th cigar in a row. Since I am retired, I chain smoke all day long and must cleanse my palate prior to lighting up each new cigar. Methods for cleansing a palate are different for everyone. I like to use fresh fruit or yogurt.
Through my research, I discovered that AJ Fernandez blends most of the sticks for Esteban Carreras. I have reviewed the standard EC Nicaraguan Habano.
The EC web site is seriously devoid of information about their cigars.
From Atlantic Cigars:
“Esteban Carreras cigars launched a new line in 2012 called the “Esteban Carreras Chupa Cabra,” after the creature from Central American folklore that has been scaring young children for generations. For grownups this name now signifies a great medium to full-bodied smoke made of 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos. The Esteban Carreras Chupa Cabra cigars are available in either a dark brown Habano Oscuro or a darker Maduro wrapper.
“The cigars are rolled with a closed foot and a pigtail head, and come packaged in 20 count boxes. The blend starts off slow but soon builds in flavor and strength, delivering notes of wood, spice, coffee, chocolate and good amounts of pepper on the finish. The Esteban Carreras Chupa Cabra cigars are a very good smoke and at a great price point that won’t scare you away, despite its name.”
Construction is excellent. Tight seams. Very few veins. And the color is gorgeous in the sunlight. It is the color of hot cocoa. With a golden oily sheen that I don’t know if I can convey through my photos. The pigtail is huge. The closed foot is expertly done. The stick is jam packed with tobacco but with the right amount of give.
There are double bands. The main one is the standard Esteban Carreras band with a singular brown band with gold lettering stating the blend: Chupa Cabra. And yes, regardless of what you read elsewhere, it is two words; not one.
The myth of the Chupa Cabra is based around a horrifying little animal in American folklore that is said to go around and suck the blood from farm animals. It is popular in Central America for photographs to pop up that show the victims of the Chupa Cabra. And cruel parents use this myth to scare the bejeezus out of their misbehaving children.
The cigar comes in 5 sizes: 5.5 x 54, 6 x 54, 6 x 50, 6 x 60, and 6 x 44.
I find aromas of spice, sweetness, nuttiness, tart citrus, cocoa, coffee, dried fruit, smoky BBQ, and earthiness. Wow.
Time to light up.
Very sweet. And some nuttiness and cocoa. A bit of butterscotch. And a smidgen of pepper. The draw is excellent. The cigar is billed as a 54 ring gauge but I measured it and it is definitely a 56 so this is a big log in my mouth. Gives me nightmares of the time I spent in San Quentin.
The cocoa becomes hot cocoa. A nice, well rounded milk chocolate. The red pepper begins to slowly build.
The sweetness factor spreads out. There is that butterscotch but also some caramel. And a rock candy sweetness.
This should make you laugh…My wife asked me to move the daughter’s truck from the driveway so she could get her truck out of the garage and go to work. As I got to the porch, I slipped on ice and flew backwards, into the air, and into the dirt bed below, with bushes covered in icicles. I was on my back, couldn’t catch my breath, and stuck. I flew so high into the air that my feet didn’t even touch the porch as I lay there.
It took me a good 10 minutes to see if I had broken anything. I don’t think I did but I did tear the shit out of my hands and are covered in blood and hurt like a sonovabitch. I flipped over carefully and then I slowly climbed out with pain shooting lightning bolts up my bad back. I couldn’t have been in a worse position for getting out.
Now I have to go upstairs and bandage all my wounds. Be right back. It amazes me that even at 64, I may be a klutz, but I’m a tough old bird
OK. I’m back. Lots of bandages and the adrenaline and shock are beginning to wear off. And here comes the pain. I’ve got the shakes. But the Reviewer’s Union clearly states that short of death of the reviewer, no injuries will allow him to abstain from finishing a review. And I signed it. Drat.
I’m dripping blood on to the keyboard of my laptop. This would look great on YouTube.
The tobacco has a very nice flavor. It is earthy, rich, and has a broad spectrum of flavor. The char line is wavy but I can’t push the lever down on my lighter. So be it.
The second third begins. The strength moves up to classic medium. And more flavors join the party. Here they are, in order: Sweetness, butterscotch, caramel, cocoa, espresso, orange zest, raisin, smokiness, and raisin.
My nose is running because the window in front of me is open and it’s 14°. But I can’t close my fingers around some Kleenex so now my nose is running on the keyboard along with the dripping blood. Man, I love what I do.
The flavor profile is not accelerating like I expected.
At the halfway point, I remove the secondary cigar band. Nice and easy. It is at this point that the flavor profile takes off. Either that or I am coming out of shock. Although, a piece of wrapper breaks free where the band covered it.
This cigar is about the elements of sweet. Even though it is a Nic puro, it doesn’t have the stereotypical Nicaraguan flavor profile. Normally, cocoa and coffee are the dominant flavors. And as I write this, the cocoa lurches forward and creaminess appears moving the duo to the front of the line. While the flavors are fairly bold, it doesn’t meet the criteria for flavor bomb.
The price point is right on target.
The last third begins.
This has been a slow burning stick. The first two thirds took an hour not counting my fall into the bushes. The blood on my hands has coagulated and is no longer dripping. And I can grasp a single Kleenex sheet now.
The cigar is delicious and chock full of cocoa, creaminess, sweetness, nuttiness, citrus, and earthiness. It is not as flamboyant as the other three Galerones blends but it stands on its own two feet. The cheese stands alone.
And now for the absolutely superfluous story that took place a long time ago in a place far, far away…and has nothing to do with the review:
Dr. O. L. Jaggers (Universal World Church)
(The first church on the planet CERES)
The story of an insane preacher:
We were the triumvirate. The Musketeers. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (-1). It was just me, Skip, and Travis. And we were roommates during our school days. We lived in a nice 3 bedroom house in Santa Ana. On summer nights, we regularly went up to the hip and valley roof and watched the stars and passed the doobie. Marvelous times even though we were as poor as church mice.
Jaggers was an odd creature and his wife, Miss Velma, were a pair of evangelical preachers that scared the bejeezus out of us. And made us laugh way beyond the potency of the weed.
MISS VELMA ON THE MOON
Jaggers was based out of South Central L.A. He had a huge church cluttered with massive photos/paintings of himself and his wife…they seemed god-like in their poses. But the stage was the show stopper.
Jaggers had built an 80’-0 long golden altar on that stage. The altar had to have been over 10’-0 high.
It was painted white with gold trim. It had gargoyles and angels and weird outcroppings of artistic impressions of Jesus and Mary. Above the altar were disco balls that were lit and spinning so that the golden altar sparkled like something that had dropped from heaven.
This thing was so big, it could fit 15 black Gospel singers on it. Directly in front of the altar, was a dazzling white grand piano with gold trim. Jaggers would play it by only playing arpeggios and sang his songs of “I’m nuts, how are you?”
Back to the essentials of the Jaggers: They were insane. While Jaggers preached, there would be 8th grade science and biology movie clips shown behind him. They had the scratches and stutter of old films. And had nothing to do with what he preached.
Of course, no one had any idea what he preached because he was nuts. We would smoke a doob hoping we would understand. That didn’t help. He also wore garb that looked like it was made for The Commodores.
Our favorite part was near the end of the show when he grabbed his all-white Fender Stratocaster and began playing Pete Townshend style, with windmill strokes. Mind you, this man was in his 60’s at the time and was very conservative. He told us TV viewers the only way our prayers could be heard by God was to send him money…and in return, he would send us a golden prayer cloth with the outline of his hand on it. So being the suckers we were, we sent the money and got a ratty, thread torn, golden cloth about 6” x 6” with a stamped hand print on it.
We decided to visit one Sunday. Because of the location, we were the only white boys in his church. But we were welcomed with warmth and generosity.
We marveled at the golden altar in person.
And then the anointing of the oil. We got in line while the gospel singers tore the place up. I had a huge, monster afro. Skip had hair past his shoulders. And Travis looked like the Gorton Fisherman.
Women were flailing on the floors upon anointing. Convulsions. They got dragged away and out of the view of the TV camera. I wish I had a camera at the moment he looked at this hippie. I almost gave him a heart attack. But he still took the ketchup bottle with vegetable oil and squeezed it just a little extra for me on my forehead. There was pure hatred in his eyes.
He announced that Sunday morning that Jesus Christ would appear at his church for the Easter services. Travis went by himself only to report that Jesus was a no show.
Jaggers is such a nut, that there are several of his sermons on YouTube.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS