Esteban Carreras Cashmere | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9.00 (Bought singles for $7.65 from Atlantic Cigar…Know what I like about Atlantic Cigar? They always provide the option for singles on every cigar. Most online stores jack up the single cigar price compared to what the stick would cost if you bought a box of 20. Atlantic doesn’t do this. They charge the box price for a single. This is the definition of mensch.

The cigars have been laying naked in my humidor for 4 months.
Only found 3 written reviews since its release in August 2020. A bevy of online cigar stores have reviewed it, but have you ever read a store rate their product as a dog turd? No. So, they hold no water whatsoever. Must frustrate the shit out of the reviewer if it is a stink bomb. 3 written reviews. Wow. Not a good sign. But one other mainstream reviewer gave the cigar an 86. Close enough for jazz to Halfwheel’s assessment. Still, only 3 reviews in 18 months…Ouch. But then I never know how long other reviewers allow their cigars to humidor rest prior to review.


I found it interesting that Halfwheel gave the Churchill an 87. Meanwhile, Cigar Dojo placed the cigar in the #9 spot of its top cigars of 2020. And even more interesting, there is no review of the cigar on Cigar Dojo. It comes up as “Not Found.”

Anyway, the point is that once again, it is a perfect example of how strange and mysterious our palates are. Anytime I see a wide variety of ratings for the same cigar, I think we are all a bunch of loonies.

One man’s opinion is on perfect display. And in the end, cigar critics are shown to be inconsequential in the big picture of cigars. Maybe that’s why when I worked at John Piette’s cigar lounge in 2020, I never met a single customer that had ever read an online cigar review. Not one. So, why do we do this? Fuck if I know. I think deep down that we reviewers do it strictly for our own pleasure. And if you a are lucky, you the smoker finds a few reviewers that have a similar palate as your own and you look to them to help guide you through the morass of press releases and bullshit.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: Tabacalera Carreras S.A. Nicaragua
Regular Production.
From Halfwheel.com (9-17-2020):
“Many cigar companies make it a point to give fans as much information as possible about new releases before they ship to retailers—sometimes long before that—but there are always a small number of new products that buck the trend.

“Such was the case with a new milder offering from Esteban Carreras named Cashmere, which suddenly started showing up on shelves early last month. Rolled at the company’s Tabacalera Carreras factory in Nicaragua, the four-viola line features a blend made up of an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper covering binder and filler tobaccos sourced from Nicaragua.

“In addition, while the Churchill, Toro and Sixty vitolas are sold in boxes of 20, the 4 3/4 x 46 Boolit comes packaged in boxes of 32 cigars.”

I love this. Esteban Carreras decided not to go Bozo Crazy on the release of the cigar. No Cigar Federation shouting at the universe that “this is the best cigar we’ve ever tasted” mentality.
I am reviewing this cigar blind. That or I don’t remember smoking it at an earlier time. Not exactly an Easter Parade level of praise on my part.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Boolit 4.75 x 46 $5.50
Toro 6 x 50 $9 .00
Churchill 7 x 50 $9.50
Sixty 6 x 60 $10.00
Torpedo 6.5 x 54 $9.50

APPEARANCE:
The two cigar bands, which appears to be three bands, are the most stunning part of the presentation. The metallic colors are nearly blinding but then it is true what they said about excessive masturbation when you were young…you will end up blind.

Not a lot of oil on the wrapper. Smooth as silk. The Ecuadorian Connie is always darker than the U.S.A. version. And I do like the Ecuadorian better as the wrapper has more character and flavor. It has changed what most smokers think about the Connie. Before the Ecuadorian, you see an American Connie and you know right away the strength is mild and hence no flavor. Ecuador to the rescue.

There are a few soft and hard spots. The cigar is light in the hand. Lots of veins. Seams are visible but tight. The triple cap is unusual on what is now considered a budget cigar if it is under $8.00.

It was a bitch taking its portrait. I am not a photographer. I have always used a camera instead of a phone. All that shiny chrome can make one sit in the corner of their cage and rub one off like a chimp.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Two matching notes of milk chocolate and floral. I stick my nose into the foot and the pepperiness makes me serial sneeze. A lovely creaminess complements the overall aroma. On the sweet side, I smell marzipan, brioche, and black cherries. A nice espresso is present. And it is heavy with malt.

The draw is wide open. More than what I prefer. I like some resistance. Sammy the Cat decided to get a nose piercing. He alternates using a sterling silver dead dog; but he really likes the PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool in that hole. He prances proudly like an aerial artist. Since I don’t need it for this cigar, I hand it back to him. What a prima donna.

The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, creaminess, potato chips, chocolate, malt, peanuts, cedar, and barnyard…no sweet flavors.

FIRST THIRD:
A nice start. A savory complexity starts the Howdy Doody Show. The smoke nearly blinds me. Flavors pop up…creaminess, white pepper, Dr. Pepper, black cherries, espresso, malt, cedar, and a tad slice of chocolate.

The resistance is fine, but this will be a quick smoke as the cigar isn’t heavy with tobacco.

Strength is immediately medium. I am happy. Do not like mild cigars.
But the burn gets wonky right away and needs a touch up. Inconsistent rolling.

I detect some lime rind. Mixes well with the creaminess. White chocolate makes a daring entrance to no applause. Cedar is prevalent. The malt goes to work and reminds me of malted milk balls I bought as a kid.

Peanuts transfer from an aroma to a flavor. I need some jam…in 5/4 time please. I just thought of something…Remember the Dave Brubeck song, “Take Five”? It was called that because the entire song was in 5/4 time. Bum Bum da Bum Bum. That was 5/4. Useless information to start the review.

The blend has a nice easy-going character. Flavorful from the start. A low end note of complexity. Transitions are merely thinking of what to do. The finish is the lime and peanuts.

Nothing about the cigar tells me there is a big dose of aged tobacco present. But it is light and airy. A good morning cigar with your coffee. It feels like a sponge that will enhance anything you decide to drink.

I make an early decision and declare that I like this little everyday cigar blend.

There is nothing offensive taking place despite the fact that I am often offensive to the cigar industry proper.

I recently got a nice surprise that I will share with you soon.

Serious complexity kicks in at the 1-1/2” burned point. It is smoking quickly. It may not even reach an hour of smoke time.

“L.A. Woman” by The Doors is playing. Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine takes me to watching them in concert in L.A. What a trip. A drunken Morrison with one hand on a bottle of Jack and the other hand holding a small cardboard box for him to puke in onstage. The biggest impact when we took our seats was the wall of sound. They had Marshall stacks two or three high and ran across the entire stage. I had never seen anything like that. And yes, it was a loud concert.

Key lime pie is the major force in the sweetness department. Savory comes from generic nuttiness, malt, and white pepper.
The balance is more than acceptable. Small nuances appear and dash away.

SECOND THIRD:
That was a land speed record. Took only 15 minutes to get here. This is going to be less than a 45-minute Toro. But then you have to look at the price point. Some manufacturers go all in, and others just dole it out any which way. The cigar couldn’t have cost more than a couple bucks to produce. More tobacco please.

Still, complexity wins the day over. Inexpensive cigars rarely get close to the hem of character, let alone any complexity.
Strength maintains an easy going medium.

Flavors occasionally jut out their chins for you to smack. I get that black cherry note. Then there is a beautiful espresso component. Then I get a surprise of nougat not unlike a Three Musketeers bar. This is the best flavor point so far. Some candies have been produced sugar free but not this bar. I haven’t eaten sugar since 1980 so I dearly miss one of my favorite candy bars.

I’m not sure how this cigar got to be #9 on a top 25 list…but it is a very decent blend.

The construction has been tamed and no burn issues repeat themselves.

I taste a bit of raspberry. Now I have my P,B,&J sandwich.

The whole being of the blend jumps to the next level at the halfway point. The cigar goes from a mildly complex blend to more of a stick with some balls.

SRV is playing “Pride and Joy.” Every band I played in from the 80’s to present day had to play this song. It was fun. Of course, the talent of the guitarist kept things dicey.

The halfway point arrived in a little more than 20 minutes. If only there was more tobacco present, this could have been a great cigar.
Depth finally arrives. It pulls the whole blend together in a tight knit ball of string.

Still medium. The official description is either medium/full or full. I don’t see that happening. There…now I’ve jinxed it.

Ever sneeze while talking to friends and a huge, juicy loogie flies and lands on one of your friends’ shirt? Me neither. I wonder what the protocol is for that buffoonery.

The second half is the sweet spot. More diverse in its flavor points and the balance works things out in high style.
This stick should have gotten more reviews. It is not a clunker.
The savory v. sweet function is in play and makes the cigar delightful.

My rating is going to reflect the absence of enough tobacco for a real Toro.

First sip of water and flavors blush like a new bride…if she is a virgin.
Ever have sex with a virgin? I did once. I did not like it. I almost broke my schlong. It would have been nice if the girl had told me that because I felt like I was doing something wrong. But then Charlotte tells me that all the time.

Nothing linear going on. The cigar continues to grow into acceptability.

I think what a wonderful cigar this could have been if the blender had decided to put some tobacco into the stick. As a result, the cigar is more of an appetizer than a main course.

But I cannot deny that it is a well-rounded blend with lots of potential if not for the decision to jam some leaves into the sausage.
Medium/full pushes the previous strength point out of the way.

LAST THIRD:
Man, this thing is burning like the tax collector is chasing it.
35 minutes to get here.
This was a lost opportunity. If the manufacturer had done the right thing, I would have gladly paid a buck or two more.

The MSRP prices are ridiculous. Hence, every online store discounts the blend heavily.

Still, I am enjoying what is in front of me. It is a legit blend. No dog turds in sight.

If you snag some, go with the Gordo (6 x 60). If I buy more, that will be my plan. But I don’t know if I want to pay even the discounted price of $8.50 for fear of a one-hour experience. More tobacco please.

I will say that at least that early terror of the wayward burn has not repeated itself since.

It is here that the blend changes direction and the sum exceeds its parts. It enriches the complexity and character. It brings on more depth.

I am very disappointed that the stick is under filled. I would have enjoyed the blend if it presented a normal Toro experience of at least a 90-minute journey. Cutting the time in half is frustrating.

The sweet spot keeps on keeping on.

The reviews I read describe the last third as disappointing. I am receiving the opposite experience. But then what do I know? I’m a fakakta old man who should be staring out at his 60-acre ranch picking which sheep would be next. I would have a natural instinct for the one that is a sex addict.

The end comes too soon. The cigar was really ramping up when it ran out of steam.

RATING: 89



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

4 replies

  1. Endlessly entertaining as usual. I wish the smoking experience lasted longer. I reprinted your Oliva MB-III Maduro review. My boss saw it; he is one of those who view online merchants as thieves who have fewer scruples than he does (I now know this is impossible) and he’s effectively written me off his schedule. So I’ll enjoy the fact I still have my discount and keep chooglin’ whatever comes along.

  2. I feel ye – ‘t’is a shame when Icarus rolls your smoke.

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