Thursday, January 28, 2010

Esteban Carreras - Habano Maduro

Habano Maduro- Esteban Carreras cigars are made in Esteli, Nicaragua; a hot-bed for cigar manufacturing. They produce only a few lines, with variation in the lines between Natural and Maduro wrappers. I've read information that there are some blends mixed with Dominican and Ecuadorian tobacco, the Habano is a Nicaraguan Puro. As you may have noticed with my posts; I like a good Nicaraguan Puro and am eager to try them. At $5-$6 a stick, this smoke is worth a try.

Prelight- The construction looks pretty good on this stick. I picked up the Robusto and it is solid and looks nice. The Maduro wrapper is a rich chocolate brown with some noticeable oils. Looking into the foot I notice a little color variation in the filler, which sometimes, I find, produces a good balance in a smoke. The prelight draw tastes heavily of raisins and the foot gives off an aroma of fresh vegetation. Nothing too impressive, but its only the flavor and burn that really matter.

Sparking it- The cigar lights easily and it is easy to see this is a full-flavored smoke. Not too overpowering, but tasty. I get a little spice on the first drags, but that disipates soon after. The raisiny taste still shines through from the prelight, but coffee flavors are beginning to take over. The ash burns to a nice white on the outside and holds on tight. I don't ash for about an 1", and even then I don't think I had to. The burn begins to run a little uneven, but it doesn't seem like it will present any issues. It seems as if as the Robusto size has a good build to it.

Smoking it- This cigar doesn't have much complexity to it, but its got a good taste. I taste mainly coffee and as the smoke progresses, a rich dark chocolate. Pretty tasty overall. The uneven burn corrects itself and the cigar burns beautifully. The ash stays solid and doesn't flake. There is a lot of value in this cigar for being in the $5 range. Not complex, but a good smoke. This would be a great everyday smoke, or a smoke to share with friends who aren't exactly aficianados.
I've noticed a lot of the guys at my local shop ( in Baltimore pick this stick up as an everyday, lets not break the bank, smoke. I'll definitely reach for a Habano Maduro in the future. This is my first Esteban Carreras cigar and I like what they have to offer for the price point.
It is definitely a full flavored smoke, but a medium smoker could reach for this on a full stomach and enjoy. I recommend this cigar for any full flavored smoker looking to cut down on their cigar spending, but still want a full, tasty cigar.

Overall- B

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What do you think? Am I on to something? Am I wrong? Or am I full of shit?