|Esteban Carreras 211|
Earlier this week, I provided a preview of the Esteban Carreras 211. Considering that Esteban Carreras has been making some really good cigars, I was a little surprised that this blend fell under the radar at IPCPR 2011. On top of it, I had spoken to a few people who had tried this prior to the show and the feedback was very positive. The proof is always in the pudding – so it was my time to sample and assess this latest release from Craig Cunningham’s company. My verdict – another winning blend by Craig and his team at Esteban Carreras.
First up, you might notice this review isn’t tagged with “2011 IPCPR” or “Cigar Pre-Review”. The Esteban Carreras 211 has been shipped to some retailers. Since I’m only tagging cigars I got from the IPCPR trade show with “2011 IPCPR”, this cigar falls outside the range since I purchased this. (Rest assured, there is lots more technical content from the show I will be sharing)
The name of the Esteban Carreras 211 follows the Esteban Carreras 5150 and 187 cigars that were released last year. These cigars were code-named after police codes, and the 211 follows suit (it’s the police code for robbery).
Let’s break down the Esteban Carreras 211 in more detail:
The thing I’ve been told is that the Esteban Carreras 211’s wrapper is the same profile as what is used on the Davidoff Millennium – which is an Ecaudorian Sun-grown hybrid.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun-grown
Updated 8/24/11: I’ve been able to confirm four vitolas for the 211.
Toro: 6 x 50
Torpedo: 6 3/4 x 52
Corona: 6 x 44
Sixty: 6 x 60
Retailers can purchase packs of 25 cigars and fill a beautiful lacquer box in their humidor.
|Cover of the lacquer box for Esteban Carreras 211|
|Esteban Carreras 211 on display in the lacquer box|
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For this cigar experience, I opted to for the Toro vitola. I opted to use a punch cut on this 50 ring gauge vitola. On the pre-light draw I was treated to notes of earth and spice. I was wondering of the connection with the Davidoff Millennium’s wrapper made me influenced my taste buds into the earth notes, but I’m confident that this was not the case. It was then on to fire-up the Esteban Carreras 211 and see what would be in store.
The initial draws of my Esteban Carreras 211 continued the earth notes I got on the pre-light draw. I also detected notes of cocoa complementing the earth notes. Finally, there was a hint of pepper spice in the background.
Around the 5 percent mark, some cream notes joined the other flavors. The cream meshed very nicely with the cocoa flavors. At this point, it was the cocoa/cream tandem that emerged as the primary flavor, the earth notes were secondary, and the pepper spice was in the background. Following this point, the cocoa, cream, earth, and pepper notes were the ones that were present in this smoking experience – varying on which notes were the ones in the forefront. The way the cocoa varied reminded me very similar to what the 187 cigar did, but the difference was the earth notes. These earth notes really gave this cigar a unique experience. Normally, I don’t like earth flavors but somehow with this blend it went terrific with the cocoa, cream, and pepper flavors.
In the last third of the cigar, the pepper moves center-stage. The pepper really provides a kick making for a very nice and spicy close to the 211. The finish was not harsh. It provided a nice short nub that was cool and firm -as good as a nub can get.
Burn and Draw
The 211 is well-constructed cigar. The scores for burn and draw are very high here. The burn was razor sharp requiring only an occasional touch-up. The burn temperature and burn rate were perfect – and this was reflected on the firm, cool nub at the end. The draw was a reflection of the outstanding burn from the 211.
Strength and Body
After smoking the Esteban Carreras 211 – two things come to mind: smooth and well-balanced. This is a cigar that will not overpower you and will balance its strength and body perfectly. From a nicotine standpoint, the 211 is not a very strong cigar – but it is a solid medium. The flavors are have enough depth to put the 211 right in the middle of the medium range of the body spectrum.
There were a lot of cigars that were released at the 2011 IPCPR. If you are looking for something that is really good, but off the radar, this is the cigar to check out. Of the “police code named” cigars of Esteban Carreras (5150, 187, and 211), this one was my favorite of the three. In particular, I think its the the flavors that do it for me on this cigar. Perhaps that Davidoff Millenium-like wrapper is doing a little magic here. This is one of those cigars that can appeal to most novice and experienced cigar enthusiasts. It is definitely one that I would smoke again.
Assessment: Nice to Have
Source: This cigar was purchased from Outland Cigars in Charlotte, North Carolina.