There are two things I have come to expect from Esteban Carreras Cigars when the company comes to the PCA/IPCPR Trade Show. First is that the company will unveil a new product at the Trade Show and second, the company will keep the release under wraps until the Trade Show opens. In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic threw a bit of a monkey wrench into things as the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the Trade Show. That didn’t stop Esteban Carreras from getting its release out, and in true Esteban Carreras style, it was kept under wraps. That release would be the Esteban Carreras Cashmere, the newest Connecticut Shade offering from the company. Today we take a closer look at the Cashmere in the Toro size.
The Esteban Carreras Cashmere is not the company’s first Connecticut Shade offering. Other offerings from the company have included:
- Esteban Carreras Connecticut
- Cubano Real Semilla Connecticut
- Esteban Carreras 211
- Hawaiian Breeze (Infused)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro and let’s see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Connecticut Shade wrapper for the Esteban Carreras Cashmere is grown in Ecuador. The remainder of the blend consists of all-Nicaraguan fillers. Production for the Cashmere, along with all of Esteban Carreras’ products is handled out of the company’s own factory, Tabacalera Carreras in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacalera Carreras
There are four sizes of the Esteban Carreras Cashmere line. Each is presented in 20-count boxes with the exception of the Boolit with is packaged in 32-count boxes:
Boolit: 4 3/4 x 46
Toro: 6 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 50
Sixty: 6 x 60
The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper of the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro had a light brown color with a slightly weathered look. There was not much in the way of oil on the surface. There were some visible veins and some thin wrapper seams present. The surface of the wrapper was slightly bumpy.
There are two bands on the Esteban Carreras Cashmere. The primary band has an antique white and brown background with gold trim. On the center of the band is a brown Esteban Carreras lion logo w gold trim. Just below the lion is the text “ESTEBAN CARRERAS” – also in a brown font and gold trim. The remainder of the band has gold adornments. There is a pseudo-secondary-looking band on the lower portion of the primary band. This section is white with gold trim. On the band is the text “CONNECTICUT” in gold font.
The secondary band surrounds the footer. This band is also antique white with gold trim. On the band is the text “CASHMERE” in gold font. There are also two gold crowns surrounding the text.
Prior to lighting up the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. After the cap was successfully detached, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered a mix of cream, wood, and a slight cedar note. This wasn’t the most exciting pre-light draw, but since the pre-light draw is not factored into the numerical score or value rating, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro, toast up the foot, and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro started out with notes of musty wood, cream, black pepper, coffee bean, cedar, and tannin. Early on the musty wood and coffee bean notes went to the forefront with the cream, pepper, cedar, and tannin notes receding into the background. Meanwhile, on the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of cedar present.
Once the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro moved into the second third, the cedar notes joined the musty wood in the forefront. The coffee bean notes receded into the background, joining the pepper, and tannin notes. During this stage, the coffee bean and tannin notes were the most prominent of the secondary notes. There was an underlying bitterness that was present in the flavor profile. Meanwhile, the cream notes present during the first third dissipated.
There wasn’t much change in the final third. The musty wood and cedar notes remained primary, complemented by the tannin. coffee beans, and pepper notes. This is the way the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Overall the burn of the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro performed quite well. This is a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and straight burn line and did not require many touch-ups. The resulting ash was on the firm side. This was a salt and pepper-colored ash. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature performed at ideal levels.
Normally I like a touch of resistance on the draw. In the case of the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro, the resistance was a little more than I prefer. As a result, this was a cigar I had to work hard to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
I had heard reports from many that the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro was on the side of being a “bolder Connecticut,” but did not find this to be the case. This was a cigar that started out with mild strength before progressing to mild to medium strength by the second third.
When it came to body, the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro started out mild to medium. By the midway point, the Cashmere Toro was in medium-bodied territory where it stayed for the remainder of the smoking experience.
In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience.
Esteban Carreras has been a brand for the past decade that has done extremely well in terms of scoring on this website. However, when it comes to the Cashmere, the Toro size was somewhat of a disappointment. This cigar seemed to exhibit a lot of the bitter and acidic qualities that many people complain about in Connecticut cigars. There is a cigar in the Esteban Carreras portfolio known as the 211- which is a vastly superior offering to the Cashmere. In the end, the Esteban Carreras Cashmere Toro is a cigar I would recommend trying first before purchasing.
Key Flavors: Musty Earth, Cedar, Coffee Bean, Black Pepper, Cedar, Tannin
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild (1st Third), Mild to Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: Try a Sample
Brand Reference: Esteban Carreras
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop