Cigar Review – Esteban Carreras 5150 Toro
Of all the boutique brands we’ve gotten stock from lately, Esteban Carreras is probably the hardest to find information on. After doing a little digging, though, I learned that they operate out of Danlí, Honduras and Esteli, Nicaragua, and that all of their cigars are blended by AJ Fernandez, the guy behind Man O’ War and countless others. The Esteban Carreras 5150 is one of their most popular cigars, and we happened to get a few of them in the other day. I couldn’t find many reviews of the 5150, so I decided to crack open a bundle of Toros and see for myself why these are so popular.
This evenly-packed cigar was scantily decorated with a simple foot band and had a beautiful Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. It was incredibly silky with very few veins and such fine teeth that I had to squint to see them. The cap was very well applied and extended about a half inch down the cigar, which was nice for guys like me who are iffy at cutting their cigars. The pre-light draw had so many flavors that I sat there for probably about 15 minutes trying to pick out notes. Eventually I settled on roasted nuts, sweet tobacco, butter, hay, light pepper, and a little bit of sweet tea (that’s two in a row!). The draw was slightly firm but allowed for a ton of flavors to come through, so I figured it wouldn’t be a problem once I lit up.
After speculating for a while about the pre-light flavors, I toasted the foot and went to work on this nicely-rolled stogie. Initial flavors were somewhat similar to the pre-light draw. Right off the bat I got butter, caramel, a little bit of spicy pepper, and a really nice vanilla note that made me think of dulce de leche ice cream. This was definitely one of the sweetest-tasting cigars I’ve ever had, though the sweetness didn’t overpower the other flavors and it wasn’t saccharine.
Further in, the cigar became a little bit stronger with notes of chocolate, cedar, cinnamon, black pepper, and the most recognizable floral note I’ve ever picked up. It made me think of the candied flowers you get on fancy cakes, something I haven’t tasted in probably 15 years. It’s rare when a cigar pulls up such an obscure, distant memory of a flavor, and I always think it’s incredible that something as simple as a bundle of aged leaves can produce that. Flavors like that remind me of why I started smoking cigars in the first place.
Anyway, as the cigar neared its end, the floral sweetness evolved into that sweet tobacco flavor I tasted on the pre-light. This complemented a sort of roof-of-the-mouth pepper note that reminded me of the spice you’d get from a strong red wine. About half inch further in, this combination somehow transformed into strong coffee with a little bit of cinnamon. With a little over an inch left, the spice got seriously intense, as if to tell me, “Alright buddy, I think you’ve had enough.” And with that, I set down the nub.
Having found very few reviews of the 5150, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after smoking, I can tell you that this is one of the best boutique cigars I have ever smoked. The ashes lasted longer than anything I’d ever seen before (mine fell off at around 2 ½ inches), the flavors were numerous, unique, and very pronounced, and the smoke stayed smooth-as-can-be right up until the very end. Get yourself a bundle or a fiver of these—for the price (around $5 per stick from us), you’ll be surprised about how much flavor they pack. The Esteban Carreras 5150 puts a lot of $10-and-up sticks I’ve had to shame, and I hope I get the chance to try a few more soon.