Published on December 13th, 2013 | by Siz0
Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year
The Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year is one of several offerings from a boutique brand that, while not popular by most standards, is known for producing quality cigars. The Connecticut 12 Year is a very smooth, mild cigar that is both well constructed and affordable. The only thing I can fault it for is being a little too light on flavor for my tastes. However, for fans of mild cigars, I think it is a solid choice.
- Made By:Esteban Carreras/AJ Fernandez
- Wrapper:Ecuadorian Connecticut (aged 12 years)
- Binder:Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Average Price:$7
- Ring Gauge:50
Esteban Carreras is one of the cigar companies that I usually hear good things about whenever someone mentions them. The only problem is that I rarely hear anyone talking about them at all. They are definitely a small boutique operation that I usually do not find on the shelves of most cigar shops. In fact, I don’t think any of my local shops carry them. I usually see them whenever I go to Nashville.
I thought that I could go to the company’s website and get some information about the company. Wrong! The only information I could gather was a little bit of a description on their cigars and accessories and what stores carry them. The Connecticut 12 Year was not even listed, only the regular Connecticut. Not very helpful! I did learn from their LinkedIn page that they are manufactured in AJ Fernandez’s factory in Estelli, Nicaragua. That is a good sign!
One thing I can tell you is that I have only smoked one other Esteban Carreras, the 187. It was a very good cigar with lots of flavor. The Connecticut 12 Year was the lamb to the lion so to speak, as it was a much milder cigar. But we’re not here to compare the two cigars but just to see how the Connecticut 12 Year fared, so let’s get to it!
The Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year is an attractive cigar. The wrapper is a nice khaki shade that fits with most Connecticut shade wrappers. There are some veins but very smooth seams. The double cap (at least I only see 2) is rather rugged but flush. The foot reveals well-packed filler as well. The foot looks like it has been flattened just a it, but this was shipped to me so who knows how that happened.
There are two bands on this cigar. The main band is white, black, and silver with the company logo and elaborate design. The second band is red, silver, and white. It has “aged 12 years” on it. This is necessary to distinguish it from its predecessor, which has a wrapper that was aged for 7 years.
When giving the Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year the squeeze test, it passes with flying colors. The wrapper feels really smooth with no soft spots or lumps. Just like it looks, it feels well packed.
There are some nice aromas on the stick, but nothing that stands out significantly. The foot smells of earth, hay, and cinnamon. The barrel is just grass, maybe hay.
I go with my trusty double guillotine cutter to clip the cap. The pre-light draw is a tad tight, but some air is still passing though. I get some hay on the draw and some bitterness, like mustard greens, from the wrapper. The bitterness is definitely there, but not overwhelming.
Like most cigars I review, I light the Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year with matches. I am particularly careful lighting Connecticut shade wrapper cigars due to how easy it is to scorch the wrapper. This one lights up with ease.
Once lit, the draw seems to have opened up a bit. It is just on the tight side of perfect. The draw remains great throughout the entire smoke.
Not only was the draw great, but so were the ash and burn. The ash lasts at least an inch at a time and is pretty tight. The burn starts even and stays that way for the entire smoke. The only complaint is that it seems to burn fast. I guess one hour five minutes is not unusual for a robusto, but many I’ve smoked this size have lasted quite a bit longer.
The Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year looks and feels good, smells okay, and has a great draw and burn. Now, for the most important test: how was the flavor?
In the first third, I am greeted with some of the bitterness that I got from the wrapper on the pre-light draw. As this settles down, I pick up on some mild black pepper, wood, hay, and earth. As this section winds down, it starts to get a little creamy.
In the second third, the creaminess mixes well with the black pepper, earth, and hay. It also starts to get nutty. Overall, the finish is very smooth and the retrohale is mildly peppery.
In the final third, there is a very creamy mild pepper, nuts, wood, and a bit of cookie. The retrohale has become more floral than peppery. I pick up on some of the bitterness that I got in the first third. It finishes smoothly like in the other sections.
The Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year is mild in strength and mild-medium in flavor. While there are some really enjoyable notes in this cigar, it does not standout as a “flavorful” smoke. Smoke time was 1 hour 5 minutes, just a bit shorter than most robustos I smoke.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It An Everyday Smoke?
Not for me. I would say yes for a fan of mild cigars.
Would I Buy a Box?
The Esteban Carreras Connecticut 12 Year is a great choice for those who are seeking a really smooth, mild cigar. Though this is not my usual cup of tea, I do enjoy a mild cigar now and then and think that this is one of the better ones I’ve had. One point of contention is that the bitterness from the wrapper was not a great flavor, but it was neither overwhelming nor lasted for long periods of time. The other problem I can foresee is finding them in nearby shops.
If you are looking for a great mild cigar, especially a morning smoke, I suggest giving this one a try(if you can find it)!