With all the craziness at this years IPCPR, I mean with the fire and rescheduling, not to mention all the zig-zagging I was doing across the floor, I totally missed the Esteban Carreras Cigars booth. From what I have read, the company rolled out an additional 4 3/4 x 46 vitola, known as the Böölit, for their original Mr. Brownstone line.
With all the success they had with the original line, they added a line extension, known as the Mr. Brownstone Natural, which is the subject of today’s review.
Back in August, I visited the Charles P. Stanley Cigar Shop and Lounge in St. Louis, MO. During one of my visits there, Tom Losch, the Midwest and Florida Sales Representative for Esteban Carreras Premium Cigars, stopped in. I had some time to talk to Tom about the new line and I made sure to pick one up before leaving. Now that it has been resting for a month in my humidor it was time to take it on a smokey journey.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa, Condega, Estelí)
The Mr. Brownstone Natural is available in 5 vitolas and are packaged in 20-count boxes except for the “Böölit” which comes in a 32-count box.
- Böölit (4 3/4 x 46) MSRP $5.50
- Toro Grande (6 x 52) MSRP $9.00
- Sesenta (6 x 60) MSRP $10.00
- Chuchy (7 x 49) MSRP $9.50
- Corona Gorda (6 x 46) MSRP $8.50
For this review, I sampled the Esteban Carreras Mr. Brownstone Natural Toro Grande.
The Esteban Carreras Mr. Brownstone Natural is one of those cigars that has a huge amount of embellishment on it. Besides the standard band there is a large sleeve that covers the rest of the cigar, down to the foot,and identifies it as the Mr. .Brownstone. The foot has a brown silk band on it which signifies it as the “Natural” blend. (The original Mr. Brownstone has a black silk band on the foot)
With all the embellishment, all you can see is the well applied triple cap and a tease of the reddish-brown wrapper. The sleeve slides off easily and exposes the true character of the cigar. It has a rugged look to it, with some bumps and a few noticeable veins running along the shaft. The wrapper is a medium brown color with a reddish tint to it and has a decent amount of oily sheen to it.
Running it across the nose, I picked up a sweet curing barn aroma along the barrel and a bright fruit note off the foot. Certainly an enticing start to the journey.
I sliced the head right across the first line of the triple cap and gave it some cold draw puffs, which delivered a light peppery note and fruit on the palate. There was also a hint of sweetness on the tongue as it graced the head of the cigar. The draw was tighter than I normally like.
With the preliminaries out-of-the-way, I used my double flame JetLine lighter to warm the foot and take in the first puffs of spice laden smoke.
Cigar Review Notes
- Draw is tight to start
- Spice starts the journey
- Creamy Smoke
- Smoke delivery is medium volume
- Light grey and flaky ash develops
- Thick char line
- Coffee notes enter after an inch
- Spice remains dominant in the profile
- Ash fell near the end of the first third
- Flat – Off Centered burn cone is revealed
- Sweetness moves in the second third
- An off-burn builds, moving toward the band
- Smoke volume remains at medium
- Nutty aroma wafts off the foot
- Spice has faded near the final third
- Sweet buttery note completes the journey
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, I rate the Esteban Carreras Mr. Brownstone Natural Toro Gordo a 89. This cigar started with a fine spice component that stayed through a good 2/3 of the journey while delivering nuances of coffee, sweetness, nut, and butter. The tight draw started with the cold draw and it never opened up much after. The draw hindered the smoke volume which seemed to be stuck at medium volume throughout the burn. The construction was less than spot on with a flaky ash and some off burns. At a MSRP of $9.00 for the toro gordo, I would say this should be lower in price.
(-1 )Medium Volume, (-1 point) Flaky ash, (-1 point) Off centered burn cone, (-1 point) Flat burn cone, (-1 point) Off burn, (-2 points) Should be lower in price