In the time that I have been covering the PCA Convention & Trade Show—which was formerly known as the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show—few companies have been as consistent with it plans as Esteban Carreras. The process generally goes something like this: I e-mail Craig Cunningham, owner of Esteban Carreras, sometime in late April or early May and ask him what he’s planning on for the show, and he tells me that I know how he works, which is that he will have a new line and won’t be disclosing the details until the trade show floor doors open.

Except this year was a bit different, as I ran into Cunningham at the 2022 Tobacco Plus Expo in January, and he told me that he was planning on the new line being ready in May. That didn’t happen due to some delays with packaging, which pushed the release into July.

As for the booth, it looks the same as it has for the past several years, and a quick search of the site suggests the booth debuted in 2016. The company puts the line in a display tower at the front of the structure, with other areas showing off other lines from the portfolio, while a handful of seating areas provide space for conversation and order writing.

Esteban Carreras Taken From The Devil’s Hand

In addition to having a notable name, the new line features a fascinating backstory about its tobacco. Gonzalo Puentes, who runs Esteban Carreras’ factory, once worked for Cuba’s Ministry of Agriculture, and in particular the group responsible for tobacco production. As the story is told, Puentes and his colleagues were tasked with developing improved corojo seeds, so they used positive selection to select the strongest plants; for example, start with 100 plants, take the seeds from the best five, plant those seeds, and repeat a few times. Except instead of giving the best seeds to the government, they were kept and smuggled out of the country, while less desirable seeds were handed over. Thus, they had taken the crop from the devil—Fidel Castro—and his regime.

  • Wrapper: Nicaragua (Corojo)
  • Binder: Nicaragua (Estelí & Jalapa)
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega)
  • Esteban Carreras Taken From the Devil’s Hand Boolit (4 3/4 x 46) — $7 (Box of 32, $224)
  • Esteban Carreras Taken From the Devil’s Hand Toro (6 x 50) — $10.50 (Box of 20, $210)
  • Esteban Carreras Taken From the Devil’s Hand Sixty (6 x 60) — $12 (Box of 20, $240)

Production: Regular Production

Release Date: July 2022

Image courtesy of Esteban Carreras.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.