Herrera Esteli

Herrera Esteli Maduro Toro Especial

Herrera Esteli Maduro Toro Especial. Another blend by master blender Willy Herrera for Drew Estate. This blend was released in 2018, 7 years after his move to the big cigar manufacturer. But he rose to fame as a blender at the small Miami based El Titan de Bronze. That small factory in Little Havana is owned and operated by his in-laws and that’s where Jonathan Drew found Herrera. One of the promises that Drew made was a cigar with the Herrera name, although that did take some time and effort as Frank Herrera, the cigar lawyer, had registered his name and used it for cigars as well.


The Herrera Esteli Maduro is made in Nicaragua, at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate. For the blend, Herrera took Nicaraguan filler from Drew Estate’s tobacco library. He blended that with a Connecticut Broadleaf binder from the Connecticut River Valley and a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. There are five sizes available, but for this review, we decided on the 6×52 Toro Especial.


The cigar has that typical Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. Dark but kind of rough looking, with a few veins. For a Mata Fina, it’s actually quite smooth, but it’s rougher than the average Maduro. The blue and golden ring with white letters is a copy of the original Herrera Esteli, just in a different color scheme. The cigar feels well rolled. The triple cap is beautiful. And the cigar has a strong aroma. Sweet straw with some charred wood comes to mind.

The cold draw is fine, with a mild yet intense dark chocolate taste. The first flavors are salty wood with a bit of leather. Slowly the cigar develops some leaf flavors as well, and mild chocolate. The expected sweetness from the Brazilian wrapper is lacking though. The mouthfeel is meaty, chewy. After a third, the flavors become more complex. It’s wood and grass, but then with a mix of sugar, pepper, spices, leather, soil, and toast. All those flavors are mild and balanced. Halfway the cigar gets a nice roasted coffee bean flavor with spices, pepper, and leather.


The draw is superb. And the ash is white and dense. The burn is good, not straight as an arrow but no corrections are needed. And the smoke is thick and full, a Drew Estate trademark. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes. This cigar is full-bodied, full-flavored.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, I enjoyed it
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Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , ,

Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

Whenever I am in Miami, and that used to be once a year, I would always stop by El Titan de Bronze to say hi to Sandy Cobas. And every time I said I went to El Titan people would ask me “did you see Willy, their master blender?” and the answer would always be “no”. For some reason, I always missed Willy when I went to that beautiful, cozy, wonderful and small factory on Calle Ocho that I love so much. And then Willy left, Drew Estate made him an offer he couldn’t refuse so he made the transfer. Then I met Willy, at the Drew Estate offices when I dropped by to say hello to Jonathan. Ever since, whenever I’m at El Titan de Bronze I run into Willy there too, it’s weird but funny.


Now back in february 2014 I went to Nicaragua and at the time my then employer had dropped Drew Estate, they didn’t sign with Agio yet so all the new stuff was not distributed in The Netherlands. While at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate JD gave me a box of the Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda with the words “you can’t get these, enjoy them”. Jonathan is a great and generous person and not just because he gave me a box of cigars. These Nicaraguan made cigars with an Ecuadorean habano wrapper didn’t do it for me so fresh but now that I aged them a bit they became much better, so it’s time to do a review.


The wrapper is actually quite mild for a habano wrapper, but I guess the clouds in Ecuador that make their connecticut naturally shade grown did their work on this habano too. I see a thin veil from the bottom almost to the top and it gives the cigar some character, like a scar can make someone more attractive. The aroma is quite strong, it reminds me of hay and a sweaty horse smell. The ring is simple yet beautiful, its a square, white with simple red letters saying Herrera Esteli imported from Nicaragua with a thick golden outline. On the sides there is a whole bunch of text about the cigar being made with the best tobacco at the Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and its too much to copy it all. If you want to read it, go buy a Herrera Esteli.


I punched the cigar, the cold draw is good with a flavor of hay and quite some pepper. I lit the cigar with a soft flame and taste a strong yet mildly sweet espresso. After a few puffs there is also a mild salty flavor to the cigar, which is quite nice. After an inch I taste a mild caramel, some nuts, pepper and cedar. There is a mild harshness to the flavors in the front of my mouth. Right before the halfway point the nutty flavor is getting a little stronger just like the pepper. After two thirds the nuttiness is gaining strength and is now up to par with the pepper. In the aftertaste I get a very mild minty flavor. The nuts are a mix of salted peanuts, walnuts and macadamia.


The smoke is fantastic, just like all Drew Estate cigar this Herrera Estelí has a lot of thick smoke. The ash is white too, dense and firm. The draw is flawless. The burn is good, not perfect though but good. The smoke time is a hour.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, and I know there is a limited edition lancero out there somewhere, I want one or two to try

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

I had smoked some of Willy Herrera‘s blends when he was still at my favorite Miami cigar factory, El Titan de Bronze, so I was really happy when Jonathan Drew gave me a box of the Herrera Esteli corona gorda when I visited the gran fabrica Drew Estate back in February of 2014. When I smoked the cigar I was a bit disappointed and didn’t touch the box for a year. When I gave it a second chance I liked it a lot and now I have to do a review before this box is empty.
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This nice little cigar looks great, a nice smooth and pale wrapper, a classic ‘old fashioned’ cigar band, only a few thin veins and a beautiful cap. The cigar has an odd cardboard aroma. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and I taste spicy raisin.
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At first I taste coffee, slightly bitter but a pleasant bitter. The bitterness disappears almost immediately and I taste some dry wood with the coffee. This cigar is very cubanesque in flavor, but with flawless construction.
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After a third I taste meaty wood with some pepper in the aftertaste. Later some spices show up too, green herbs like parsley. After two thirds the coffee makes a surprising return. Wood is still the main flavor though, a little spicy.
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The smoke is plentiful as you can expect from a Drew Estate cigar, although it’s no undercrown or liga privada. The smoke is beautiful light blue with gray. The ash is almost white and firm.The draw is flawless, just like the burn. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The cigar lasted me for an hour and twenty minutes.
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Would I buy this cigar again? You betcha.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7
 
Categories: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate, Herrera Esteli, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

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