Norteño means northerner and that’s the term Nicaraguans use for the people from the Esteli region and it became a term where Norteños are proud of, the nickname of Real Esteli is ‘el tren del norte’. Norteño is also the second cigar Willy Herrera made under the Herrera Esteli brand for Drew Estate. I got this cigar when visiting the Drew Estate factory in Esteli last May and I’ve been waiting to light it for a review, that time arrived now.
First thing that I notice is the weird shape, it’s a ring 44 cigar but it ring 50 wide so automatically it’s thin, an unusual shape and I hope pictures do it justice. The Mexican San Andres wrapper, which wrapped a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan filler, has a few veins that make it rustic. The band is simple. The cigar has a very pleasure and quite strong hay aroma. The predraw is fine, I taste some spices and some sweetness.
A sharp pepper taste, mixed with espresso, that’s my first thought after lighting this cigar. After a few puffs I taste wood and spices, including some pepper. It reminds me of the Herrera Esteli although it’s definitely not the same. Close to a third it’s spices with some sweetness.
After a third I get a little bit of dark chocolate with pepper. Halfway I also taste wood, the pepper disappears, it’s wood with a salty flavor now. The saltiness disappears, pepper returns again.
The draw is amazing and as you can expect from Drew Estate, the smoke is thick and copious. The ash is light colored. The burn on this full bodied, full flavored cigar is good. I had to clip the cigar again after two thirds due to some tar built up. And the weird shape? Didn’t bother me at all during the the hour and forty minute smoke.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yeah, solid cigar, not the best one I smoked but still very pleasant.
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7