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