I first saw boxes of the Herrera Esteli at the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando where Willy Herrera was rolling at the Drew Estate booth. Since then the Herrera Esteli is one of the cigars I’ve seen talked about the most online. It is rolled in a true Cuban fashion, and is the first project that will feature Willy Herrera’s name on it.
The Herrera Esteli is going to be available in 5 sizes, a 4 7/8 x 46 Robusto Extra, a 5 1/4 x 42 Corona, a 6 x 52 Piramide Fino, a 6 1/4 x 52 Toro Especial, and a 6 x 44 Lonsdale which I will be reviewing today. Make sure to check out Drew Estate’s website, Facebook, and follow them on Twitter (@DrewEstateCigar).
Size: 6 x 44
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan (Jalapa and Esteli)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 2
Construction and Appearance: The band on the Herrera Esteli is quite simple, with a white background, red writing, and a gold trim. In the middle it says “HERRERA ESTELI” and “IMPORTED FROM NICARAGUA”. On the left side is written that they “warrantee the tobaccos used in Herrera Esteli are the finest vintage aged air cured black cigar leaf.” On the right side is written “Handmade by La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate S.A. Frente A Las Aldeas Sos Barrio Oscar Gamez.”
The wrapper of Herrera Esteli Lonsdale is a fairly light golden brown wrapper with a faint reddish hue. There are some moderate veins, but a nice rich oil to it. The wrapper looks absolutely gorgeous, and it is topped off with a very neat, tight triple cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale has notes of cedar, spice, and earth. The foot has the scent of grass, spices, cedar, leather, earth, and nuts. To prepare smoking the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale I use a slight straight cut across the cap, and on the cold draw there is a rich blend of spice, cedar, nuts, and a little grass.
Smoking Characteristics: The first few puffs off of the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale hit me with a rich blend of spices and pepper, which finish long on the palate. After the first 5 or 6 puffs the spice has calmed down quite a bit, and now notes of cedar, earth, roasted nuts, and honey have joined the blend. By this point, the pepper has faded out completely. On the palate, between draws, a slightly sweet nutty flavor lingers, providing a wonderful finish. The smoke is now very rich, cool, smooth, sweet, and creamy. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of smoke. In terms of strength, the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale is starting out at a perfect medium.
Into the second third of the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale, the notes sweet cedar, earth, roasted nuts, and honey all remain. The spice has now settled out into a rich Asian spice which compliments the blend well. The flavor is very rich, full, and has a nice complexity to it. The smoke is cool, rich, smooth, sweet, with a wonderful creaminess that I am enjoying greatly. The ash holds firm easily to the inch point, the burn is perfectly razor sharp, and the draw remains completely ideal.
During the final third of the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale, an oak note starts to join the blend as well. The notes of cedar, earth, roasted nuts, honey, and Asian spice all remain in the flavor profile. The blend still has a nice smooth, creamy, slightly sweet, rich complexity to it. The strength remains right in that perfect medium range, with a slight buzz. The construction in this third, like the past two, is simply excellent, with no attention being required to any aspect of it. The Herrera Esteli Lonsdale smokes cool to the nub, with the flavors remaining very rich, complex, and delicious.
Conclusion: The Herrera Esteli Lonsdale was absolutely phenomenal! With releases like the Herrera Esteli coming out this early in 2013, it is certainly shaping up to be quite the year! The flavor was rich, smooth, well blended, and quite complex. The construction was outstanding, with no issues from the burn, ash, or draw at any point. I would have no issue recommending the Herrera Esteli for a box purchase, it is a must have for any aficionado!