I was sitting in the Stogie Press smoking lounge this evening and I decided it was time to break out the Herrera Esteli that I got from Willy Herrera at this years IPCPR. We recently published an interview with Willy in our inaugural edition of Stogie Press and I have been waiting to smoke the Herrera Esteli ever since.
Jonathon Drew states:
We gave him no boundaries or limits. Willy then spent forever working on this first blend… drove me a little crazy, made a lot of bad blends along the way, but I think we overwhelmed him a bit – I don’t think he was prepared to have so many tobaccos to blend from, rather daunting…
Knowing that Willy is based out of Miami I thought it appropriate to cue up some Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard on the turntable. I love this album, famous for songs like I shot the Sheriff and Willie and the Hand Jive. I don’t mean Willy Herrera here but I did think of this album when I chose the Herrera Esteli to smoke. I settled into the couch and examined the Herrera Esteli as the music played and the TV broadcasted the muted Miami Canes and Nebraska game. It’s all about Miami on this smoking adventure.
The Herrera Esteli has a sweet, well fermented, tobacco scent on the foot and there is a floral scent along the barrel. The Cigar is smooth and medium brown in color.The band is simple white and gold with the words ‘Herrera Esteli by Drew Estate” imprinted in red. This is Willy’s first blend after becoming the master blender for Drew Estate this year.
The Herrera Esteli is constructed from:
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Nicaraguan
It is available in 5 vitolas:
- Short Corona Gorda (5.25 x 46)
- Robusto Extra (5.5 x 52)
- Lonsdale Deluxe (6 x 44)
- Toro Especial (6.25 x 54)
- Piramide Fino (6 x 52)
For this review I sampled the Toro Especial
Slicing the triple cap with my double blade cutter, I give it a dry draw and it is open presents flavors of white pepper with a nutty undertone. It develops a white snow-like ash that is a tad flaky. The burn is excellent as we move through the first third. The draw is producing an ample amount of smoke. There is a toasty aroma coming off the fot around the end of the first 3rd. So far this is a pleasurable light to medium smoke.
As it transitions into the second 3rd, the ash is still hanging on though curved a bit. There is a back-note of coffee coming through with some dry fruit balancing into the profile. The ash finally fell around the 2 inch mark. There is really no more spice or pepper in the profile it is very clean on the palate. Mid way trough the 2nd third, the aroma takes on a sweet tea like flavor, not like sugary but rather a sweet herbal tea scent.
The Herrera Esteli started to burn a little awkward approaching the final third just before the band but with a small touch up it corrected and burned fine after that.In fact it carried on for another good two inches down to the nub. The final 3rd delivered hints of cocoa and there was a shift in aroma to a chocolate scent in the smoke. It is a very well balanced cigar that could easily be enjoyed in the morning as well as the evening. A cup of Espresso or Cafe Cubano would go well with it as would a nice aged rum.
– Boston Jimmie