As we approach the 5th Anniversary (June 11, 2016) of Willy Herrera joining Drew Estate we figured we would take a look at an exclusive cigar to TAA Members. Before joining Drew Estate, Willy Herrera worked for El Titan de Bronze where I met him for the first time when I use to work for Miami Cigar & Company.
When asked about the new blend, Willy Herrera stated, “This is my first blend since joining Drew Estate that utilizes Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco. Drew Estate fans know that we’re famous for our use of Connecticut Broadleaf tobaccos, especially in our Liga Privada No. 9 and Nica Rustica lines. I’ve been experimenting with blends that incorporate this incredible wrapper since coming on board and finally have a blend I’m really excited about.”
Cigar Review: Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazil Mata Fina
Ring Gauge: 52
Source: Sample via Drew Estate
The Look: Packaged in 10 count boxes the colors of Florida State stand out against the Broadleaf wrapper. The Garnet and Gold with white lettering adorn the classic looking Herrera Esteli band with a second denoting TAA Exclusive. As far as the cigar the wrapper has a brindle like coloring and is exceptionally rolled. In the hand the cigar is firm with a nice weight. The well packed foot is slightly spongy with some dark looking tobaccos.
The Notes: Using my Jaws Cutter by Lotus to open up my cigar with a perfect cut the prelight draw is earthy with hints of orange peel and a subtle milk chocolate. The aroma off the foot of the cigar is that of cedar with a subtle sweetness as well. If this is a sign of things to come I might just enjoy today’s smoke.
Once the cigar is lit with my table lighter the cigar offers up some sweetness and a hint of ginger that reminds me of old ginger snap cookies. The note quickly fades and the cigar develops some black pepper notes with some subtle notes of earth and coffee. As we reach the end of the first third the cigar struggles to create an identity with a lack of a definable flavor profile.
In the second third of the cigar the notes of earth remain dominant and once I begin drinking some Cuban Coffee, some coffee notes begin to emerge out of the cigar itself. The notes of black pepper remain and while these aren’t strong notes of black pepper they seem to dominate the finish of the cigar which is moderate in length.
In the last third there are some notes of vanilla that are easily identifiable and elements of wet earth. The black pepper notes remain and some notes of wet earth. Through the nose the cigar serves up some leather and pepper with a subtle sweetness that lingers for a moderate finish.
The Burn: There is something about Drew Estate cigars that they appear to smoke themselves. With smoking bellowing off the cigar in the resting position it is visually pleasing. The Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive has a perfect draw with perfect burn and good combustion line. The ash is firm and holds well while the cigar never needed to be touched up or relit.
The Finish: I had high expectations for this cigar especially with the rich history of Broadleaf from Drew Estate. The cigar however didn’t meet those expectations as I found it to lack complexity or easily defined flavors. While the cigar was never harsh, it just seemed to lack that something special I had hoped for.