When we think of Drew Estate cigars the ACID lineup first comes to mind. The highly popular infused line of smokes is what really got Drew Estate on the map. But it’s just not the infused cigars that they are known for these days. The Liga Privada line represents some world class cigars that are always in demand and always highly rated. Their Liga Undercrown series is a great lineup of smokes that won’t break your wallet. Perusing my humidor the other day I came across another great cigar from Drew Estate that is kind of a sleeper from them. It is the Herrera Esteli which we carry in both the robusto and toro sizes.
The Herrera Esteli is named after Willy Herrera, an outstanding cigar blender who made some wonderful cigars down on Calle Ocho in Miami. In 2011 Willy left Miami and headed down to Nicaragua to become part of the Drew Estate family. He had some great ideas for some world class cigars and Drew Estate has some great tobaccos aging in their facilities–it was a perfect match. For his first effort at Drew Estate he worked over 18 months and went through dozens and dozens of blends, tweaking them until he finally got what he wanted. The Herrera Esteli line of cigars was finally born in 2013 and was so outstanding that Cigar Aficionado awarded it the #8 spot in their Cigar of the Year rankings.
The Herrera Esteli represented a break from the traditional lineup at Drew Estate. The Liga series, which are outstanding smokes, are all very heavy cigars with a lot of Connecticut Broadleaf and San Andres Negra wrappers and some powerful Nicaraguan fillers. What Willy created was a more approachable cigar and one can see that right away by looking at the wrapper. That is the first thing I noticed when I picked it up, it’s an Ecuadorian habano wrapper which is much lighter in color and definitely milder in flavor than broadleaf. It was also an absolutely gorgeous wrapper with a nice sheen, small veins and a silky feel. Beneath the wrapper is a Honduran binder, which will impart an earthy richness, and Nicaraguan filler to offer up it’s flavors and spice.
My smoking experience with this beauty was great. A nice barnyard aroma hit me first before lighting–I love that aroma in a cigar. It was a joy to smoke from start to finish. Great construction and a perfect burn and a draw with just the right amount of resistance. Some mild spiciness and some earthy flavors were primary; some nuttiness showed through also. It was medium in strength and body and had a nice long finish to it. A very enjoyable cigar and worthy of its high rating! Willy Herrera is a master at what he does and this cigar needs to be on your list of must-try smokes. Look for these beauties in your favorite ABC Humidor!
Steve Mungeer, Category Manager: Premium Cigars and Craft Beer
Follow me on Twitter @abccigarmungo