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Big Willy Style....
Welcome Herrera Esteli cigars, the newest addition to join the ranks of Drew Estate's massive portfolio. As with the Liga and Undercrown lines, Herrera Esteli further solidifies Drew Estate's presence in non-infused, traditional cigars. This time, the story starts with Willy Herrera. He was a tobacco guru at the famed El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, responsible for some of the most sought after and highly-rated handmades around. And once he combined forces with Drew Estate, he took like a duck to water. What you see here is the result of sampling and tweaking dozens upon dozens of blends, and the final process is as close to perfection as you can get.
From the vintage Cuban-esque bands to the cabinet style box, Herrera Esteli screams Cuba. And the glue sealing the whole thing together is the blend. Oh-so-creamy, yet highly representative of Cuban cigars of old. It's got some oomph, but the flavors are delivered in such a velvety fashion the power is beautifully masked. Crisp, clean notes of spices, cedar, cream, and roasted nuts are the backbone, as occasional hints of white pepper and semi-sweet vanilla weave masterfully throughout. Initial puffs foreshadow a medium-bodied profile, but the slow burn begins to unveil a different story, as it inches toward a medium to full-bodied crescendo. If the Liga Privada series is a cup of black coffee, Herrera Esteli is without a doubt the "with cream" option. A handmade of the highest caliber, Herrera Esteli is going to turn some heads.
In addition to multiple 93-ratings, Herrera Esteli received a well-deserved 94-rating as well as Top 25 honors for 2014, #8 overall. The panel noted: "medium body, with notes of spice—both earthy and sweet—and a long, long finish."
NOTE: This is the original, 94-rated "Herrera Esteli". Drew Estate has added "Habano" to the name to distinguish it from later Herrera Esteli releases.