|Tasting Notes||Cocoa, earth, white pepper, dark berries,|
Willy Herrera began his craft as a small manufacturer in Little Havana, Miami and his talents quickly landed him a job as Drew Estate’s master blender. Drafting off of the success of his first release under the Drew Estate umbrella, Herrera Esteli Norteno has finally arrived. This cigar pays homage to Esteli, Nicaragua – the home of Drew Estate and Herrera Esteli. Norteño, meaning “northerners” in Spanish, was chosen as the name due to people from Esteli being referred to as ‘Norteños.’
|Review #1 Content||
(#7 Cigar of The Year 2016) The combustion and performance are exemplary. Norteños come off the tables of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and from the mind of Willy Herrera, Drew Estate's master blender. He took a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Honduran binder and integrated the two with a filler blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. Great construction, however, is not the only hallmark of this cigar. It's also rich with notes of raw cocoa bean, refined milk chocolate and nougat, yet maintains its earthy qualities without becoming too sweet.
|Review #2 Content||
As I mentioned in the introduction to this review, it seems a bit unfair to call the Herrera Estelí Norteño simply a maduro version of the Herrera Estelí, though at a surface level that's what it is and that is what most people will end up thinking of it as. After smoking a number of both the original and this new release, it's clear that these really are two distinct cigars that deliver two distinct flavor profiles, and as such might not be liked by fans of the original or be very well embraced by those who thought the original was lacking certain components. After strong notes from the San Andrés wrapper out of the gate, the spiciness of the Honduran wrapper starts to emerge before some wonderful sweetness appears near the midpoint, and all of the components come together in the second half for a complex, balanced and enjoyable finish. While I still think the original Herrera Estelí is just a touch better, if you were looking for more strength and pepper, as well as if you are a fan of Mexican tobacco, the Herrera Estelí Norteño offers a lot to like and is most certainly worth checking out. I can only wait with eager anticipation to try the other sizes to see just which one I like best and will make a part of my humidor.