November Cigar Reveal

Drew Estate - Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro

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Brand Drew Estate
Cigar Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro
Wrapper Brazil
Binder Connecticut
Filler Nicaragua
Description Sometimes I wish we could really take this blind tasting thing to another level. We removed the bands, but the look and feel of the cigar itself can give us expectations that affect how we taste  and evaluate our cigars. "We smoke with our eyes," Jon Huber of Crowned Heads once said (Maybe we'll start including a blindfold in our packages...). This large, dark cigar cigar is certainly no exception, and chances are you lit up this cigar expecting certain flavor characteristics and a 10 out of 10 on strength. But I think that's the beauty of the Herrera Esteli Brazilian Maduro: It just as flavorful and complex as a really strong (dare I say, broadleaf wrapped) cigar, but it's impeccably balanced with an unexpected sweetness. This is the second Herrera Esteli brand we've blind smoked, as last year we featured the Herrera Esteli Norteño. This is my favorite from the Herrera Esteli line. Brazilian tobacco is typically used in the filler and binder (like in Drew Estate Liga Privada #9), but on using it as a wrapper, Herrera said, "This is my expression of the floral and earthy Brazilian Mata Fina tobacco ... I wanted to showcase its dynamic and unique texture." I mentioned balance before. There are a lot of tasty flavors of earth, leather, and dark cherry and a little white pepper through the nose. But beneath it all are very subtle notes of honey and caramel that keep it from being one-dimensional. This smoke would be great paired with a bourbon (scotch would overpower it) like Four Roses Small Batch. And lastly, one of my favorite ways to tell a truly quality cigar, especially one with this much flavor, is how clean it leaves your palate at the end. When I finished smoking the Brazilian Maduro, my taste buds were still fresh and I was ready to light up another one. Overall a fantastic blind smoking experience from Willy Herrera.
Review: Stogie Review
The Herrera Esteli has always been a favorite of mine so I was excited to see a maduro version be released. The wait was worth it in my opinion. The Herrera Esteli Brazilian maduro is a great maduro blend that has a ton of flavor. I like the balance of the sweet and savory flavors this blend showcases and a nice medium-full body. These cigars are starting to hit the stores as this review is being released so go check this out if you’re a maduro fan as I think this one is a superior blend to most. I think the blend will shine more in the larger ring gauges, but I haven’t been able to try those yet. Willy Herrera never seems to disappoint with his cigar releases and this one is another winner.
Review: Cigar Coop
Flavorwise, the Herrera Estelí Brazilian Maduro Toro Especial started out like gangbusters delivering some incredible rich coffee notes in the first third. While the second two-thirds were enjoyable, the flavors weren’t at the high level of the first third. On the burn and draw, this is a cigar that didn’t score as high as I would expect from one coming out of Drew Estate. In the end, there are still more positives than negatives. It’s still a cigar I’d recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or a novice looking for something medium/medium plus. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke and purchase again. I think there is a lot of potential with this blend and I’m curious to see how the other sizes smoke.

Joya de Nicaragua - Antaño Connecticut

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Brand Joya de Nicaragua
Cigar Antaño Connecticut
Wrapper Connecticut
Binder Nicaragua
Filler Nicaragua
Description So now take everything I said at the beginning of the description for #84, and reverse it. Even after removing the bands, the look of this cigar leads to a lot of pre-smoke expectations. I bet you took one look at the Connecticut wrapper and knew exactly what it was going to taste like: creamy, buttery, boring, and creamy. I know I did.  Well, let me introduce you to the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño Connecticut. Of this cigar, Joya's factory manager, Mario Pérez, said, "This smoke is definitely an intense experience, the intriguing result of master blenders on a paradoxical quest: the creation of a flavor bomb like the rest of the Antaños but with this wrapper. It became a real challenge for us at the factory, torcedores and blenders, we all wanted to defy an industry mantra, we knew we could make a truly interesting CT cigar." A noble pursuit, no? I love what Halfwheel asked in their review... "Will this be more Antaño or more Connecticut?" Joya de Nicaragua is known for their rather STRONG cigars (often to a fault, in my opinion). But this medium-bodied Connecticut wrapped stick features very unexpected earthiness, meatiness, nuts and citrus. Also for a Connecticut shade cigar, it shows a surprising amount of complexity, varying in flavors from the first third to the last. In the end, this is a cigar I'll be reaching for in the future when I want a truly flavorful Connecticut shade. And to the folks at Joya de Nicaragua: Mission accomplished.
Review: Halfwheel
For me, the question with this cigar is would it be more Antaño or more Connecticut? As it turns out, the answer—from start to finish—is a very politically correct both. It's never unhinged, but it's also pretty full. It's relatively balanced from start to finish, but it changes in fairly dramatic ways.
Review: Cigar Coop
When it comes to the Joya de Nicaragua Antaño CT Robusto, it is a good cigar, but I found this to be a cigar that lacked “wow” power. I had high hopes for the Antaño CT specifically because it was joining the Antaño brand – the brand that I consider to have Joya de Nicaragua’s best blends. On one hand, it wasn’t as smooth and creamy as a traditional Connecticut Shade, and on the other hand, it wasn’t as bold and spicy as I was expecting from a contemporary Connecticut Shade. In the end, this is one of those cigars for which I recommend trying a sample first before deciding to purchase.