Posted by Jack | in Drew Estate | on 08 May 2014 | at 5:02 PM | 4448 views
Ah, the Herrera Esteli.  What can I say that I haven't already said about this brand?  More Cuban than many Cuban cigars these days, the Herrera Esteli line is delicious and satisfying across the board.  How could they get much better?  How about a limited edition lancero?  Drew Estate blessed my front porch with a pair of lovelies and after savoring the first one it is now my pleasure to review the last one in my stash.  In true master blender fashion, Willy tweaked the standard blend to fit the slender proportions of the lancero vitola.  Is it better that the standard line?  Let's see....
Construction: The ELL is a very nice looking cigar.  A seamless and nearly veinless wrapper leaf, perfect triple cap.  Just amazing as they usually are in the construction department.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: Out of the cellophane, the EL gives off very rich leather, cedar, and fresh hay aromas.  From the foot, I get a touches of chocolate, cream, and raisins.  The draw is perfect...and a cold pull gives taste to that creamy chocolatey raisin aroma.
Light and Burn: Absolutely rock solid from start to finish - flawless.
Tasting: In the starting couple of puffs, I get cinnamon, some allspice, and a hint of white pepper.  As the first third starts up, a really nice herbal tea note appears.  Some roasted nuts and toffee show up underneath the pepper.  I have puffed my way through many Herrera Esteli cigars, all sizes....but this slender fellow is a flavor bomb above them all so far.  I say well played sir to Mr. Herrera.
The second third starts with a really interesting mix. The pepper is dropping out and leather is showing up more heavily.  Some sweet oak, chocolate, cinnamon, and a slight vanilla note show up and mingle nicely.  The balance of this cigar is amazing.  And still at its roots is that Cubanesque profile that put the Herrera Esteli on so many must-smoke lists.  Strength is in the higher medium range but it is not overpowering at all.  Delicious.
The final third keeps the complexity rolling with notes of cinnamon, salt, allspice, cedar, and caramel in that leathery core.  Strength drops back down to a solid medium.  Totally worth smoking to the nub. This thing is amazing.
Value: As you typically find, the lancero size makes this cigar a tad more expensive than the rest of  the line.  The lancero shape is notoriously hard to roll, so you are paying extra for a cigar rolled by the best rollers in the factory.  How much?  $12, so only a couple of bucks more than the most expensive of the standard line.  Well worth it, if you ask me.
Final Thoughts: So is it better than the regular line?  Yes.  Definitely.  I would make this one of my go-to cigars if I had a box on hand.  They are simply amazing and easily on the list for cigar of the year.  Another success from Drew Estate.  I have heard rumors of a maduro version of the Herrera Esteli this year too....please, oh please let that be true.  Highly recommended.  And my thanks to Drew Estate for the samples!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Size: 7 x 38
As you can see....perfectly put together.
Box shot courtesy of Drew Estate
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