We broke the news in August, here, that the Jonathan Drew confirmed that the Herrera Esteli brand would be adding a lancero vitola to the portfolio. Cigar Aficionado just published an article with a few more details about the blend, size, and release details. We also reviewed the Toro version of this cigar a few months ago here.
Herrera Esteli is the top-rated cigar rolled at the massive La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The brand scored an average of 90 points in an April 30 Cigar Insider vertical brand tasting, with three of the sizes scoring at least 90 points. The top score—93 points—went to the Piramide Fino, a 6 inch long, 52 ring gauge cigar with the shape of a Cuban belicoso.
Blended by Willy Herrera, who once made cigars at the tiny El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Herrera Esteli has been both a critical and commercial hit for Drew Estate, best known in the premium cigar world as the maker of Liga Privada.
Herrera told Cigar Insider that the new smoke was going to be made in smaller quantities than the rest of the line. “I’m going to bring it out in limited numbers,” he said. “It’s a niche-market kind of cigar. The last thing I want to do is put it in every shop.”
Although the cigar does not have a pigtail cap, the Herrera Esteli otherwise has the traditional Cuban dimensions of a lancero, 7 1/2 inches long by 38 ring gauge. Making that particular shape required Drew Estate to buy new molds, as Drew Estate doesn’t make a cigar in that vitola, and the only lancero-style shape it makes—the Liga Privada Único Serie L40—has a 40 ring gauge.
“They were trying to push me to the 40 ring,” said Herrera. “I said nope.”
The cigar is made from the same blend as the rest of the line, with Ecuador Habano wrappers, a Honduran binder grown from Criollo seed, and a mix of Nicaraguan fillers from Jalapa and Estelí. “The flavors of the blend come out so much more in those smaller ring sizes,” Herrera said. “You get a lot more of that wrapper. The wrapper and binder definitely come out a lot more.”
The cigar should hit the market in late January or February. The suggested retail price has yet to be determined.”