Last year, Willy Herrera began posting images of different size of the Herrera Esteli, a 6 3/4 x 38 petit lancero. It went by without much fanfare, as Herrera often posts about various sizes and blends he’s working on and to date—only the original five sizes of Herrera Esteli have made it to market.
Turns out, the lancero was actually the next size of the Herrera Esteli blend and as earlier as next week, the cigar might appear on shelves in some capacity. The official announcement came late last year, described as a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero expected by February.
The February date came and went and along the way the size changed to 7 x 38. While it’s described on the box and secondary band as a “limited edition,” there’s no set amount. Instead, the cigar is limited in production with only one pair at the factory working on it.
Herrera himself posted pictures of the production boxes last week.
The lancero brings the total amount of vitola for the line to six.
- Herrera Esteli Short Corona (5 1/4 x 46) — $7.95 (Boxes of 25, $198.75)
- Herrera Esteli Robusto Extra (5 1/2 x 52) — $8.75 (Boxes of 25, $218.75)
- Herrera Esteli Lonsdale (6 x 44) — $8.95 (Boxes of 25, $223.75)
- Herrera Esteli Toro Especial (6 1/4 x 54) — $9.35 (Boxes of 25, $233.75)
- Herrera Esteli Piramide Fino (6 x 52) — $10.45 (Boxes of 25, $261.25)
- Herrera Esteli Lancero (7 x 38) — TBA (Boxes of 15, TBA)
- Cigar Reviewed: Herrera Esteli Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: n/a
- Date Released: April 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
While not atheistically pleasing, the Herrera Esteli now comes in cellophane, which helps protect the Ecuadorian wrapper from damage. The cigar looks as you would expect, a slightly longer and thinner version of the Herrera Esteli Lonsdale with a secondary band. There’s some sweet cedar notes and a touch of floral from the wrapper, the latter intensifies on the foot and some spice is added to the mixture. From the cold draw I get sweet cedar, bread-like notes, an overly sweet floral note that is reminiscent to some degree of twang and lemon and black pepper on the finish.
I’m a bit taken back on each of the three samples I smoked, there’s a big burnt clove note that I never found in any of the other Herrera Estelis I’ve smoked. In addition, there’s coffee, a sweet bread-like note with pepper, orange peel and burnt cedar on the lengthy finish. The draw is slightly open for a lancero, but dead in the sweet spot for most smokers, along with gigantic amounts of smoke. The flavor of the Herrera Esteli Lancero settles into some sweetness on top of an aged cedar, remnants of the clove with butterscotch, bitter nuts and harsh cedar on the finish.
On one sample I smoke, the clove note picks up in the second third. On the other two, it’s nowhere to be found. Instead, oak has now joined the flavors on the tongue while the floral notes are dominating the nose. The salty and undeveloped nuts continue to be present, as does the butterscotch—although the latter is hard to separate from the big floral note.
The Herrera Esteli Lancero actually gets sweeter in the final third, something that’s only intensified by the harshness completely dissipating in the final third. Elsewhere, the floral note is becoming more generic and harder to separate from the other sweet notes. There’s an uptick in body as well, with the smoke becoming denser and more velvet-like, ending the cigar right at full.
- For those wondering, the first shipment of 200 boxes left Nicaragua this week. They should be in stores as early as next week.
- According to Herrera, the first two shipments will actually feature slightly different boxes, as there will be no branding on the lid. Further shipments of the cigar will have the name and size listed on the lid.
- Cigar Snob partnered with Drew Estate to give away the first box, the image they used for that box is radically different than the production box.
- Herrera’s next line, the Herrera Esteli Norteño is scheduled for June.
- If you don’t retrohale the cigar, expect a lot of cedar. It’s still got a decent amount of flavor, but it’s relatively singular in flavors without the nose.
- Construction is great. There’s a lot of smoke, as often the case with Drew Estate and an easy draw that is not too open. While I never had to touch up the cigar, with two and a half inches left, the cigar required a bit more attention to keep it lit.
- Strength is medium.
- This is about as quick as I smoke any lancero, one and a half hours. The smoke production no doubt helps the combustion move at a very quick rate.
- Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by Willy Herrera. Drew Estate has previously purchased ads on halfwheel in 2014.
This is my favorite size of the Herrera Esteli, and not just because it’s my preferred vitola. The flavor, the burn, the draw—all just seem better. The clove not was odd, but enjoyable; the sweetness that I was able to pick up combined with the base of wood notes, mainly cedar, made for the most balanced vitola of a line known for its balance.