In April, Willy Herrera told me he was working on a new blend. It’s not a particularly revealing fact given that Herrera is tasked with blending for Drew Estate, one of the largest cigar companies in the world.
What was interesting is that the cigar was not to be made in Nicaragua at Drew Estate’s factory. Rather, it would be rolled at Herrera’s old stomping grounds: El Titan de Bronze in Miami. Prior to joining Drew Estate in 2011, Herrera worked at El Titan; the factory is owned by Herrera’s mother-in-law, Sandra Cobas, and as part of Herrera’s employment at Drew Estate, the parties agreed he would continue to help with the Miami-based factory.
Since 2011, the Miami factory has undergone a myriad of changes including a massive expansion. Its client list has expanded, most notably with the addition of La Palina and its Goldie line.
Herrera’s own notoriety has grown quite substantially with his namesake Herrera Estelí and subsequent Herrera Estelí Norteño lines. Now, there’s another addition in the form of the Herrera Estelí Miami. It’s offered in a single 5 3/4 x 48 corona size with an Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers.
Pricing is $13 per cigar and it is packaged in boxes of 10.
- Cigar Reviewed: Herrera Estelí Miami Edition
- Country of Origin: U.S.A.
- Factory: El Titan de Bronze
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 5 3/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Corona Extra
- MSRP: $13 (Boxes of 10, $130)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
It’s a bit of a goldilocks scenario: darker than the original Herrera Estelí, lighter than the Norteño. The band is the same red band that has been used for the TAA and Tienda Exclusive releases. There is a notable addition in the form of a secondary band reading Miami. It smells like leather, oatmeal cookies, malts and burnt caramel. The foot smells of hot chocolate powder, caramel, earth, anise and some florals. It’s got oak, floral, creaminess, a bit of cranberry and some white whiskey flavor.
The Herrera Estelí Miami Edition begins very toasty with earthiness, some sunflower seeds and saltiness. That earth continues into the first third, now joined by a vibrant cocoa, burnt corn and some flavors that remind me of the bottom of a coffee pot. Through the nose I get some odd kiwi flavors while the back of the throat has a lot of cinnamon. There’s some odd sharpness on the finish, almost like an intense mineral flavor, but a bit stronger. Towards the end of the first third, there’s some mild red pepper on the back, though it displays a lot of signs that it will increase. All three cigars need a touch-up in the first third, though one cigar has tunneling as opposed to just an uneven burn.
There’s a ton of creaminess in the middle portion of the cigar, though it’s not the typical manifestation of the flavor. Rather, it’s more like an array of various creamy flavors: tomato soup, potato soup and some sugar cookies that have degraded in a glass of milk. In addition, there’s some nuttiness, like the thin coating of a pistachio, and oranges through the nose. The pepper is still there, though not really anymore intense than the first third and now more of a cheap store-bought ground black pepper. Strength picks up from medium to medium-full. Construction is great with the exception of the one sample that tunneled.
The flavor gets much richer in the final third of the Herrera Estelí Miami Edition. A big nuttiness along with a very distinct duck flavor replace the creamy portions of the flavor. There’s both acidity and sweetness behind that in the form of teriyaki sauce and some caramel corn. Interestingly, the pepper is almost completely gone until the nub gets to the point where my fingers are getting burned. Strength increases a bit as well, getting close to full.
- One sample had some tunneling issues, though the other samples were fine as far as construction was concerned.
- I’m curious to see what sort of availability these have going forward. While it seems like it was a fairly widespread release upon the initial release, time will tell how regularly available these will be.
- While there haven’t been that many new Herrera Estelí releases, the handful of new cigars—Inktome, TAA, Miami, H-Town—have all been quite good.
- I am a bit surprised that Drew Estate didn’t try to charge a higher price and advertise this more as a limited product. I certainly think the Herrera Estelí brand has enough fans that would be willing to pay $20 for a limited, Miami-made flagship product.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was two hours on average.
It’s been a while since I had a cigar that tasted like a buffet of foods, but the Herrera Estelí Miami Edition provided a very nice dinner. The flavors are unique, developed and rich; but also accessible. Even if you aren’t retrohaling, the flavor this Herrera Estelí has is enjoyable and layered. Unfortunately, construction isn’t flawless and the score suffered a bit for that.