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Presmoke thoughts:

I’ve wanted to smoke one of these for quite a while. I can’t find them at any of the B&Ms around me, and never pulled the trigger on purchasing online. This last week I picked up a 5-pack of the RoMa Craft Intemperance because they are the Cigar Of The Month on the cigars subreddit, but while I was looking at the cigars on SmallBatch Cigars’ site I noticed they had a 5-pack of the Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gordas. I had a 10% off coupon with free shipping that I was already using on the RoMas so I figured I’d add these to it.

The beautiful Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

I smoked my first Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda yesterday while running some errands. I definitely didn’t give it the thought and attention it deserved but I wanted to see whether it was worth reviewing. It was, and I felt like I would have enjoyed it even more than I did if I had sat down with it. So here I am, sitting down with it.

The entubado rolled Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

 

The Herrera Estelis are named after their blender, Willy Herrera. Willy joined Drew Estate in 2001 and, according to this press release, they gave Willy free reign to experiment and come up with his own blend.

“Our goal is to give Willy the freedom to create his own unique style of cigars within our operation,” explains Marvin Samel, DE’s Co-Founder and Executive VP. “Almost a factory within a factory, so as to allow him to succeed on his own merit. Ultimately the intent is for there to be brands that are not only ‘Willy Hererra’ by name, but are ones that are truly those of his creation and efforts, not just some marketing gimmick.”

The Short Corona Gorda is vitola or size I can appreciate. I typically and most often enjoy smaller ring gauges which I’ve heard is due to the stronger ratio between wrapper and binder/filler. I also appreciate the short size as I frequently don’t have 90-120 minutes to sit down and enjoy a cigar.

 

Construction:

Beautiful, simple band. Lovely light brown wrapper only slightly darker than the iced vanilla latte I’m pairing this with. There’s a great triple cap that held up to cutting very nicely. Slightly bumpy towards the foot, but it’s not prominent.

I love the classically simple band on the Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda

 

Prelight:

The nose cold is a beautiful combination of honey and apricot. Maybe a little bit of sawdust on the nose too. The cold draw is sweet like a Gummi Bear.

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Stats:

  • Cigar Brand: Herrera Esteli/Drew Estate
  • Cigar Name: Herrera Esteli
  • FactoryLa Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
  • Country of OriginNicaragua
  • WrapperEcuadorian Habano
  • BinderHonduran
  • FillerNicaraguan
  • VitolaShort Corona Gorda
  • Length5.25″
  • Ring Gauge46
  • Cost$6.12 each — Bought a 5-pack from SmallBatch for $34 before a 10% off coupon.
  • Where purchasedSmallBatchCigars
  • StrengthAlmost entirely medium with some hints at a fuller strength, but never moving close to full.
  • Smoked2014-05-11
  • WhereCar
  • When~3pm
  • Occasionn/a
  • Meal: Salmon, Tuna, and Yellowtail sashimi about a half hour before smoking.
  • WhereAkira in Moorestown, NJ
  • Drink PairingTriple venti iced vanilla latte from Starbucks
  • Linkhttp://drewestate.com/?portfolio=herrera-esteli-cigars

 

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First Third:

On my first pull of the Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda the beautiful triple cap I mentioned tries to come completely off. I wet it a bit and it is hanging on for at least a little bit longer.

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The retrohale is very smooth and enjoyable, with a light nuttiness to it. The first few minutes taste sweet and earthy. Eventually the nuttiness transitions into the taste from the retro and it makes this even more enjoyable.

On the nose I’m getting a sweet cedar smell towards the end of the first third. It’s amazing how pleasant the sweet aspects of this cigar are. They’re not sweet like an infused cigar, but sweet in a natural, lowkey way like walking into a house where someone made cookies hours prior. It’s slightly faint but not too subtle, and it gives you cravings for more. I’m finding it incredibly difficult to not smoke this in record time because it’s hard to fight the craving to constantly want more of it. This is a seriously good blend of tobacco.

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Second Third:

The second third is more of the same. It’s not as boring as that sounds because it’s just alternating between which of the core flavors is most prominent: sweet, earthy, or nutty. There’s a lot of rotating variety in that constant juggle. The Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda is really good.

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The nose stays amazing. The retro continues to be super smooth and nutty. The burn is a tiny bit wavy, but certainly nothing to complain about.

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Final Third:

The nuttiness is the dominant flavor of the final third. As I get down to the final inch I start to get a very slight bitterness, and proceed to use my lap as an ashtray as I’m moving my arm to the window to ash outside. Gotta love that timing.

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The bitterness is very slight and is more like a dark coffee than say tar. That is balanced at the very end by a new flavor: citrus.

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Burn:

Very slightly wavy, never problematic, and the only negative thing I can say is at the very end I was burning my fingers this Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda was so good.

 

Final Thoughts:

This is a really great smoke. Up until I smoked this Herrera Esteli Short Corona Gorda, I was set on the Room 101 San Andres being my next box purchase but now I’m not certain which of these two it’ll be. Two very different smokes but I loved both. This is easily a “keep stocked” smoke and may very well end up my next box.

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