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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

Drew Estate Herrera Esteli Norteno Belicoso Fino
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: tuck0411
84
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  This one has been generously sponsored by our member 05Venturer (Kent).  The cigar provided for this round is the Drew Estate Herrera Esteli Norteno Belicoso Fino.

Herrera Esteli Norteño was the first blend released from the Drew Estate factory after Willy Herrera was named Master Blender in June, 2014. A sequel of sorts to the popular Herrera Esteli cigar, which earned a spot in 2013's Top 25 Cigars of the Year, the “Norteño” showcases extensively aged tobaccos from the Estelí and Jalapa growing regions of Nicaragua, coupled with a spicy Honduran binder and a rich, bold Mexican San Andrés maduro wrapper, offering medium to full body and strength. The band design features the Guardabarranco, the national bird of Nicaragua, the country where the cigar is produced.


Length:
5
Ring Gauge:
50
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Honduras
Wrapper:
Mexico
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Torpedo

This cigar was enjoyed with water

Pre-Light: 9 Points of 10 Possible

A few minor veins, an oily sheen, a smooth box-press, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots... Gave it two clips with the guillotine and pre-light draw was moderately open.   Pre-light aroma gave a faint whiff of tobacco.

Light & Burn: 12 Points of 15 Possible

The light produced a moderately easy draw, decent smoke volume, and an even burn to start. I quickly gave it a 3rd clip to open the draw a bit more and this mostly succeeded with draw and smoke output both approaching optimal. The burn was wavy but self-correcting through the first third with the ash clinging tightly and I was finally able to knock it off at about 2" which left a cone. The rest of the smoke was the same - wavy but self-correcting down to the nub with no touch-ups needed.

Construction: 25 Points of 30 Possible

As mentioned, the draw was initially a bit restricted after two clips, but it opened up after the third one.  No issues with the wrapper to report. A few minor veins, an oily sheen, a smooth box-press, and a moderately firm pack with no soft spots.

Flavor: 38 Points of 45 Possible

The light gave a full-bodied profile with a spicy retro and notes of leather, black pepper, and spice. The spice in the nose faded somewhat after a few puffs with a note of black coffee appearing in the 2nd third.  Quite tasty but it could have used a bit of sweetness to balance the pepper note. Strength was bordering on full as the nicotine hit was very noticeable towards the end.

Summary

Pretty nice little short smoke, this one, although it wasn't completely maintenance-free what with the initial restricted draw and the occasional double-puffing needed to keep the burn on track.  Re-reading my review of the toro from this blend, I enjoyed that one a bit more as it had no construction or burn issues to deal with, but I will smoke this one again and see if I get a better experience.

Humidor time: 31 days in mine
Burn time: 0:59



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