IMG_7955Knowing that Willy Herrera was making this cigar and it was being made in a more traditional Cuban style I was excited to try it. I did a little bit of investigating before the package arrived to know what I would be getting into. All of the Herrera Estelis are rolled in the entubado style with a triple cap. This is the bunching technique, which rolls each filler leaf into itself, almost like a small scroll. Each individually “scrolled” leaf is then placed together to form the bunch. This skillful rolling technique creates a more firmly packed cigar, which allows air to travel between all of the leaves, carrying more aromatics/flavors to the palate. Entubado rolling is the most difficult and complex bunching method and is therefore rarely employed in large-scale manufacturing. (Thank you T.U. for providing a well-explained definition). After having several of these this is what I found.

The cigar is covered in an Ecuadorian wrapper that is light milk chocolate in color. The veining is minimal and the seams are tight and is toped off with a classic Cuban style simple band. The over all feel of the body is giving to the touch but obviously well constructed with no noticeable dead spots. The smell from the body is mild and is bread like with notes of coffee. From the foot it is a bit stringer and has the smells of licorice, aged leather and sugared ginger.

The cap cut easily and with no distress to the construction. Lighting was easily done with two matches and the initial draws provided good amounts of medium weighted smoke. The first third of the cigar burned evenly with the ash holding tight for up to almost an inch before asking to be knocked off. The flavor is a little sweet with a bit of pepper as well as the ginger on the back end.

The second third becomes a bit heavier with the flavor getting stronger. The sweetness begins to dissipate while the pepper and spice remains. The burn continues to be even and construction appears flawless at this point.

The last third stays close to the second third in flavor with just a bit more of the spice notes. The sweetness makes a small reappearance but is quickly gone again and covered by the spice along with a small amount of coffee flavor. The burn stayed consistent throughout the whole smoke as well as no faults in construction could be found.

Along with most items from Drew Estate I would recommend this cigar to anyone looking for a fuller bodied smoke. The build of this cigar is solid and hard to find in any other cigar available to the American market right now and the effort is clearly recognizable when smoking. Go grab a couple a let me know what you think.

On a side note Famous Smoke Shop has started a new cigar and spirits online pairing guide. Go check it out at https://www.famous-smoke.com/cigar-pairing/


Strength: Full

Shape: Toro

Size: 6 x 52

Country: Nicaragua

Wrapper Color: Natural

Wrapper Origin: Ecuadorian

Wrapper Leaf: Habano

Website: Famous-smoke.com

Price: $37.99 for a 5 pack or $185.99 for a box of 25

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 pints

Drew Estate’s Undercrown

IMG_0151Since our giveaway right now is a six pack of Undercrown figured we should get a review up. By now I think the story is well known how Undercrown came about, but incase you haven’t heard I’ll sum up briefly. Drew Estate allows their rollers to smoke any of their cigars they have in production. The rollers loved the #9 so much that it created a shortage of the cigars. Drew Estate reluctantly told the rollers they had to stop smoking that cigar and instead of whining about it the rollers made a new blend using different priming of the same tobacco. The new blend was so good that Drew Estate decided to market it to the public and that is how we got Undercrown. This doesn’t mean that Drew Estates is saying this can replace No. 9’s just that it is a good alternative.

Today I smoked the Undercrown Gran Toro. It’s size is 152mm and has a 52 ring gauge. The wrapper is a rich dark chocolate color with some visible veins yet it is smooth to the touch.  The construction is solid with a decent amount of filler to make the cigar firm but still flexes nicely when pressure is applied. I store my cigars at 72% humidity, which could account for some of the flexibility in the tobacco however I have picked these up from smoke shops and found them to feel the same. The wrapper and the foot had the smell of leather, old books, and a hint of chicory root.

The cigar lights quickly and evenly. The draw is easy but not loose. Again, a sign that the construction is of quality. The amount of smoke given off by this cigar is extensive. The quality of the smoke is also excellent and full but light on the tongue. The flavor is medium and has spiced notes mixed with a bit of coffee and at the end, cream. The flavor held consistent throughout the majority of the cigar with only a few changes at the end (that aren’t worth mentioning) and was enjoyable all the way through.

In total this is a great cigar that everyone should at least try. The construction and flavor are fantastic the smoke is exponential and the price is great. I give this one four out of five pints.


Wrapper: San Andres

Origin: Nicaragua

Shapes: Belicoso, Corona, Double Corona, Gordo, Robusto, Toro

Brand: Drew Estate


Rating: 4 out of 5 pints