Herrera Esteli Getting Lancero Size

Drew Estate's hot Herrera Esteli brand is getting a new size. After the holidays, a long, slim lancero will be added to the brand, pushing it to six sizes.

Herrera Esteli is the top-rated cigar rolled at the massive La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate S.A. factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The brand scored an average of 90 points in an April 30 Cigar Insider vertical brand tasting, with three of the sizes scoring at least 90 points. The top score93 points—went to the Piramide Fino, a 6 inch long, 52 ring gauge cigar with the shape of a Cuban belicoso.

Blended by Willy Herrera, who once made cigars at the tiny El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, Herrera Esteli has been both a critical and commercial hit for Drew Estate, best known in the premium cigar world as the maker of Liga Privada.

Herrera told Cigar Insider that the new smoke was going to be made in smaller quantities than the rest of the line. "I'm going to bring it out in limited numbers," he said. "It's a niche-market kind of cigar. The last thing I want to do is put it in every shop."

Although the cigar does not have a pigtail cap, the Herrera Esteli otherwise has the traditional Cuban dimensions of a lancero, 7 1/2 inches long by 38 ring gauge. Making that particular shape required Drew Estate to buy new molds, as Drew Estate doesn't make a cigar in that vitola, and the only lancero-style shape it makesthe Liga Privada Único Serie L40—has a 40 ring gauge.
"They were trying to push me to the 40 ring," said Herrera. "I said nope."

The cigar is made from the same blend as the rest of the line, with Ecuador Habano wrappers, a Honduran binder grown from Criollo seed, and a mix of Nicaraguan fillers from Jalapa and Estelí. "The flavors of the blend come out so much more in those smaller ring sizes," Herrera said. "You get a lot more of that wrapper. The wrapper and binder definitely come out a lot more."

The cigar should hit the market in late January or February. The suggested retail price has yet to be determined.

"I am a huge Willie Herrera fan, and his cigar is my favorite. My only disappointment is that the lancero will be a limited release. Very, very excited!" —December 19, 2013 14:38 PM
"I remember in the late nineties on a trip to Germany, I was visiting a famous cigar shop in the town of Cologn (between Dusseldorf and Dortmund) when I experienced my very first Cuban Lancero. It was a tremendous experience. While my tastes have changed to the more full bodied Nicaraguan tobacco - I think that the Herrera Esteli Lancero may theoretically cross the bridge between both Cuba and Nicaragua. That's Willies' palate in a nut shell. Best JD" —December 17, 2013 23:03 PM
"Looking forward to trying the lancero size. It is a personal favorite of mine as is the double corona. I am aware that other sizes like the churchill is easier to produce than a double or a pettit corona or corona easier than the lancero. I am a huge fan of both those traditional sizes and will purchase some as soon as they become available. Bravo!" —December 13, 2013 10:40 AM