Norteño Robusto Grande

Norteño Robusto Grande

Rank: 7
Rating: 94
Price: $12.00
Made By: Gran Fabrica Drew Estate
Factory Location: Nicaragua
Dimensions: 5 1/2" by 54 ring gauge
Filler: Nicaragua
Binder: Honduras
Wrapper: Mexico

The packaging of this brand is not only attractive, but a foreshadowing of the cigars inside—dark, flat and compact. That's a fair way to describe the appearance of the Norteño Robusto Grande. What the packaging doesn't tell you is that each cigar in the box has a lush, substantial draw that layers the palate with copious amounts of dense smoke. The combustion and performance are exemplary.

Norteños come off the tables of La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate and from the mind of Willy Herrera, Drew Estate's master blender. He took a Mexican San Andrés wrapper, a Honduran binder and integrated the two with a filler blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos. Great construction, however, is not the only hallmark of this cigar. It's also rich with notes of raw cocoa bean, refined milk chocolate and nougat, yet maintains its earthy qualities without becoming too sweet.

The name, which translates to "northerner" in Spanish refers to those in Estelí, which is located in the northern part of Nicaragua and where the Drew Estate factory resides. It's also a nod to Herrera himself, who is from Miami. He may be considered from the south in the United States, but in Nicaragua, he's a northerner.