It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the Herrera Esteli Norteño in the Robusto Grande size. This 5.5×54 box-pressed stick has a slightly oval shape to it with perfect looking construction. The wrapper is a San Andres Maduro covering a Honduran binder and Nicaraguan fillers.
The wrapper gives off a slight tobacco and chocolate aroma, and I smell leather and spicy earth coming out of the foot. The cold draw gives me a musty earth flavor. Once lit, there is very spicy leather on the draw with an oily grass. On the finish, I pick up cinnamon and spicy toast. The smoke is thick and chewy.
Thirty-five minutes in, the first third ends. On the draw, I pick up sweet cocoa alongside oak and a dark cherry note. Through the nose, there is a huge blast of spicy earth with leather and cayenne pepper. The finish is long with black pepper, espresso, and a buttery sweetness. Both body and strength are at the medium to full mark.
I finish the second third at one hour. On the draw, there is smoky chocolate with sweet leather and grassy hay. The retro-hale gives me a bold caramel and more cayenne pepper. The long finish transitions to a dry cinnamon with some bitter coffee and a sweet raisin note. There is no change to strength and body.
The final third closes out at one hour and forty minutes. I pick up sweet leather and cocoa on the draw complimented by floral hay and buttery cream. Through the nose, there is spicy cedar with more cayenne pepper and some fruity coffee. I find a delicious vanilla and caramel mix on the finish topping off black pepper and leather. The body and strength finish at the medium to full mark.
The Norteño is a delicious cigar with fantastic complexity and balance. It has some awesome flavor reminiscent of many other super premiums, but it maintains a unique enough flavor profile to steer clear of being recycled. Construction is top notch on this stick, and it’s another easy win in the Drew Estate book. Price is a bit steep at the $12-13 range, but there’s no denying this is a great cigar. I highly recommend it.