The legendary Willy Herrera moved from El Titan de Bronze in 2011 to join forces with Jonathan Drew.
Together, they came up with this blend. It is a magnificent cigar and this is the newest size: Lancero. It is now a regular production cigar. I think Drew Estate was lucky to get Willy.
I am conflicted about lanceros. While the flavor profile tends to be more intense…it is guaranteed 100% that some of the ash ends up in your lap. Lanceros also tend to be fast burners.
The construction is extremely sloppy. Exposed seams that should not be this exposed which might cause problems later. One seam is so out of whack that I must carefully glue it back into place. Very lumpy. Lots of veins. The wrapper is the color of wild honey. The wrapper is smooth.
I clip the cap and find aromas of strong herbal and floral notes. A very creamy cocoa aroma is present.
Spice is strong. The rest are cedar, sweetness, yellow pound cake once more due to the strong vanilla and buttery aroma.
Time to light up.
The draw seems to be a little on the light side. I’m sure the sloppy seams have a lot to do with that. Like sucking through a straw with a pin hole in it.
Sweetness hits first. And then the pepper. It is very woody and nutty. I get some citrus in the background and a bitter cedar. Caramel hits my palate soon after the first couple of minutes.
I’ve reviewed the Herrera Esteli in the Robusto Extra (5.25 x 52) size and it was nothing like this Lancero. It was more conventional. It also cost $3 less than this stick.
I’ve always had the same bitch about the hard to get DE blends. They are overpriced and kept off the market like the Arabs keep oil from flooding the market. It puts the supply and demand syndrome right in their court.
And this annoys me…clearly, the cigar is not jam packed with tobacco. In fact, it seems to be on the light side causing the cigar to burn quickly. It’s taken me 10 minutes to get to the second third. That means that this is a 30 minute cigar. Which means around 4+ minutes per inch. And $1.70 per minute.
The second third begins and I have this gut feeling I’ve been cheated on my cigar experience. I loved the Herrera Esteli in the big robusto size and the price range was on point.
Here are the current flavors, in order: Caramel, sweetness, honey, citrus, vanilla, yellow cake, spice, nutty, floral, wood, and cedar.
I hit the halfway point at 15 minutes of smoking time.
The flavor profile opens up and becomes a strong flavor bomb.
Because this is such a limited edition, even with my Atlantic Cigars VIP Club membership, I get no discount. I only bought two because I feared that I might be getting caught up in the Drew Estate supply and demand scenario.
I can think of half a dozen Curivari blends (Selección Privada Natural, Reserva Limitada Classica, Reserva Limitada Café, El Gran Rey, Buenaventura, Selección Privada Maduro) that are just as good as this cigar and only cost half what this stick is.
The last third begins after 20 minutes of smoke time.
No real changes except that the flavors are really pumping out diversity and complexity. Very balanced with a long finish.
I realize that I am offending you Drew Estate fans and I apologize. If he were to price his blends according to a decent price range, I would be of a different mind.
The last third is a real joy to smoke. The very unique flavor profile is quite an accomplishment. But then having Willy Herrera doing the heavy leg work for you is quite another accomplishment.
The PR says that the cigar is rolled using the Entubado method of rolling lots of filler leaves into tubes. This, by its own definition, should mean that the cigar will be jam packed.
I’m trying to get the best out of my $1.70 per minute. The nice thing about Herrera doing the blending is that the cigar needs very little humidor time. A week and you’re good to go.
The char line goes awry on me and I must touch it up.
The strength was medium bodied until the second half. It then became medium/full. In the last 1-1/2”, it is now full bodied. And with only a hint of nicotine.
While the Robusto Extra did not have this unusual flavor profile, it is an excellent cigar and I don’t mind paying the $8.75 retail.
As the cigar finishes out, nicotine slams it home.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS