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Cigar Review: Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Box Press (Lounge Exclusive)

7 Dec 2015

In February 2014, it was announced Drew Estate would open its first Drew Estate Lounge at Corona Cigar Company’s location in Sand Lake, Florida. “In addition to the branded Drew Estate Lounge, Corona Cigar Company will be working with Drew Estate [to create] a series of unique, limited edition, lounge-exclusive offerings,” said a press release at the time.

Box Press HerreraThis September, six exclusive cigar sizes were announced for the lounge. The sizes are all presented in a toro format (6 x 50), with half featuring a soft-press and half a box-press. The blends include Undercrown (box press), Liga Privada No. 9 (box press), Herrera Estelí (box press), Natural (soft press), Tabak Especial Dulce (soft press), and Tabak Especial Negra (soft press). You’ll note the three non-infused cigars are box-pressed, while the flavored cigars have a soft press.

“The introduction of the world’s first Drew Estate Lounge has been a rousing success at Corona Cigar,” said Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of the retailer. “These exciting new offerings from Drew Estate will add another dimension to the cigar smoking experience in Corona’s Drew Estate Lounge and [are] guaranteed to excite our customers.”

The Herrera Estelí Box Press boasts the same makeup as the Herrera Estelí blend that was introduced in 2013—a golden Ecuadorian Habano wrapper around a Honduran binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. (When Herrera Estelí hit the market, it provided some much-needed diversification for Drew Estate’s non-infused premium cigar business, which had previously focused on dark, full-bodied smokes; namesake Willy Herrera brought a more traditional—some would say “Cubanesque”—sensibility to blending, whereas Drew Estate had been firmly full-throttle Nicaraguan.)

The press on this lounge exclusive is notably sharp and square, rendering it strikingly dissimilar to its Herrera Estelí predecessor vitolas. Further differentiating it is a secondary band that reads “Corona Cigar Co. – Exclusivamente Drew Estate Lounge – Orlando, Florida.” The spongy cigar has familiar pre-light notes including molasses, sweet hay, and cinnamon butter. A punch cut is all that’s needed to reveal a very smooth cold draw.

Once lit, that ultra-easy draw translates to a light, airy smoke texture with toned-down flavors of oak, white pepper, syrup, cream, and almond. Herrera Estelí was never a heavy blend, but something about the square press makes it, in my opinion, lighter in body and a little drier in terms of mouthfeel. As the toro progresses, the intensity gradually steps up, though I don’t think the strength or body ever pass the medium point.

Throughout, the combustion qualities are superb. Expect a straight burn line that requires no touch-ups, above-average smoke production, and a white ash that holds well.

I personally slightly prefer the non-pressed Toro Especial (6.25 x 54) vitola in this blend (and I currently consider the Lonsdale Deluxe (6 x 44) to be the best in class). That said, the Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Box Press that’s exclusive to Corona Cigar Company’s lounge is still a treat, and certainly not a bad buy at $10. In my book, it earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Cigar Review: Drew Estate Herrera Estelí Box Press (Lounge Exclusive)”

  1. Mac56 Monday, December 7, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    I really like this blend, and I’m finding I really prefer box-pressed smokes (for some reason). So this sounds right up my alley.

    Glad to see you can order these online at Corona Cigar since I won’t be able to visit the lounge as I’m out-of-state…