Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Price: $12.00 per cigar/$144 for a box
Reviewer: Ryan Bloomer
The Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive is a new addition to the Herrera Esteli line that was released in April to TAA members. The TAA Exclusive is a (6×52) which will be packeged in 12 count boxes. The cigar is wrapped in a dark Connecticut broad-leaf wrapper. The binder consist of Brazilian Mata Fina which is grown in the Reconcavo Basin in Bahia, Brazil. Mata Fina tends to have a sweetness, rich flavor, and tends to be usually used for wrappers. The cigar is something special that Willy Herrera (Drew Estate Master Blender) has blended using the sweetness of the Brazilian Mata Fina binder combined with the sweetness of the Connecticut broad-leaf wrapper.
Willy Herrera when asked about the TAA Exclusive said ” This is my first blend since joining Drew Estate that utilizes Connecticut broad-leaf tobacco. Drew Estate fans know that we’re famous for our use of Connecticut broad-leaf tobaccos, especially in our Liga Privada No. 9 and Nica Rustica lines. I’ve been experimenting with blends that incorporate this this incredible wrapper since coming on board and finally have a blend I’m really excited about. I think anyone who’s a fan of my blends will definitely appreciate this cigar. Spicy, meaty, and rich-get ready!”
The Connecticut broad-leaf on the TAA Exclusive is dark, toothy, and has medium veins. The wrapper has an oily feel to it and seems to have a few soft spots from the head to the foot. The pre light draw consist of barnyard hay, leather, spice, and sweet floral notes. Time to cut, toast, smoke, and see what Willy Herrera has done with this blend.
First few puffs hit my palate with some strong spice, leather, and earth. The smoke is very thick and creamy, which is not surprising considering this is a Drew Estate cigar. Hints of cinnamon have picked up and blend well with the leather and earth notes. The draw is a little on the tight side but at this point it’s not affecting the smoking experience. The flaky ash holds on for the first quarter of the first third before falling off.
The middle third picks up with spice, black pepper, and some hints of cinnamon. I was expecting a little bit more sweetness but the spice just seems to dominate leaving the sweetness from the Connecticut broad-leaf and the Brazilian Mata Fina binder in the background. The construction of the cigar to this point has been good with no touch ups or burn issues.
The final third continues with spice, black pepper, cinnamon, and leather. The cigar continues to push out a lot of spice and touches of cinnamon. I picked up a fruity flavor that gave the cigar some added sweetness that it had been lacking in the first two thirds.
The Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive is a full body cigar that packs a mean punch of spice, earth, and leather notes. The sweetness seems to fade in and out throughout the smoke but is more prevalent at the finish. I expected the cigar to be predominately sweet in flavor but the Brazilian Mata Fina and the Connecticut broad-leaf seemed to give way to the rich spice, and black pepper. If you’re looking for an explosion of spice with some moments of sweetness and thick creamy smoke then the Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive is a must try. I would like to thank Drew Estate for the cigars for review.
Smoking Characteristics: 22/25
Overall Impression: 32/35