Today I will be reviewing a pre-release sample of the Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive. For those who aren’t familiar, the “TAA” refers to the Tobacconists’ Association of America, which is a group of over 80 cigar retailers who meet yearly for a trade show to discuss various issues facing the cigar industry.
The Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive is a 6×52 cigar that features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Brazilian Mata Fina binder and Nicaraguan filler. It will be available in boxes of 12 with an MSRP of $12 per cigar and available only at TAA shops.
I want to start by saying that I am a huge fan of Connecticut Broadleaf. It adds a nice level of sweetness to the more full-bodied blends that is common with several Nicaraguan cigars. I am also a fan of the cigars that Willie Herrera has blended for Drew Estate. In 2013, Herrera Esteli was the #8 cigar of the year according to Cigar Aficionado and was also mentioned in our own “Best Of 2013″ article here at Emerson’s Cigars.
Pre-light the cigar appears flawless in construction and is densely packed without feeling overly firm. The band is similar to the band on the Herrera Esteli line with a modified color scheme and a secondary band indicating “TAA EXCLUSIVE”. The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper has a slightly reddish hue to it and several small noticeable veins that are common for this wrapper type. All-in-all, this is one sexy looking cigar!
A few puffs in, the cigar has the hint of sweetness one expects from the broadleaf wrapper but at the same time isn’t the typical strength of most Nicaraguan cigars. A hint of hay/spice to it and enough pepper on the retrohale to remind you that it is a Nicaraguan cigar you’re smoking. The draw is just the right amount of smoke and I am finding I have to slow myself down as to not smoke it too fast
Continuing on, the cigar has opened up a bit and the draw is perfect, producing a huge plume of smoke with each delectable draw. The flavor is similar to the first third but is now starting to build in strength. The ash held nicely well past an inch and then proceeded to drop… right on the keyboard, ooops.
As I finish the cigar, I keep trying to find that one thing that stands out flavor wise and I am having a hard time coming up with it, but that is what makes it a great cigar, that it is an extremely balanced cigar. From a blend standpoint, Willie Herrera seemed to hit the sweet spot with this cigar of what makes Nica Rustica, Herrera Esteli and Liga Privada No 9 the great cigars that they are. If you are fan of medium strength Nicaraguan cigars, this cigar is for you. If you like the Herrera Esteli, this cigar is for you. If you like cigars with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, this cigar is for you.
I hope you enjoyed my review, you can expect to see the Herrera Esteli TAA Exclusive on our shelves here at Emerson’s Cigars in April. Be sure to follow @emersonscigars on Social Media for all the latest updates or sign up for our mailing list for all the latest specials, deals, events and new cigars releases here