“Unlike most companies, we have decided to take the slow and low approach to his joining our team. Basically, we stuck him in Nica for over a year at a bench and gave him the key to our tobacco and said: “Create a great cigar…” We gave him no boundaries or limits. Willy then spent forever working on this first blend… drove me a little crazy, made a lot of bad blends along the way, but I think we overwhelmed him a bit – I don’t think he was prepared to have so many tobaccos to blend from, rather daunting… our man Nicholas helped nudge him a little here and there and voila! Willy created something I consider great. Along the journey, Willy has become an exceptional handmade cigar bunchero and rolero. Check him out when he is in a store near you! Ask him tons of questions while you’re at it!”- Jonathan Drew
Herrera Estelí Norteño Robusto Grande is the brainchild of Willy Herrera, promoted as master blender at Drew Estate in 2014. The term Norteño means “northerner” in Spanish and refers to Estelí, Nicaragua where the Drew Estate factory is located.
The excellently constructed Norteño Robusto incorporates a Mexican San Andrés Maduro wrapper with Honduran binder and a filler blend of well-aged Nicaraguan tobaccos from the Jalapa and Estelí regions. Full-flavored rich tones of cocoa bean, milk chocolate and nougat offer earthy characteristics without becoming too cloying with saccharine sweetness.
Herrera Estelí Norteño Robusto Grande was named #7 Cigar of 2016 with a ‘94’ Rating from Cigar Aficionado!
I recommend pairing Norteño Robusto Grande with an imperial brown ale, or a higher proof single barrel Bourbon. Dogfish Head’s Indian Brown Ale is a cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown Ale. Brewed with organic brown sugar and aromatic barley, their Indian Brown Ale is well-hopped and malty, exhibiting fantastic notes of caramel, molasses, and coffee. Neither the cigar or ale overpower or compete with each other, making this a wonderful relationship.