Guayacan Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo

At the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show, Noel Rojas’ Guayacan Cigars unveiled its Sabor de Esteli line. The Sabor de Esteli line was launched in a Habano (Habano Ecuador) and a Maduro (San Andres). 2014 was a busy year for Rojas as he also launched the long awaited Guayacan Maduro line – bringing his portfolio to a total of four lines. The name Sabor de Esteli translates to “Flavor of Esteli”. Today we take a closer look at the Sabor de Esteli Maduro in a Gordo size format. Rojas is considered a rising star in the cigar industry and this cigar indicates he is taking his company on the right path.

In 2012, Guayacan was a little-known company when it joined the House of Emilio. What was unique about Guayacan it is the only company distributed by House of Emilio to own its own factory. Last year, Rojas moved his operation into a larger factory called Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa.

As mentioned there are two offerings in the Sabor de Esteli line – Habano and Maduro. In addition to differing by wrapper, the lines differ in their vitola formats  – the Habano line is offered as parejo vitolas while the Maduro line is offered as box-press.

Without further ado, let’s break down the Sabor de Esteli Gordo and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile

As mentioned the Sabor de Esteli Maduro utilizes a San Andres Maduro wrapper. The blend consists of all ligero and viso leaves..

Wrapper: San Andres Maduro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Aromas de Jalapa)

Vitolas Available

The Sabor de Esteli Maduro is available in three sizes. Each is box-pressed and is packaged in 21 count boxes.

Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60

Appearance

The San Andres wrapper of the Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo has a coffee bean color with a dark cinnamon tint to it. Upon closer examination, some darker marbling can be seen on the surface. The wrapper also has a light oily sheen to it. There are some visible veins, but the wrapper seams are actually somewhat hidden. The box-press is more of a flatter rectangular press as opposed to a square press. The press itself is on the firm side.

The Sabor de Esteli’s band is highlighted with an image of a female flamingo dancer wearing a white and rose colored dress against the back-drop of a farm. Over he band is the text “SABOR DE ESTELI” in gold font on a red ribbon. Below the dancer is a smaller red ribbon with the text “By Noel Rojas” – also in gold font. The rest of the band is surrounded by gold adornments over a maroon background. To the left and right of the image are two gold ribbons with the text “HECHO A MANO” in maroon font. The band is also surrounded by a thick gold trim.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

Before lighting up the Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo, I went with a straight cut. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided notes of coffee as well as a mix of cedar and generic wood notes. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the Sabor de Esteli Maduro. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the overall smoking experience would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo picked up where the pre-light draw left off with the notes of coffee, cedar, and generic wood. I also picked up a slight black pepper note in the background. On the retro-hale, I found the pepper and wood notes much more prominent.

During the first third, I found the coffee and cedar notes to be primary. The coffee and cedar notes alternated in terms of which note had the edge. I still detected wood and pepper in the background. There was now a cherry note adding a little sweetness into the flavor scheme.

During the second third the coffee and cedar notes became primary. I found the cherry note to increase slightly in intensity. Meanwhile I saw a little of jalapeño mix in with the pepper and wood on the retro-hale. Later in the second third, I detected the jalapeño on the tongue as well.

The last third continued to see the coffee notes remain primary notes. The cedar and jalapeño spices increased in intensity adding a spicy element to the latter stages of the cigar experience. The cherry sweetness had pretty much dissipated. This is the way the flavor profile came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.

Burn and Draw

I was very impressed at how well the burn and draw performed for a cigar that is a 60 ring gauge box-press. The burn path remained straight from start to finish. There was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, but this was minor and strictly cosmetic. The resulting ash was a silvery gray color. I found the ash to be somewhat firm and it came off the cigar in nice clean chunks. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn of the Guayacan Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo

The draw to the Sabor de Esteli Maduro was not too loose, nor was it too tight. I found this to be a low maintenance draw overall. I actually found this to be an ideal cigar for a big ring gauge. There was enough open-ness on the draw to not be a chore to smoke the big ring gauge. On the other hand, there was enough resistance to prevent this cigar from burning warm.

Strength and Body

I categorize the Sabor de Esteli Maduro as one of the bolder cigars I’ve had by Noel Rojas. This cigar is going to start right out of the gate with medium to full strength.  By the midway point, I found this cigar had progressed to full strength. Meanwhile the flavors also started out medium to full-bodied and by the time the second third, the cigar had also moved into full-bodied territory. Overall I found the strength and body to balance each nicely.

Final Thoughts

One of my feelings about San Andres Maduro wrappers is that it often can overwhelm a blend. This was not the case with the Sabor de Esteli Maduro. I can only infer that the higher priming tobaccos that Rojas incorporated in the blend helped to balance things out. I’ve had a few of these cigars resting in the humidor for nearly 10 months, and I found that time was very kind to this cigar. I also found the Sabor de Esteli Maduro Gordo to be a great after-dinner type of cigar. It’s a cigar I would definitely steer more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast as opposed to a novice. It’s also certainly worth a fiver in my book.

Summary

Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full (First Half), Full (Second Half)
Body: Medium to Full (1st Third), Full (Remainder)
Finish: Good
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
Score: 89

References

News: Guayacan Sabor de Esteli by Noel Rojas
Price: $9.05
Source: Cigars Provided by Manufacturer
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