The Norteño is a dark attractive looking stick with a slight press to it’s robusto figure. The band is simple with a cream outline around a green and similar cream creating what looks like a bird of some sort. I did a few searches in Google to determine what Norteño means, and it was a fail (is it a certain bird?). The only thing I could really find was a Mexican gang called Norteños…I don’t think Willy Herrera or Jonathan Drew named the cigar after a notorious gang – then again they’re quirky guys so maybe they did…
I purchased the Norteño in Robusto Grande (5 1/2″ by 54) for $12.00 plus tax at Binnys in Chicago. The cigar is regarded as a Nicaraguan powerhouse. Filler is a mix of Jalapa and Esteli, wrapper is Mexican San Andreas and the binder is Honduran.
The cigar has that “toothy” feel you hear and read about on the internet. I didn’t fully comprehend that description until I met this cigar. For those that don’t know, toothy refers to roughness. It’s got a bit of roughness in hand and on the lips – not a problem but you’ll notice it as it’s a unique quality.
Lighting wasn’t an issue and in typical Drew Estate fashion the smoke pours off the foot. I fit in the cigar group that enjoys the abundance of smoke – with that in mind make sure to fire this up in a well ventilated room or outside.
The draw was perfect and each pull provides a blast of smoke that helps you experience the flavor profile (s). The main flavor is a chalky chocolate with a hint of sweetness and a dash of pepper. When I say chalky I mean just that – think back a couple decades to when you used a chalk board at school and the taste you’d get in your mouth when you clapped the erasers together creating a cloud of chalk dust smoke. I totally agree that “chalk” characteristic is weird but it works and it’s unique so it was a welcome taste to me. The chalk is complimented with a chocolatey cocoa. I smoked this thing down to a nub and it stayed cool and tasty the whole time.
I personally didn’t experience much transition during the circa 2 hour experience. My only complaint was that it went out on me a few times. I was chit chatting with some guys at The Clayton so maybe I neglected it a bit.
From a Cigar Vida experience perspective it was an enjoyable one and a cigar I recommend trying if you get the chance.