Reading Time: 5 minutes The makers of Romeo, Montecristo, and more have teamed up with the Plasencia family on the ultimate budget premium. We’re smoking the Casa de Garcia Centenario Gold Label to see if its price-to-flavor ratio passes muster. Tune in for the cigar review now!
CA Review Panel: Drew Estate Puros Huerfanos Cigar Review (Video)
The Puros Huérfanos Cigars Back Story
We recently reviewed a value-priced Davidoff and that got us thinking…what other gems can be found in the cheap seats? With the latest Famous exclusive, Puros Huérfanos by Drew Estate fresh off the boat, there’s no better time to find out.
A quick note: these cigars were released with a different blend some years ago.
Puros Huérfanos means cigar orphans in Spanish. The term orphan isn’t used as often as overruns or seconds, but the cigars are categorized similarly. Basically, a highbrow line is rolled either in the wrong size or shape, or a shop placed an order and canceled it after they’d already been made. The reason and blend – we’re not sure, but when we heard that we’re getting a $20+ Drew Estate smoke – blended by Willy Herrera no less – for $4.50, we started paying attention. Surely, a high-dollar stick on the cheap is everyone’s dream, but we’re here to find out if it’s too good to be true.
Since we’ve been bucking tradition lately with these reviews, we might as well buck it a little more. This month, we each decided to smoke a different size to give more perspective. We hope that you’re able to tell from our summaries if this is the right cigar for you.
Puros Huérfanos are presented in the following sizes:
- (5 ½” x 54) Robusto Grande (Reviewed below by Gary)
- (6” x 50) Toro (Reviewed by John)
- (6 ½” x 44) Lonsdale Deluxe (Jared’s Review)
- (7” x 48) Churchill
- (5” x 50) Belicoso Fino
- (4 ¾” x 48) Corona Extra
- (4” x 46) Coronita
Drew Estate Puros Huérfanos Cigar Review
John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…
Size: Toro (6×50)
Construction: The wrapper is an even brown color, with a bit of raised tooth. Nicely and evenly rolled.
Draw: Good draw, just a little bit of resistance.
Pre-light flavor: A little on the sweeter side, there’s a mix of cured (but not quite fermented) tobacco, along with Fig Newtons.
Toasting & Light: Definitely salty, plus wood, pepper and creamy sweetness.
Base flavors: Wood, pepper, malty sweetness and earth on a nice thick smoke.
Retrohale: Adds the sensation of honey and spice, but more spice than honey.
Burn & Ash Quality: Burns ridiculously well with a tight, almost white ash.
Balance of flavors: Moderately complex.
It’s hard to figure out how to approach this incarnation of Puros Huérfanos. We know that, until recently, this was an extra-pricey premium; but without the band and high-falutin’ name on the box, should we still view it as such?
While it may not wear its big-time name tag anymore, I thought the taste was top tier. Wood and pepper fill the nice, thick smoke – soon, it adds some grassy and sweet characteristics. It’s almost malty when you taste it, or even put your nose up to the cigar. It’s a very distinct mix, and the whole mix lays heavily across your taste buds. The finish is long and leathery, but you can taste a lingering sweet flavor on your lips. That’s why I said in the video that this is a bourbon cigar – those complementary flavors are just spot on.
Speaking of pairing, no matter what cigar this orphan may have been in its former life, it’s now a 4-dollar Drew. So, don’t feel that you have to bust out your best juice; Knob Creek was plenty A–OK for me. If you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, this would kill with Dr. Pepper.
I called this “moderately complex” up above because the 2nd half of the cigar takes on flavors of roasted nut and dry earth; the sweetness on your lips is gone. Body and strength start medium, and end at medium “plus-plus” – so you’ll feel this in your gut, in a satisfying sort of way.
Toro is my go-to cigar size, and I like this blend a lot in this 6×50. If I were smoking this cigar regularly, I’d be up in that Toro/Churchill range for sure, given how the flavors come together. Consistently sweet and plenty of pepper, but not as intense as the Corona – which, along with the Torpedo, I found to be pretty zippy smokes (I smoked all 7 sizes). So that’s pretty solid evidence to the idea that 2 different sizes of the same cigar will share most of the same qualities, but will still have a noticeable difference in their taste.
Or at least that’s what my taste buds told me.
If you already know you like Drew Estate cigars, you’ll really like this – especially if you’re partial to Herrera Estelí (although we know this orphan isn’t any of those cigars).
If you don’t like a peppery cigar, however, you won’t love this – but if you’re willing to try it out anyway, start with a larger ring gauge and work your way down until you find the balance you want. You like it feistier? Go small. Like it sweeter and a little more laid back? Head back up in RG towards the Robusto Extra. No matter what size you settle on, I believe you’ll find this Drew Estate cigar to smoke with higher quality and value than its price tag – and feel equally fine sharing them, as you would keeping them all to yourself.
Jared Gulick’s Tasting Notes…
Size: Lonsdale (6½x44)
Construction: Vintage leather brown and a little veiny. Very well rolled.
Draw: Great on several samples so far.
Pre-light flavor: Traces of peppers and dark fruit.
Toasting & Light: Lots of wood.
Base flavors: Wood, spices, earth, leather, and a charry/smoky character.
Retrohale: A little peppery and grassy.
Aroma: Nutty and dark.
Burn & Ash Quality: “Stacking dimes,” as they say. Excellent ash that stays on longer than most.
Balance of flavors: Good balance, somewhat linear.
A high dollar Drew Estate for $4.50, eh? It’s sleepers like these that often get lost in the static, which is precisely why we’re giving them a test drive. Thing is, will it taste like a $20+ cigar?
Puros Huérfanos’ cold draw reminded me of dark fruit with a little pepper in the background. Once I got it lit, I found notes of wood, earth, leather, and spices. There was even a little bit of an almost charry or smoky quality to its sweetness. Kind of like barbeque.
Regarding strength, there’s not much effect until about halfway through the cigar. It starts out medium and then gradually builds to medium plus – but it stays there. This makes it an exceptionally accessible smoke…even for relatively new smokers. At the midsection, Puros Huérfanos also gets sweeter by a noticeable factor.
Was it complex? Somewhat. It certainly wasn’t a rainbow of flavor, but it was far from a one-note song. The three or four primary notes I experienced stayed with me throughout. I really liked that. Where some might say it lacks depth, I say it’s consistent.
Ultimately, I think PH is an incredible value. Do I think it’s got $20+ flavor? Hard to say, because there are so many cigars in that range that aren’t worth the price tag. What I will say is that you more than get your money’s worth. If you’re a new smoker looking to ratchet up to fuller-bodied smokes, this is a natural next step. If you’ve been smoking for decades, the price will call your name. Both cases have happy endings. I’d be willing to bet on it.
Gary Korb’s Tasting Notes…
Size: Robusto Grande (5½x54)
Construction and Overall Appearance: Excellent. The wrapper has a smooth, oily, and leathery sheen with some legible veins. Well packed, with no soft spots, and graced with a clean, triple seam cap.
Draw (airflow): Excellent.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Light salt, leather, sweet spice.
Toasting & Light: Cigar lit fairly easily. Initial puffs revealed mellow smoke with a leathery and sweet taste.
Base flavors: Leather, cedar, sweet spice, coffee, light pepper.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent.
Balance of flavors: Very good with base notes consistent throughout.
There are a lot of things I liked about this cigar. Let’s start with appearances. I like the larger dimensions of this Robusto Grande and the construction. You can tell this cigar is pretty upmarket. I also like the band. It’s this perfect cross between a classy, top-rated cigar and a cheesy bundle label. (For a few laughs, see my remarks in the video.)
Now for the smoke experience. This cigar has a medium-plus profile, in that, it started off in the medium body range and transitioned to a bolder smoke in the last third. That said, it never became overwhelming. The smoke was consistently creamy, offering a rich, dark, and chewy texture that juggled flavors mostly of leather, cedar, and sweet spice with the occasional note of coffee and a nip of pepper on the finish. Not exactly complex in terms of changeups, but well-balanced and highly consistent from sample to sample.
The Puros Huérfanos Robusto Grande could easily satisfy just about every level of cigar smoker for its level-headedness as it toys with going full force but stops well short of that. It’s also a cigar that can be smoked under any circumstances. On the golf course, on the patio, at the cigar lounge, or after dinner with a favorite drink (it’s pretty versatile there, too). At under $4.50 a cigar – at least while the price holds – it’s an amazing value.
And finally, looking at the Puros Huérfanos selection as a whole, they’re good “go on and make a decision already” cigars; you know, those times when you find yourself staring blankly at the cigars in your humidor. Just grab one of these, and you’re set.