Herrera Esteli Launch Party at The Cigar Shop Biloxi Event Recap

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the Herrera Esteli Launch Party that was held at The Cigar Shop in Biloxi, MS. The Cigar Shop is one of two of my “home shops” and they have events once or twice a month with good food, many beverage choices and of course cigars. The event went from 4pm to 8pm, but started earlier and lasted a wee bit longer, which I had no complaints to. MugShots Bar & Grill catered the event with a very nice food spread. They had numerous sandwiches and burgers among other bar faire. In addition to the food there was Lucky Town Flare Incident (Oatmeal Stout), Abita Spring IPA, & Miller Lite beer on tap. There was plenty of sodas and a few non-alcoholic beers on ice as well.

The event was limited to (around) 100 tickets at $10 each. Each ticket got you unlimited food and drink, which was worth the $10 right there. Then you could watch the live rolling demo by Willy Herrera. As well as, you got to smoke a fresh rolled Herrera Esteli as well as a few other cigars passed out by the guys throughout the night. The Cigar Shop gave out 20% off of box purchases (I grabbed a box of UnderCrown Corona Viva). Jefe handed out swag such as a new Stinky Car Ashtray, Hats, Cutters & 6pk samplers of DE cigars with a box purchase. Each ticket entered you into raffles for hats, cutters, t-shirts etc… If you bought a box, there were a few “box purchase only” raffles with a pewter ashtray and DE mirror as some of the prizes.

The icing on the cake of the event was watching Willy Herrera of Drew Estate Cigars rolling the Herrera Esteli right before our eyes at a rolling station. Willy is a very intimidating looking person, but one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the cigar industry. When I say intimidating, I mean, I am 6’1″ and I had to look up to him to speak to him! From my understanding he was slated to be a MS State football player, but somehow, fate landed him into the cigar industry.


Here is a short video I captured of Willy Herrera Rolling the Herrera Esteli.

(If you look closely, you can see his next cigar in prototype form on the ashtray.)

Jonathan Drew toasting up a KFC "Chunky"

Jonathan Drew toasting up a KFC “Chunky”

As well as Willy, Jonathan Drew was there talking tobacco and other randomness that kept a good crowd around him the whole time. I have talked to Jonathan a few times at various events and the man has quite a knowledge and passion for tobacco. Don’t get me wrong, he is not all tobacco when at the events, he tells some of the funniest and interesting stories about general life. He kept the crowd on their toes all evening with his antics and stories. Jonathan seems to be one of the most personable “cigar guys” I’ve met. If you didn’t know any better, you would think he was just a rep, not the company’s owner.



I also got a sneak peek of the upcoming MUWAT Kentucky Fire Cured cigar. Although I didn’t get a chance to smoke one, Jonathan did pass around a bag that had some in it. The aroma coming from the cigars reminded me somewhat of dark pipe tobacco, yet a bit more “musty”. I spoke to Ben Lee, and he did get to sample one in Nicaragua a few weeks ago and he said “You have to be ready to smoke that cigar. Its not a cigar that you would randomly pick up and smoke.” He also said the musty smell you smell coming off the cigar is similar to the taste of the cigar as well. I have had a few cigars with LA Perigue pipe tobacco in them and they were fairly musty, yet surprisingly a good smoke. So I hope the MUWAT KFC is along the lines of that.


A unpressed, no wrappered Herrera Esteli cigar.

A unpressed, no wrappered Herrera Esteli cigar.

While Willy was rolling the new Herrera Esteli cigars, Jonathan got a few of them before they were pressed and the wrapper was applied to them. He handed them out to people to “smoke”. If you have tried that Herrera Esteli before, you can taste the nuances in the “cigar”, but its not as flavorful considering there was no wrapper applied to it and the draw was extremely loose from not being pressed. Its was interesting to see that this cigar started out around maybe a 62+ ring gauge cigar and after it would be pressed, it would be in the 50s.



Here is a short clip of Jonathan lighting one up and letting “Jed” try the Herrera Esteli “Fresh Rolled”


Jefe talking cigars in the shop side.

Jefe talking cigars in the shop side.

There also was Jefe Tinnell & Zev Kaminetsky at the event to add to the shenanigans. They did an awesome job at talking to people with the Drew Estate line of cigars as well as the Joy de Nicaragua lines they distribute. Being new, the CyB and Herrera Esteli cigars are new to some people, and Jefe and Zev did a good job at describing them to people unfamiliar to the cigars. The crowd was abundant enough to keep them both on their feet most the evening and they did a great job through out the event. There were several box purchases made during the event as well as singles that Jefe and Zev helped with the decision makings.



Jonathan Drew's speech

Jonathan Drew’s speech

At the close of the event Jonathan and Willy gave a small speech, thanking everybody for their support and a brief overlook of Drew Estate company. Over all, this was a very fun event. There was great cigars, food, drinks, friends (old and new). What more could you ask for.


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WOW, sounds like you had a great time, and the cigars’s also! Thanks for the info.

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