I love lanceros and I even have a dedicated lancero humidor, as you might have seen on a video I posted a while back. While updating my inventory on stogierate.com I took pictures of the content of the dedicated lancero humidor, why not show them off? Almost 400 lanceros, including some unicorns.
There are a lot of cigar groups on Facebook and in some of those groups people like to combine days with cigar brands, like Tatuaje Tuesday and Fuente Friday. Since I have so many unpublished reviews and need to post a lot I decided that this week will be a week dedicated to the weekday – cigar combinations and I came up with a few of my own.
This week I will post a review every day, monday to sunday, all with the name tied to the weekday, here’s the list:
About three years ago, right after I came back from Nicaragua the first time, I got the keys to house I bought. I bought a place where I could built a man cave and a walk-in humidor.
Before I lived in an apartment and everything smelled of cigar smoke, so I wanted a place where I could smoke cigars without contaminating the rest of my house, the house I bought is perfect. Indoor garage on the ground floor with a extra room, that room I turned into my man cave. First floor is kitchen and living room, second floor three bedrooms and a bathroom.
Now you want to see the man cave and the walk-in? Click on this link and you’ll see a short video.
If you notice something different on my blog today, you are right. Instead of having the cigars sorted by country and then by brand I made some changes, the cigars are now sorted by brand only but you can also sort on country, rating and I’m currently working on the factories too. The last one is a lot of work and I don’t have all the information (yet?) so that will be the hardest, and probably most incomplete, sorting order on my blog.
Somewhere in the autumn of 2014 my then employer Sasja van Horssen was approached by his friend and lifestyle journalist Marcel Langedijk with the question if we could help him setting up a trip to Esteli, Nicaragua for him and photographer Jesaja Hizkia and get him in touch with some cigar manufacturers for interviews and pictures in the factories. Marcel, who has been to Nicaragua more often, thought it was time that Nicaragua got a beautiful coffee table book about the cigar lifestyle too, a book nobody ever did except about Cuba and that the time was right for a book about Nicaragua considering the growing sales numbers, superb quality and the growing appreciation for Nicaraguan tobacco, not just in the USA but also in the rest of the world. Nicaraguan cigars dominate the ‘top 25’ lists the last few years and so a book seems appropriate.
I set up a trip, meetings at Joya de Nicaragua, A.J. Fernandez, Rocky Patel, Plasencia, Oliva, Padron and Drew Estate as requested, personally I would have added Perdomo as a major player too, Nica Suenos from my friend Skip Martin and back then I hadn’t met Noel Rojas yet otherwise I would have added him too and interviews with a few boutique brand owners, and I got to come along as I made all the appointments and had all the contacts, my then employer went along as translator as he’s fluent in Spanish. At our hotel, Los Arcos, I met Hector from Espinosa Cigars/La Zona and after seeing the La Zona factory Marcel and Jesaja decided on the spot that they had to be included in the book too, just as the Fe Y Alegria school we visited, a school that’s being supported by Pronica, a foundation that I helped to get started for with & for my then employer.
The name of the book is Cigaragua, a name that Marcel came up with after a few glasses of Flor de Caña. We were having some drinks and cigars at the courtyard of Los Arcos when Marcel just blurted out that name and immediately said “no, that’s to cryptic” but Jesaja and I were sold, perfect name. The next morning Marcel changed his mind and started to like the name more and more, and decided to go forward with the name.
The 12×12 inch coffee table book is not just about tobacco but also shows Esteli, Jesaja Hizkia took a lot of great pictures that are included in the book. The book is now available in Dutch and English and Spanish, German and possible French translations could follow in th near future. I know there are plans to release it in the United States as well but Marcel didn’t say when even though I asked, so if you want to know when the book is being released in your country contact Marcel or Sasja van Horssen.
Other than setting up this trip and proof reading the book before it went to the printer, I am not involved with the book, I gain no money from sales or promoting the book. But I like the book (and Nicaraguan cigars) so much that I wanted to spread the word about the book anyway.
Here are some pictures I took from the book (with my iPhone):
And I shot a little video: Cigaragua video on youtube
A few weeks ago I posted a small video on youtube and dedicated a post on my blog about my dedicated lancero humidor. It is a 1950’s or 1960’s refrigerator from Bosch that was still in working condition when I bought it of the Dutch version of graigslist.
My dad, who’s much more of a handyman than I am, helped me out, he did most of the work to be honest. First we ripped the engine out, then removed everything from the inside, installed sliders for drawers. Then my dad made the drawers from plywood and birch, lacquered them so they are humidity resistent.
I installed a Hydra XL and some led lighting and its now (almost) full with lanceros only.
Cigarguide is a website with reviews of cigars from all over the world. Some cigars have been given to me by the blog sponsors, others I have bought or traded or have been gifted to me by friends.
About me: Born in 1972 I started to smoke cigars on a vacation to Singapore and Indonesia december 2005. At Singapore airport we bought some Cohiba Siglo II, Montecristo #4 and Romeo y Julieta tubos #2 which we smoked in Indonesia, every night a cigar and a glass of whisky. I liked that so much that I decided to keep smoking cigars when I got back.
On the way back I maxed out my creditcard at the cigarshop at Singapore airport. Back in The Netherlands I smoked a few cigars a week and noticed different flavor profiles in different cigars. That sparked an interest, before I always thought a cigar was just a cigar, so I started to look for information online and discovered that cigars are just like wine, whisk(e)y, cognac, lots of different flavors depending on the blend, the soil, the tobacco used, the shape and more. Smoking cigars became more than a nice way of spending the evening, it became a passion.
Here I am, a few years later and I visited places I never thought of visiting before I smoked cigars, made lots of new friends both here in The Netherlands as in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Germany, England, Belgium and Asia. I got to meet a few of the key figures in the industry and have even worked as a cigar sales rep. Who could imagine that the handful of cigars I bought halfway across the world would have such an impact on my life, such a positive impact.
Now as for the reviews, those are my reviews, my thoughts and my opinion and mine alone. Maybe you agree with my opinion, maybe you don’t, it doesn’t matter because every single review on every single thing in the world is an opinion and we all have our opinions. I’m just lucky enough to live in a country where I can voice my opinion, unlike a lot of people even in cigar producing countries. Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree or have any questions, but keep it respectful.
On instagram I promised to make a little video of my dedicated lancero humidor, a converted 1950’s refrigerator.
My father and I ripped out the engine, cleaned the inside and added simple shelves. I bought a Cigar Oasis to humidify the cigars and humidity beads that I put in the trays in the door. The final result can be seen on youtube on this link
From now on I’ll be working with a ‘100’ score system like a lot of magazines and websites do, that will make it easier to compare cigars and to make a top 25 at the end of the year.
How will I rate the cigars? Well, the maximum amount of points a cigar can get is 1000. Yes, not 100 but 1000 and at the end I’ll convert that into a .. out of 100 score. On the background I’ll store that bigger number, just in case several cigars get the same rounded number at the end of the year when I compile the ‘top 25’ list. Makes it a little more fair I think.
First of all, all reviews are mine, so its all about my preferences. Its just me, one person, not a group of reviewers, only the opinion of one guy. And just like everybody else I have preferences, for example, I never ever had a Connecticut Shade cigar I liked, so don’t expect to see a highly rated Connecticut Shade stick on my blog.
Flavor is key, construction is also important but less important than flavor. So how do I rate?
Wrapper -> How does it look? 50 points
Ring -> How does it look? Good paper? Nice print? 50 points
Construction -> How does the cigar’s construction feel? 50 points
Aroma -> How is the smell, the strength of it, how pleasant? 50 points
Ash -> How is the color? Is it firm? 50 points
Burn -> Is the burn even? Does it burn fast or slow? Does it die quickly? 100 points
Smoke -> Color, thickness, amount? 50 points
Draw -> Is the draw flawless, is it tight or loose? 100 points
Flavor part 1 -> is it nice? 100 points
Flavor part 2 -> is it nice? 100 points
Flavor part 3 -> is it nice? 100 points
Evolution -> is it a boring cigar of is it dynamic? 100 points
Body-flavor ration -> is it balanced? 100 points
That adds up to a 1000, I’ll divide that by 10 and then round it up to a full number. That’s the final score but the unrounded number is used at the end of the year to determine the spot in the top 25 of 2017.
Wrapper -> 35/50
Ring -> 37/50
Construction -> 43/50
Aroma -> 25/50
Ash -> 39/50
Burn -> 87/50
Smoke -> 39/50
Draw -> 90/100
Flavor part 1 -> 87/100
Flavor part 2 -> 93/100
Flavor part 3 -> 89/100
Evolution -> 76/100
Body-flavor ration -> 99/100
Total Score: 839 839/10=83,9 –> final score 84
Starting the new year I will post a lancero review every 15th of the month. Why? Because I love lanceros and there are way to little lancero reviews out there!
Feel free to post your comments on this subject, I would love to hear what you think of this.