Posts Tagged With: lancero

Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe

Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. This is the first Casdagli cigar to be made in the Dominican Republic. It was released in 2012 under the name Bespoke. Bespoke started with custom rolled Cuban cigars. Then moved to Costa Rica and the company started to gain traction. The Grand Cafe name is a tribute to Bespoke’s first customer, the Grand Cafe in Minsk, Belarus. More on the Bespoke/Casdagli cigar history can be found here.

Two years ago, Bespoke was renamed to Casdagli Cigars. But the blend didn’t change. In a Zoom chat with Jeremy Casdagli and a group of cigar enthusiasts from New Zealand, Canteros.nz, Casdagli’s distributor, offered to sponsor some cigars for reviews. The package arrived soon after and included these Casdagli Traditional Grand Cafe. The cigars are made with Brazilian Cubra as a wrapper. A binder from the Dominican Republic. And filler from Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican. It measures 7½x39.

The cigar is a looker. Slender and long. Colorado to Colorado Maduro in color. Oily wrapper. Closed foot and a pigtail. With a classy, traditional-looking ring. Green and gold with a vintage picture in the center. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong aroma. Classic barnyard, manure, earthy aromas.

The cold draw is surprisingly good. Even with a closed foot, the draw is great. It leaves a mildly spicy, peppery flavor on the lips. Straight from the start, there is a strong yet sweet coffee flavor. With strong, we don’t mean espresso, but full flavor. It then turns more towards wood flavors, with a little spice. Not pepper, but spice. Yet there is still some coffee on the background. The flavors slowly evolve into earthy, leathery wood, with cumin. But the flavors are rounded, well balanced, and smooth. The second third has a classic mixture of wood, earthiness, leather, coffee with some sweetness. There is a little vanilla. All flavors are brought together by some citrus. The mouthfeel is creamy. The final third leans more towards leather and wood, but with a creamy mouthfeel. Suddenly there is a slight chocolate flavor as well.

The draw is amazing, just like the copious amounts of smoke the cigar produces. The burn is beautiful. The ash is salt and pepper colored, but it’s not too firm. This cigar is balanced, smooth, well rounded. Elegant in both size and flavors. Traditional, not a powerhouse heavy in ligero. This is a cigar that would fit into every past decade without being outdated of old-fashioned. It’s medium-bodied, medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and thirty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will

Categories: 91, Bespoke, Dominican cigars, KBF | Tags: , , ,

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero

Hiram & Solomon Traveling Man Lancero. Like all names in the Hiram & Solomon portfolio, this cigar gets his name from the freemason world as well. The ‘traveling man’ name stems from the ancient masonry. Master masons were often required to move from job to job over long distances. And when in a new area, local masons or the local lodge would vouch for such a ‘traveling man’. Fouad Kashouty and George Dakrat use the Plasencia Cigars factory in Esteli, Nicaragua for all the Hiram & Solomon lines. That includes this traveling man, the online Hiram & Solomon line with a Lancero in the line-up

This blend is made with tobaccos from four countries. The wrapper and binder are from South East Asia. From Indonesia. And if you want to get even more precise, from Sumatra where the Dutch introduced tobacco over four centuries ago. And later, the Sumatra seeds would be introduced into Cameroon to become the legendary Cameroon tobacco. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Arapiraca from Brazil is used. Habano from Nicaragua is the last component in the blend. The Nicaraguan tobacco comes from Jalapa near the Honduran border and the volcanic island of Ometepe. The lancero is 7×38, but last year I reviewed the 6×60 Gran Toro.

Just because of the vitola, this cigar looks elegant. Skinny, long, a lancero is always beautiful. Add a purple, silver, and black ring and you have a cigar that stands out. The wrapper is a Colorado colored Indonesian Sumatra wrapper. To the eye and the touch, the wrapper is dry. The veins are thin. The cigar feels well constructed. The aroma is of charred wood, medium in strength.

The cold draw is a bit tight. It leaves a spicy raw tobacco flavor on top of the palate. Once lit, the cigar releases sweetness, floral notes, and cedar. There is also some spice. The spice slowly gets stronger. Nutmeg and a little pepper, but all covered in a very nice sweetness. Slowly leather and soil join the party, with the return of cedar. The floral flavors are still around. Everything is well balanced and smooth. At the end of the first third, there is also some chocolate. Milk chocolate to be more precise. With the leather, spice, and pepper. But all subtle. The second third also brings a faint vanilla flavor with a little freshness. A little later a fresh, green, grassy flavor is noticeable. The pepper gets a little stronger without overpowering the other flavors. It all remains very balanced and subtle.

The draw is very good. The length of the cigar cools the smoke down, making it very pleasant to smoke. The burn is straight. The ash is almost white. But due to the small ring gauge, the ash breaks easily. The cigar is smooth and balanced. The cigar has depth and nice complexity. The smoke time is two hours fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box or two boxes.

Categories: 93, Hiram & Solomon, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera del Oriente | Tags: , , , ,

The Circus Maduro Lancero

The Circus Maduro Lancero. Late last year, Daniel Guerrero from El Viejo Continente announced the release of a lancero in The Circus line. A Maduro lancero with a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos from Ometepe and Jalapa. But information on that cigar is hard to find. There is no mention on the website of American Caribbean Cigars, the website of the factory. Nor on the website of El Viejo Continente, which could use an update in our opinion anyway. Both websites offer little to none information on the blends, availability, news, reviews, or any other information that can be useful. We feel that a better website and better accessible information would really help the brand.

The cigars are made at American Caribbean Cigars, a factory once almost acquired by Gurkha Cigars. The series is a tribute to all the people that worked with master blender Daniel Guerrero during the creation of this cigar. It took Guerrero and his people four years to make the blend. The first four sizes were named with the team in mind. The Magician represents the ingenuity of the team where the Harlequin is the fact of always wanting to make it. The Twister stands for the knowledge and the know-how of the blenders. And the Canon is the final shot, an explosion of flavors. The lancero is not part of the original release vitolas.

The cigar looks good. The Maduro wrapper is almost black. It’s oily with a few thin, sharp veins. The red foot band and the red with gold label are a beautiful contrast with the darkness of the wrapper. A nice pigtail finishes the look. The ring has a picture of a circus tent to keep the theme alive. The cigar feels well made. The aroma has a reminiscence of hay and is quite strong.

No complaints about the cold draw. It’s good, with a gingerbread flavor. After lighting there is some coffee, but most striking is the buttercream flavor. Old fashioned buttercream with a hint of vanilla. Although the vanilla only shows up in the retrohale. The sweetness of the Maduro wrapper shines through in this blend, but there is also a hint of white pepper. Slowly a grassy flavor shows up too, with some citrus. The earthiness and dark chocolate show up too, with leather, while the buttercream and vanilla fade. Slowly a dried leaf flavor shows up too while the grass is gone. After a third, the mouthfeel is thick and oily. The cigar now moves into a flavor profile of dark wood, forest soil, and leather with some black pepper. The cigar gets more earthy with coffee. Near the end, the cigar has some chocolate, coffee, wood, and spices.

The draw is great. The smoke is full and thick. The light gray ash isn’t very firm though and breaks easily. The burn is straight. The flavors are balanced. This is a medium-bodied and medium flavored cigar, balanced, with evolution. The smoke time is three hours. It could have lasted longer, but the cigar turned bitter.

Would I buy this cigar again? I enjoyed it a lot, so yes


Categories: 91, American Caribbean Tobacco S.A., Cigars by brand, Nicaraguan cigars, The Circus | Tags: , , , ,

Balmoral Añejo Oscuro Lancero FT

Balmoral Añejo Oscuro Lancero FT. This is the 2019 limited edition for the Balmoral Añejo series. Balmoral launched the Ańejo a few years ago with an 18-year-old wrapper. The cigar was an instant hit and put the brand back in the spotlights. So when the Dutch cigar manufacturer ran out of the wrapper, they tweaked the blend and created the Balmoral Ańejo XO series. Slowly that series grew, with the addition of a Connecticut Shade version, an Oscuro version and a Nicaraguan version. Each year, the brand sees a limited edition. The Balmoral Añejo XO Lancero was a huge hit, so a few months ago, Balmoral released the 2019 limited edition. That’s a lancero for the Balmoral Añejo XO Oscuro blend.


The cigar measures 7×40. And it has a flag tail, that’s what the FT in the name stands for. The filler comes from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Brazil. That last one is part of the Balmoral signature. All Balmoral Añejo XO cigars have some Brazilian tobacco in the blend. The binder comes from the Dominican Republic as well. That’s where the Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company factory is located. The hometown of the factory is in San Pedro de Macoris. Royal Agio honored the town by creating several blends with the San Pedro de Macoris name. The wrapper for this Balmoral Añejo XO Oscuro comes from the San Andres region in Mexico.

The dark wrapper has a few veins, but nothing too thick or ugly. The dark color is quite even. The rings are beautifully designed and it’s clear why the logo and design have won several design prizes. The ring protecting the foot is glossy black with a beautiful gold print. The regular ring is gray, with black, white and golden details. The flag tail is a nice touch to the cigar. The construction feels good. There is a mild barnyard aroma, with a little ammonia.


The cold draw is great. The flavors are a slightly spicy raw tobacco flavor. A warm flavor. Once lit, it’s a strong coffee flavor with spices and pepper. The flavors then turn to a milder coffee and more gingerbread spices. There’s also a vegetal flavor and creamy chocolate sweetness, although that last one is very mild. Slowly some leaves, leather and more sweetness join the palate. And then, after an inch, there is a nice sweet smokey barbecue flavor. The smokey wood flavor, with the sweetness, is the main flavor for the second third. But there is mild milk chocolate on the background as well. In the last third, the cigar gets less smokey and releases more spices. Green herbs and warm spices on toast with wood. Add a little pepper and that’s the flavor palate of the cigar in the final third.


The draw is great. But the light gray ash with dark smears is coarse and not very dense nor firm. The smoke is plentiful but could have been a bit thicker. The burn is straight as an arrow. The cigar is smooth, balanced and smokes perfectly. It’s a medium-bodied, medium flavored cigar. But it smokes quite fast, even though lanceros are supposed to be smoked slowly. The smoke time is one hour and forty-five minutes.
Would I buy this cigar again? I would love to have a box or two

number91

Categories: 91, Agio Caribbean Tobacco Company, Balmoral, Dominican cigars | Tags: , , , , ,

My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero

I still remember the first cigar from My Father Cigars that I ever smoked. That was before it was called My Father cigars and before they moved to Nicaragua. Back in the day, when they only had that small El Rey de Los Habanos factory on Callo Ocho in Miami. It was the first release of the Don Pepin Garcia Black Label and I’ve been a fan since. And lucky enough to have visited that small factory, the main factory in Esteli and the new small operation in the My Father HQ in Miami.


I bought this My Father La Gran Oferta Lancero in Amsterdam. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler and binder, all grown on the My Father plantations. The wrapper is an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado, a wrapper that is high on my favorite list. So this cigar already starts with +++, one plus for the factory, another plus for the wrapper and the third + for the vitola.

The dark reddish wrapper is oily, with some tooth. The triple cap is nice with a small pigtail. Contrary to the Flor de Las Antillas and La Antiguedad, the old artwork isn’t used on the ring, just on the boxes. The cigars have the regular My Father ring with a secondary ring mentioning La Gran Oferta. The foot is protected by a piece of cloth. The aroma is strong, hay and farm animals are what I get. The construction feels good.

The cold draw is good and reminds me of pepper and sultanas. After lighting, I taste a strong espresso flavor. Soon it’s more leather with green herbs. I get some nutmeg too with a little bit of black pepper. There is some hay in the flavor too. After an inch, I taste cinnamon sweetness with some mild pepper on the background. There’s also some dried leaves. After a third I taste a little leather again, sweet yet dry. Halfway it’s leather and cinnamon, some mild wood, pepper, and sweetness. In the final third, the pepper is picking up. I also taste some citrus and some cinnamon. Then some nuts show up, macadamia to be precise.

The ash is light colored. Not very firm though. The burn is good, just a few little touch-ups. The draw is flawless. The smoke is medium in volume and thickness but it gets thicker along the way. The cigar is medium at most, well balanced and rounded, mellow and smooth. The smoke time is two and a half hours

Would I buy this cigar again? I liked it so yes

number91

Categories: 91, My Father, My Father Cigars, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , ,

Cigar of the month February

I decided to make February Fernandez month, all cigars I reviewed for this month are made at the A.J. Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, a factory I have visited in 2015 and a factory that produces some of my favourite cigars.

The cigar with the highest rating last month are two cigars with the exact same score:

San Lotano Pigskin & Man’o’war Skull Crusher with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) San Lotano Pigskin (Nicaragua) 94 points
1) Man’o’war Skull Crusher (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Ave Maria Divinia (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Ave Maria Reconquista  (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) San Lotano Maduro Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) San Lotano Habano Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Man’o’war little devil (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano The Bull Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
10) Man’o’War 52C (Nicaragua) 92 points
11) Man’o’War Ruination Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) Reposado Habano Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
13) La Herencia Cubana Perfecto (Nicaragua) 91 points
14) Reposado Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Man’o’war Phalanx (Nicaragua) 90 points
16) La Herencia Cubana Fuerte Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
17) Ave Maria Churchill (Nicaragua) 90 points
18) Man’o’war Torpedo (Nicaragua) 90 points
19) Man’o’war Virtue Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
20) Puro Autentico Maduro (Nicaragua) 89 points
21) Puro Autentico Ligero (Nicaragua) 89 points

 

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

San Lotano Maduro Lancero

A few days ago I reviewed the exact same blend, Nicaraguan and Honduran fillers, binder from Honduras with a Mexican San Andres Maduro wrapper so today I will smoke this lancero instead of the robusto and see what difference 7×38 makes compared to 5×52. As a lancero lover I’m expecting a lot.


I like the fact that this line has a name that goes back a few Fernandez generations, especially if you know that a few years later A.J.’s father joined him at the factory after his retirement from the Plasencia family, another big name in the Latin America cigar industry. Family is clearly very important, something we in the west sometimes forget, so stories like these make me value my family more.


When you put both the robusto and the lancero side to side you can see its the same wrapper. Same leathery look, same color, same everything. The rings are the same too. The construction on the lancero feels great and the pig tail finishes the cigar. he aroma is the same too, dark chocolate with pepper.


I used my xikar cutter to cut the cigar. The cold draw is perfect with a spicy dry tobacco and hay flavor.  After lighting I taste pepper, coffee, leather and chocolate. After almost an inch I taste a strong leather with some sweet dark chocolate and lemon on the background. After a third I taste wood, salty and spicy, peppery and earthy, very nice. Right before the halfway point a faint dark chocolate shows up too.  The cigar slowly gets stronger and more peppery, a strong Nicaraguan pepper.


The draw is great. The smoke could be a bit thicker but the volume is good. The burn is impeccable. The white ash is pretty but not too firm. The dynamic and evolution of this cigar is great. The cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I want a box

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

San Lotano Habano Lancero

As I explained a few days ago, when I smokd the San Lotano Maduro Robusto, this cigar was named after the brand that A.J.’s grandfather created in Cuba and that is was the first cigar that A.J. Fernandez released by himself instead of making it as a private label. And it set off a lot, making him one of the hottest names in the industry.


Now the Habano, which is made from a Brazilian Habano wrapper, a Honduran binder and filler from Honduras and Nicaragua, originally didn’t come in a lancero shape, that vitola was added later and I googled, I can’t find any stock online so it might be out of production at all. That would not surprise me because a 7×38 cigar is hard to sell, only a small number of connaisseurs really know how to appreciate this vitola.


The cigar has a leathery wrapper, dark brown yet not maduro dark. The cigar feels well constructed and I always like a pig tail. The ring is quite simple, black and green with golden letters and a yellow banner with A.J.’s name. A secondary, small brown ring with golden outlines and letters saying Habano. The smell is strong, ammonia and barnyard is what I smell.


After cutting I tried the cold draw and it’s perfect. The cold draw has a nice spicy flavor. After lighting I got hit by a strong espresso. Soon I taste some cedar, leather and spice too. After a third I taste a smooth floral aroma with some white pepper. Halfway I get some sugar too. The sweetness disappears, I taste leather and pepper. Near the end the cigar turns very peppery.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is thick and full. The light ash is firm. The burn is flawless. The cigar is smooth, medium full bodied and flavored with a smoke time of seventy five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s a great cigar but I like the Maduro a little better.

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, San Lotano, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , ,

Flor de Oliva Lancero

I was looking for a budget lancero since I’m publishing a long list of budget reviews and I found a Flor de Oliva lancero in my lancero humidor, a perfect candidate for a budget lancero review, since you can get these 6 1/2×44 cigars for less than 2 dollars per cigar on the internet. And that’s cheap! Now some sites call these cigars lonsdale, some call them lancero, some call them panatela but for the sake of publishing a lancero every 15th of the month I will consider it a lancero.


The cigar is made in Nicaragua, in the Oliva factory in Esteli where prize winning cigars like the Series V and the Melanio lines are being produced too yet the Flor de Oliva series are in a completely different price range. There is a Maduro serie with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper but I’m smoking the natural, a cigar with Nicaraguan filler and a Sumatra wrapper.


The wrinkly wrapper has a latte color and a mild shine from the oils. The ring is very simple, thick white outlines, a blue top part and a red bottom part, white letters Flor de Oliva in the Flor de Cano font and golden tobacco leaves at the bottom. The construction feels good, the shape of the cigar is nice. The aroma is decent, it reminds me of a spice rack, different spices mixed together.


I used a guillotine cutter to cut the cigar. The cold draw is good. All I taste is tobacco with a little sweetness. After lighting I taste wood with a little allspice. The cigar has a mild sweetness but also a a mix of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon and cumin. In the final third I taste some wood too, but the flavors get a little mean.


The draw is flawless and the smoke is thick and white. The ash is light gray, but it’s not very firm. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? It’s the best flor de Oliva natural, but I would not buy it again.

Score: 88
number88

Categories: 88, Nicaraguan cigars, Oliva, Tabacalera Oliva | Tags: , , , ,

Rocky Patel Summer 2008 Lancero

About a decade ago Rocky Patel decided to launch a limited release every season of the year, and the Summer 2008 series came with a lancero, that’s the only lancero made for the seasonal collections, which were discontinued in 2009, except for a one time return in 2012. I must have gotten this cigar in a trade or a bomb of some kind, but I couldn’t tell you with or from whom if my life depended on it.


The Summer 2008 collection was rolled at the old factory of A.J. Fernandez as Rocky didn’t have a Nicaraguan operation back then, and A.J. didn’t have the huge factory that he runs nowadays. The other offerings, next to this 7×38 lancero, were a robusto, toro and toro grande.. The cigar is made with Nicaraguan filler, a binder from Cameroon and a Sumatra wrapper grown in Ecuador.


A nice, latte colored, toothy wrapper with a sandpaper touch and an unique ring make this cigar stand out. The ring looks like a piece of diamond plate with a golden strip with red outlines and a red round RP logo. The secondary ring is golden with black lettering and a red outline. The construction feels good, no soft spots and the pig tail is a nice detail. I smell a mild yet dark barnyard aroma, almost like a freshly ploughed piece of farmland with natural fertilizer.


After I cut the cigar I taste pepper and some blackberry with the perfect cold draw. After lighting I taste the blackberry with cedar. There is also some sweetness and the mix is perfect. On the background I taste some pepper. Halfway the cigar gets spicier and stronger.


The draw is flawless. The smoke is thick, full and good in volume. The light gray ash with dark smears. It’s reasonably firm. The burn is good, pretty straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium full flavored. The evolution isn’t spectacular but the flavor is very nice. The smoke time is an hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? I wish

Score: 92
number92

Categories: 92, Nicaraguan cigars, Rocky Patel, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , ,

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