Let me start by saying that even though this cigar will count as my lancero review of the month and will be a contestant in the ‘lancero of the year’ list that I will compile at the end of the year, officialy this is not a lancero. It’s called a lancero, it looks like a lancero, and it comes close to a lancero but the size is not a classic lancero size with a length that is an inch longer and a ring gauge that’s also slightly thicker than what’s considered industry standard for a lancero (7 1/2×38 vs 8 1/2×40 for this Casa Magna Lancero). It’s actually an old size used by Manolo Quesada and back then the name was ‘largo delgado’ which translates to “long skinny”. I still count it as a lancero because the size differences are only minor unlike the Alec Bradley (‘everything is bigger in’) Texas Lancero (7×70).
Casa Magna is a cooperation between the Quesada family, who are well known and respected cigar makers from the Dominican Republic and the Plasencia family from Nicaragua. That Manuel Quesada got the Cigar Journal Lifetime Achievement award last september at the award dinner at Intertabac is a testament to their accomplishments and knowledge. In 2008 they shook the world by becoming the no.1 on Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 with this blend and that for a cigar that would usually be featured on the yearly ’top budget cigars’. This all Nicaraguan blend hit the right spot and became an international hit, with offsprings as the Casa Magna Oscuro (from Honduras), Casa Magna Domus Magnus series and most recently a Dominican made Casa Magna. The Casa Magna Lancero was released in 2011 but with a MSRP that was much higher than the other Casa Magna vitola’s at $12.95 and came in boxes of 7 to keep the box price below $100. I reviewed the cigar back in 2011, when it wasn’t for sale in The Netherlands and with my old scores in my old apartment, time for a new try, this time in my man cave, with my 100 point scoring system and cigars legally bought in The Netherlands where they were for sale for a limited time.
The cigar looks great, a nice dark and oily wrapper with a few minor veins, a closed foot and a lovely little pigtail. A well printed ring with quite some details on thick paper. If you scan the ring it looks simple but when you pay more attention you notice all small details and since I started paying more attention to the cigar rings I seem to enjoy the cigars a little more, maybe because of the appreciation of the pieces of art that cigar rings can be. The aroma is amazing, its like walking deep inside a forest in the fall with the smell of fermenting leafs, moss, animals and the aroma is quite strong. Construction wise I don’t have any complaints either, the cigar seems evenly filled and since a lancero is one of the harder vitolas to roll I take my hat off to the roller responsible.
The cigar is too thin to punch so I cut the cigar with my Xikar butterfly cutter. The cold draw is a little tough with a little bit of wood and quite some pepper. I used my soft flame to light the cigar. Right from the start I taste coffee with some salt and plenty of pepper. After a few puffs I also taste a little honey sweetness. The coffee goes away, I now taste earthy flavors and some chocolate with chilies. The flavors are very vibrant as you can expect from a cigar with a great filler wrapper ratio as a lancero. Just like the aroma, the flavors remind me of autumn.
After a third I still taste the earthy flavors with pepper but now with something I would describe as autumn leafs. I also taste some salt and a little licorice. The pepper gets stronger and is now the main flavor. On the background I also taste some vanilla. Slowly I also taste a nice wood flavor, oak. Some puffs later I also taste some citrus. The pepper is still the main flavor though, strong and powerful.
The draw is great, better than in the cold draw and since the lancero is so difficult to make again my hat off to the roller. The smoke is white, relatively thick and a decent amount of it. The ash is salt and pepper colored, a bit frayed too. The burn is quite good, not razor sharp, but still good. The cigar is full bodied, full flavored. I really enjoyed this cigar for almost 2 hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? Once I’m out I’ll try to find another box, I still have a full one though.