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La Aroma de Cuba (New Blend) Lancero Review
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
For this review I decided to go over to John’s house and smoke a La Aroma de Cuba (New Blend) Lancero that I picked up from The Cigar Shop Biloxi a couple months back when they had an Ashton “Taste of Excellence” event. At the event our Ashton rep, Gus Merkle, had us do a rum and food pairing with the La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor blend. When he was explaining the Mi Amor blend he also gave us a bit of insight into the La Aroma de Cuba blend that I smoked: The “new blend” of LAdC comes with a red band at the foot, unlike the original release blend, and is made in Nicaragua by Pepin Garcia. Gus also informed us that they can no longer call this “new blend”,since the revamping of the LAdC line by the hands of Pepin Garcia, Ashton has now released two newer lines; the Edicion Especial and the aforementioned Mi Amor. The OR of the LAdC line was a very rich smoke in it’s own right and fairly darn good, but I do feel the Pepin blended LAdC improved the cigar by offering a bit more complex and yet balanced cigar. I haven’t smoked the lancero before as it is sort of a limited release (it isn’t mentioned on the Ashton website and can be tricky to find on its own) but the Monarch and Belicoso are fantastic, so why should this one be any different?
The LAdC was dressed in a beautiful dark brown, near black Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper, that was slightly toothy and oily with a couple small veins. The cap was well applied with a slight rat tail twist. The aroma off the unlit cigar was sweet and woody. I clipped the cap with my LP#9 cutter; the prelight draw was loose with a slightly earthy taste. I lit the cigar with a match.
The initial flavors were very rich and complex. I picked up earth, woods, coffee and a molasses like sweetness with pepper on the back end and chocolaty sweetness through the nose. As the cigar progressed through the first third the molasses flavor turned into a date like flavor. The pepper stayed on the finish and the woods seemed to have gotten lost in the coffee, earth and date flavors. The cigar produced a large amount of fairly thick smoke and had a great aroma while it was burning.
Heading into the second third the flavor profile hadn’t changed much, except that the coffee seems to have gotten darker and the sweetness of the chocolate flavor has intensified on the retrohale, otherwise the earth and date flavor was about the same, as was the pepper on the finish. Near the end of the second third the earthy flavor had subdued greatly, but the flavors were still very rich.
The flavors of the final third were consistant with before, but mellowed. The retrohale seemed to have picked up a slightly woodsy flavor, and that was really the only change. The burn was perfect throughout… one time I tried to correct a slight run, but my lighter was out of fuel or was too cold so I couldn’t, a couple minutes later the burn was back to even. In the final third the cigar produced a little less smoke than the beginning.
It should be no surprise to some of you that I find this to be the best vitola of the La Aroma de Cuba (new blend). The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper really shines through and provides a rich and wonderful smoke. I find the lancero more enjoyable than the other vitolas because it does such a wonderful job of concentrating the chocolaty wrapper and delivering a bit more pepper spice. The cigar is well rolled and a pleasure to smoke, the burn was fine, the ash held well, it produced a lot of smoke and had a great aroma while burning. The only downside availability… I bought this cigar for around $9.50 after tax and the lancero is sort of a special edition vitola. This cigar is definitely worth trying, and putting into your rotation if you are a lancero, Pepin, maduro, Nicaraguan, or fan of peppery cigars… covers a lot of people, huh? If you can find one and afford the price I definitely recommend picking up 2-3 of them, it may be one of my favorite Ashton products. This cigar would pair very well with a sweet stout or a dark rum.
Total smoking time 95 minutes.
Mi Dominicana Lancero Review
This review comes to you while cruising the Gulf of Mexico. I wanted to at least review two cigars while I was out here, and it turns out that I only had time to do them on my first and last days of the trip. For this review I smoked the Mi Dominicana Lancero by Josè Seijas. Mi Dominicana is surprisingly Altadis’ first Dominican puro. J. Seijas is a name that you likely have heard before, he is the general manager of Tabacalera de Garcia (the world’s largest individual cigar factory) or he at least is in charge of the production of cigars you have likely smoked (Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, H. Upmann, etc…). So when he says “Everything that is beautiful about the Dominican Republic has gone into this cigar” he is setting the bar fairly high for this cigar.
The 7.5” x 40 lancero was beautifully wrapped in a slightly marbleized, nut brown leaf with some veins. The cigar was extremely well rolled, no soft spots and a perfectly applied cap with a rat tail twist. I clipped the cap using a cheapo cutter; the pre-light draw was a little tight with a faint cedar flavor. I lit the cigar with my Bugatti torch lighter.
From the start I got flavors of honey like sweetness, cedar, leather, nuts and a bit of spice on the back end. The retrohale was sweet and nutty, similar to a nutella like flavor. Midway through the first third the leather has died down a bit leaving the base flavors of honey, cedar and nuts and some spice on the finish. The cigar produced a good bit of smoke and the draw was about perfect for me, the heat definitely loosened it up.
Heading into the second third the flavor profile was still about the same, though the cedar had died down some, and hints of coffee seem to come and go in the cigar. The retrohale still had that wonderful nutella flavor. The cigar thus far had been performing very well, the ash holds well, the draw was perfect and the burn has been great… all especially good for having been smoked on a moving boat.
Heading into the final third the nut flavor had been lost and the honey had died down, however the cedar did pick back up and was been joined by a toast flavor. Hints of coffee still came through and the pepper on the finish ramped up. The retrohale lost the nutella like flavor and tasted more like “stale” leather, not a very appealing flavor. But despite the poor retrohale flavor, the final third was still quite enjoyable and I ended up nubbing the cigar. The hints of coffee flavor I picked up were what kept me smoking it down to the nub. The cigar stayed around medium bodied throughout.
The Mi Dominicana lancero is personally my favorite cigar that Josè Seijas is apart of. While I haven’t yet smoked Altadis’ “boutique” brand the Warlock yet, I can definitely tell you that this cigar is head and shoulders above the Romeos, Montes, and H. Upmann’s that Altadis is best known for. The Mi Dominicana lancero’s flavor development and construction allowed me to nub this cigar. Flavors of honey, cedar, leather, coffee and spice kept me going back for another puff until I finally had to save my fingers. The burn only required a very slight touch up and the draw was perfect. I actually have not smoked another vitola, so I can’t compare how this will smoke for any other size. But I do know that I’ll be buying these again. For around $6-8 depending on vitola and vendor I’d really suggest picking them up. I could even see this cigar moving into my humidor staple category. It’s a nice medium bodied smoke and with the flavor profile I could see this cigar pairing well with almost any beer that is on the malty side (Blonde, red, brown, etc…) but probably nothing that is brewed with too many highly kilned malts (like strong stouts).
Total smoking time 105 minutes.