Date Reviewed: March 14th, 2011
Cigar Date: September 2004
A short while ago… I got in a couple boxes of Cohiba Lanceros; one from 2004 and one from 2005. I’ll fire up the 2005 sometime soon… but I grabbed an ’04 to meet a buddy for a drink and some lunch at a local Mexi-bar-and-grille. The place has an okay selection of Mexican beer and decent Tex-Mex style food…… but it also sports a huge covered and air conditioned patio with TVs, its own bar and is very cigar friendly!
I had already removed these, from their little boxes, for storage… but keeping them can make for a great transportation device! Also… let’s be honest…… they’re cool to look at.
Looking the cigar over, the wrapper appeared a tad bit veiny but was suprisingly smooth to the touch. It carried aromas of leather and some definite woodiness, but mostly just smelled like raw tobacco. I know that sounds silly… of course it smelled like tobacco, right? That said… many cigars often have strong aromas that overpower that raw tobacco smell…… this just didn’t have that quality at all. In any case, the pre-light draw was a tad tight and tasted a little like honey… along with that signature Cohiba earth I was expecting.
Already a few chips and salsa down… I decided to just make it an entire Tex-Mex pairing and match the cigar with a Tecate and chimichanga. I know all of those food flavors can be quite complex, so I was counting on the beer (with added lime) and a cool water to help cleanse the palate in between puffs. As it turned out, lime-heavy Tecate… followed by a sip or two of water… actually performed very well at doing just that. Unfortunately…… Tecate is still a cruddy beer… even with a decent meal, good smoke and great company! Haha!
I fully planned on typing out a detailed review of the beer, as well as cigar… but the beer is easy to describe in a single small paragraph: the nose was sweet and a little floral… it attacked with very mild standard lager notes… and finished with a tiny bit of hops, bitterness (that was thankfully short-lived) and the added lime flavor. That’s pretty much it… it’s clean, crisp, not a ton of carbonation…… and extremely boring. Our restaurant choice really needed some Sol to add some soul. Oh well… at least it succeeded in cleansing the food flavors from my tastebuds…
Upon lighting, a mild earthiness is immediately present… as are some definite floral undertones. Not a ton of smoke was produced, but the retrohale was extremely leathery with a touch of spice left in the back of my throat. In truth, though, it didn’t really pack the flavor punch I was prepared for. It almost tasted a bit muted during the whole first inch or so.
After the first inch, I was pleasantly surprised when the flavors really opened up! I started to get hit with some honey, cedar, earth and leather… all extremely well balanced and very smooth. The draw was absolutely perfect (always has us habanophiles worrying when reaching for a lancero), but I did have a little touch up on the burn at about half way.
Those flavors stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire rest of the smoke. I did get just a hint of ashiness in the back third… but I’m pretty sure that was operator-error. I was just flat-out smoking too quickly and puffing too strongly for a thinner ring gauge cigar such as this was. In the back end, she sort of went more mute and mild again… leaving those original floral and leather notes. Four natural ashes later and she was toast!
Final Notes: This cigar performed very well… and lancero lovers are sure to be impressed with the smooth characteristics and pleasant draw. The middle portion of the cigar was the absolute best, when a lot more flavors were present than the head or foot… but the whole thing just never really completely took me off-guard as the wonderful iconic cigar the Cohiba Lancero is known to be. It was a GOOD cigar to be sure…… just not a GREAT one…
Aging Notes: Although I might like to see what happens to that head and foot area with a little more age… I didn’t get anything from this stick that tells me it needs a ton more time to refine into anything different than what it’s already become. If you have some of these laying around still… or have the opportunity to pick them up already aged…… NOW seems like it’s the time to smoke these. In waiting to see what changes occur over time, that middle-portion may lose some of those more prominent flavors that actually made this cigar tasty in the first place…