Today’s cigar review will be an exercise in how much ring gauge can change a particular blend. I already love the previously reviewed Marrero Fuerte, but today we’re trying it in a new size: this 7.5″ x 40RG Lancero version. The original size is a 54RG so quite a bit smaller.
In general, Lanceros are quite concentrated in wrapper flavors which usually results in a more robust experience. This was no exception.
Using the Colibri V cutter (note: the following was not the case with a straight cut, see below) the first light reveals a perfect draw putting off a ton of thick, chewy full-bodied smoke. Huge pepper blast right out of the gate supported by notes of espresso, dark chocolate and leather. A bit of a red pepper spice on the finish and retrohale.
Getting into the first third the smoke retains its intensity but the pepper and spice dial down just a touch, but still very assertive. This allows a slightly sweet creamy and nutty note to join the mix; very complex and very full-bodied still. Flavors fairly consistent start to finish which was totally fine by me because I was digging the flavors. The smoke started going too hot for my liking at 1 hour 10 minutes for a solid burn time out of a Lancero and bringing in a nicotine kick that damn near matched the body. My head was spinning by the end of it!
Performance was excellent throughout with a near razor-sharp burn and the ash dropping off about an inch at a time – not too surprising for a small ring gauge truth be told.
This is a case where the flavor profile was not just night and day different but there were definitely differences. I can’t even tell you which I like better. The Toro, predictably, has a longer burn time but a slightly creamier and less peppery smoke. This Lancero has a much bigger pepper blast and is “punchier” on the palate. It would have to do with what I’m drinking or have eaten I would think. This Lancero definitely calls for a strong sipping whisk(e)y to pair with and would be great after a hearty steak dinner. Rating: 4.5/5.
Now, going back to my side note up top. I’d had a few of these prior to writing this review, but they always had a very snug draw and I never felt like I was getting everything the cigar had to offer. This was before I got my Colibri V cutter and had just used a straight cut on them (my Cuban Crafters Perfect Cutter). I decided to try the Colibri on the above review sample, as apprehensive as I was about taking such a deep cut on a small-ish cigar. Alas, as you can see, enough of the cap remained intact to prevent unraveling.
I also tried a stick this morning which in my experience has had draw issues with some samples and cut it using the V cutter for the first time. Draw and smoke production? Fantastic. You can even see where the knot was:
Alas the Colibri cut through it and freed it up. Now, this morning’s smoke was obviously a mild cigar as that’s what I like in the morning but regardless of body and strength a bad draw will ruin your day.
For these reasons, I have totally fallen for the Colibri V cutter and the “deep V” is my new favorite way to cut a cigar. Some will claim that a V cut concentrates the smoke on the palate and blah blah blah, but I don’t believe that. Just for me, the V cut gives me the best draw for my preference and I think it just plain looks cool. As always though, there’s no right or wrong. It’s about what you like.