Monday, April 27, 2009

My Weekend Cigar: Cuvée Grand Lancero

Last night the weather was perfect for enjoying a genuinely rare treat on my deck under a starlit sky - a Cuvée Grand Lancero. I say "rare," because these Cuvée cigars were made expressly for the European market. It was one of several gifted to me by my good friend J.T. Guagliardo of Cusano Cigars. I found it in the bottom of one of my humidors, where it's probably been for close to a year. (I liken my humidors to boxes of chocolates; I never know what I'm gonna get.)

Before I get to the review, let me add that with regard to my blog on Cleansing the palate before smoking a cigar, over the weekend I picked up a bottle of Bitter Lemon, and I must say that drinking it before I lit-up really did the trick. It was a little sweet, but the tanginess of the lemon juice wipes out the sugary taste pretty quickly, and my palate really felt "clean." I continued to drink it during the entire smoke.

Now for the cigar: Made in limited edition and individually numbered (mine was No.08290), the Cuvée Grand Lancero is rolled to 7" x 40. The blend is comprised of Honduran longfiller, Mexican binder, and a beautifully dark, even-toned Ecuadorian wrapper. (FYI - Cigar Aficionado featured it as their "Cigar of the Week" in April, 2007 with an outstanding "90" rating.)

The cap clipped off nicely and the pre-light had a good draw. Once lit, the smoke was creamy and medium-bodied with strong, sweet-woody flavors, and just a hint of coffee on the finish. However, the cigar was not sweet in a sugary way. The sweetness was more like that of fruit, which in this case, I'd have to say "cherry." So for me, the Cuvée Grand Lancero had a predominantly cherry wood flavor, which remained consistent until the end of the second act.

I should also mention that the aroma of this cigar was especially nice. It reminded me of the smell of a campfire with scents of leather and Spanish cedar mixed in. Plus, it ashed perfectly in little half-inch nuggets during my entire smoke.

During the last third, the cigar lost its "cherry" sweetness while taking on a more full-bodied dimension. The woody flavor became more robust, and the smoke was also much spicier. I let the cigar go out in the last inch-and-a-half because it was just starting to turn bitter, and I didn't want to ruin what was a very pleasurable experience.

Finally, I don't understand why more cigar smokers are into Lanceros. Maybe it's because the shape, admittedly, feels a little wimpy in the mouth. But regardless of its size, I can't imagine why anyone would want to avoid smoking any cigar this good.

~ Gary Korb

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary
I dont know myself why Lanceros are not so popular. The Cuban Lancero is an awesome smoke. It is light on the palate, burns very evenly and leaves me with a sense of comfort and ease once I have finished it.
Regarding Cubans, I lived for three and a half years in the Mediterranean and probably smoked every avaialable Cuban I could find. I became very used to their unique taste and burning quality and lingering sense of aroma.
So today I am pretty sure that if you handed me an unbanded Cuban and an unbanded Dominican, or Nicaraguan, or unbanded Canary or something else and had me smoke both in the same day, I could definitely tell the difference.
R/jonathan