Greetings Lords (and Ladies) of the Leaf!
You’ll notice that things are speeding up here at the Classic Cigar Blog – we’re back for another review. It is good to be together again, smoking a cigar made by Illusione again. Here’s what the website has to say about it: ” Lancero , the lance. Get it? Constantine was the first Christian Emperor to lead Rome. It was fabled that he had possession of the very spear that punctured the side of Jesus while on the cross. He was said to carry this relic into battle and, it was said that it helped him win many battles. It is an artisan blend and, the mildest of all my cigars.”
Let’s see how this goes. First – relating back to ambience in smoking- it was a mild seventy six degrees or so here – so it was a perfect night to sit out and smoke a cigar in my “smoking room” That’s the deck, for those of you following along at home. Here’s a picture.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Cafe Colorado -Nicaraguan
Bear with me, I’m on a picture taking mission. Enjoy!
THE PRE-LIGHT RITUAL
My favorite part of the whole thing. The wrapper was nice- just right. It had no huge veins, and no tears. Like all lanceros, they were light, but this one had only one soft spot. The cap was even, a nice triple seam with a deft pigtail on the top. The band was true to the Illusione type, and it was simple, classic, and even sexy. The smell was of cedar, and was nice and woody. A light floral scent accompanied the stick too. The pre-light was open and even, and tasted of cedar, and some light hints of what I would later come to taste as Anise or licorice.
THE FIRST THIRD
The first few puffs lent themselves to an anise and floral fusion, it was unexpected but as he said – it’s an artisan blend. There were hints later on of allspice and maybe a tinge of coffee in there. The burn was even, for awhile, and the dark ash made me think that this tobacco was still wet when it was rolled. Not terribly offensive, just slightly so. As we smoked it transitioned to a salty and spicy flavor, that was hard to discern. It was just the right add on for the licorice type taste that I was experiencing.
THE SECOND THIRD
This third was delightfully spiced with notes of roasted coffee and roasted peanuts. The burn was a little uneven and it still produced a creamy smoke that was thick and heady. This was largely like the head on a great beer. Later in the smoke it became sweeter – with hints of sugar and caramel. One of the things that combined well with the earlier coffee notes was the taste of caramel. As the third progressed we transitioned into an earthiness that was pleasant on the palate. It went out one time and had to be re-lit.
THE THIRD AND FINAL THIRD
The final third was rich and full bodied. The hints of coffee and roasted nuts transitioned into black pepper and smokiness. The next transition brought about a return to the first third. The first puffs tasted of anise and licorice, this was very different than the first impression that one would have gathered having seen the first few glimpses of that cigar. The hint of coffee and licorice remained to the end of the cigar. What a great smoke!
As I’ve been known to say before – ambiance is a great reason to smoke a cigar. And the great weather, it was a modest seventy-six degrees out – was one of the reasons that I would want to take the time to smoke such a long cigar. This was one of the best cigars and I enjoyed the cigar despite it’s obvious flaws – it had to be touched up quite a few times, and overall it was a disappointing burn. However! It tasted great. The final moments of this cigar were heady and euphoric – with licorice on the palate, and a great finish. Despite the fact that the darn thing wouldn’t stay lit – the tasting notes were complex and I’ve always enjoyed the taste of licorice. When they gave way to a nice and full coffee and pepper flavor, and then surprisingly of all, the Holy Lance witched to the first third again and remained that way until the end.
This cigar is certainly in the running for my “Cigar Top 10 List” and it deserves it’s place in the pantheon of great cigars.
Here’s the RECAP:
Prelight: 9/10 – Everything was well proportioned with a delicate pig-tail cap and a nice wrapper. The pre-light draw was really heady and tasted of cedar, but ironically enough, that flavor was not in the main part of the cigar.
Smoking: 8/10 – The problem with this cigar was that it had difficulty staying lit – it was a good cigar, but fundamentally, it was poorly constructed it seemed. The tobacco might have been rolled when it was not quite as dry as it could have been. However, it was still a great smoke. Overall.
Overall Experience: 9/10 – Great overall experience – what a wonderful smoke.
Total Composite Score: 27/30 – Very distinguished smoke. Highly recommended. Best of the Best.
At $9.00 a stick, this is totally worth it. I am putting this on my wishlist for Christmas, I hope someone is reading! Enjoy your week – and look forward for another review next Sunday!
p.s. Enjoy this picture of our “Rib Adventure!” This is the only way to grill – open flames, good beer, good friends, and one heck of a Cigar. – W