Team Cigar Review: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

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Cigar Details: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Length: 8.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Country of Origin: Costa Rica
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian DesFlorado
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic and Peru
  • Factory: Tabacos de Costa Rica
  • Blender: Mel Shah
  • Price: $13.50
  • Release Date: August 2016
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

First impression is, “Look at the length of this thing.” 8.5 inches is going to attract some attention. The wrapper is a golden tan with a few greenish spots. There are a couple of easily visible veins, otherwise the wrapper looks smooth. The seams are barely visible. There appears to be one cap that is twisted off with the flag folded over. At the foot, there is no wrapper for a little more than half an inch, just binder and filler. The cigar has the standard small MBombay band. It also comes with a six inch cedar sleeve that runs from the bottom of the band all the way to the foot. The wrapper that was covered in cedar smells mostly of cedar, no surprise, but the wrapper above the band smells of hay. The foot aroma is a very unique wood aroma, maybe sandalwood. The pre-light draw is a lightly sweet hay and slight pepper. There was also a mild pepper tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973 has a thin and fragile Colorado Claro wrapper shade (represented by various minor hairline cracks and holes). The wrapper feels silky smooth with great oil content realized on the fingertips. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. Cigar feels well rolled and bunched as there is a spongy give throughout the entire cigar. Head is finished off with a well adhered, thick double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives aged cedar and barnyard. Nosing the foot gives dried jammy fruits and white pepper. Cold draw tells jam, flowers, aged cedar and a hint of white pepper.

First Third

I snapped the cedar sleeve in half and used that to light the cigar. Initial draws bring some of that same sandalwood note that I got from the foot aroma. As I begin to get into the wrapper, there is a little pepper that starts surrounding the sandalwood. At an inch in, the pepper eases up slightly letting the wood shine through some more along with the addition of a mild creaminess. At an inch and a half, the pepper transitions to a mild cinnamon to go along with the wood and cream. The retrohale is the very smooth sandalwood. Nearing the end of the third, the cream ramps up both in the mouth and as it joins in on the retrohale. The strength in this third was mild-medium.

First Third

Burning through the initial quarter inch non-wrapper portion of the cigar, a balance of subtle black pepper on the front tongue, aged cedar, oily zing and creamed nuttiness. Moving into the wrapper portion, in addition to the notes mentioned above, cinnamon, intensified creamed nuttiness and bread. Through the nose, sharp cedar, dry nuts and slight bread. The finish is short, providing soft dry wood and aged cedar. Throughout the entire first third, strength is medium minus and body solid medium.

Second Third

This third begins with a nice creamy wood note and slight cinnamon. At an inch in, along with the existing profile, I am getting a citrus note in the background. At two inches in, the citrus note fades away and the cinnamon transitions to a mild black pepper. The nice wood note still carries a bit of cream. As the third comes to a close, the profile is now primarily wood with a slight bit of cream. The strength in this third is slightly below medium.

Second Third

The second third continues its stride in being a subdued flavor profile. Still notes of faint black pepper, aged cedar, subdued oily zing and creamed nuttiness. New flavors of vegetal (at times sharp) notes and soft wood bitterness emerges. The retrohale remains unchanged, still giving sharp cedar, dry nuts and slight bread. The finish continues to be short with subtle dry wood and aged cedar. Strength increases to a solid medium, while body remains unchanged at medium.

Final Third

As this third begins, a slight black pepper and cream come back to mix with the woodiness. At a half inch in, some bitterness joins in to the profile. The retrohale is creamy wood. At an inch and a quarter, the bitterness increases and wood is the only other flavor present, although the retrohale is still a nice creamy wood. As the cigar comes to a finish, the bitterness settles down some and lets the wood come back up front. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Final Third

The last third is pretty much a mirror of the second third. Still vegetal notes, creamed nuttiness, aged cedar and airy bread. A consistent tasty milk coffee forms towards the beginning of the last third. Through the retrohale, still sharp cedar, dry nuts, slight bread and a hint of metallic note. The finish is still short but provides more sharpness in dry wood cedar. Body and strength continues to be at the medium mark.

Burn

The burn was fantastic through the first two thirds and then the cigar went out on me twice in the final third requiring two re-lights.

Burn

Burn performance was overall very good. Total burn time clocked in at 3 hours. Burn line was almost razor sharp throughout the entire smoking time. Ashes held on fairly tight with minimal flowering, averaging one inch increments.

Draw

The draw was just slightly tighter than I prefer, but a little expected due to the small ring gauge and the length of the cigar.

Overall

This is the profile where MBombay really shines for me. The unique wood notes along with some cream and transitions between black pepper and cinnamon. I wish the final third would have kept up, but with the long smoking time and two re-lights I had to expect the final third to fall down. The strength level for most of the cigar was medium and below, so most smokers can enjoy this and I think it’s unique enough that people should give it a try. I am definitely interested in smoking more of these, especially if the burn issues I experienced in the final third can be avoided.

Aaron
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Very Good
Very Good First
Third
Good
Very Good Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Good
Good Burn Very Good
Very Good Draw Good
Good Overall Good

Draw

The draw, although good, was on the snug side of the spectrum. Even cutting to the very bottom of the cap yielded no improvements.

Overall

One word comes to mind when describing this cigar; delicate. Looking back on my notes, I use the words “faint” “subtle” “slight” quite a bit. This cigar did not wow me, nor did it disappoint me. I would have enjoyed fuller flavors especially given such a long vitola. I believe that would have kept me more engaged throughout the entire smoking experience. But for the days I have 3 hours in the morning, I can see myself turning to this cigar.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

7.20

Cost/Point

$1.88

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.80

Cost/Point

$1.99

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: MBombay Vintage Reserve Lancero 1973

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