Cigar Details: Cubariqueño Protocol Lancero
- Vitola: Lancero
- Length: 7.5″
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: La Zona
- Blender: Hector Alfonso
- Price: $10.99
- Release Date: May 2016
- Source: Cubariqueño Cigar Co.
The wrapper is a medium brown that has some color variations as it seems a bit darker from the foot to about a third of the way up. There are a couple of raised veins that run the length of the wrapper. Three caps that look perfectly applied. There are two bands, the primary being the company logo and the secondary carrying the name of the factory the cigar was produced at. The wrapper carries a very faint hay aroma. The foot is a little fuller hay that has a noticeable sweetness. The pre-light draw brings that same sweet hay that I got from the foot aroma along with a bit of leather. There is also a slight spiciness on my lips.
The Cubariqueño Protocol Lancero has in between a Colorado Maduro to Maduro shade wrapper. The wrapper is smooth to the touch providing a nice slick oil content. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. Bunching and roll feels well executed as there is a uniformed give throughout the entire cigar with no soft spots. The parejo head is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper provides traces of wet earth and floral notes. Nosing the foot gives barnyard, natural sweet tobacco notes and white pepper spice. Cold draw tells lip tingling white pepper and dry gritty earth.
Initial draws bring a very full dose of cinnamon and wood. After a few draws, some cream joins in with the cinnamon and wood which tones down the cinnamon a bit. At half an inch, the creamy wood is up front with the cinnamon in the background. At an inch in, the cinnamon mellows a bit more and is very faint while the creamy wood gains a slight sweetness. The retrohale is a mild creamy pepper. At two inches in, the cinnamon and slight sweetness completely go away while the creamy wood remains. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third was just slightly above medium.
Initial handful of draws brings forth a slick and oily profile. Specifically, deep notes of oily cinnamon, lightly charred wood and medium bodied cream mixed with dry roasted nuts. Quarter inch in, the power of the cigar is quickly known, ramping fast from medium to medium-full. Roughly two inches in, coffee with low/skim milk is realized, mixing well with the other earthy notes. Through the nose, mixture of black pepper spice and lighted charred wood. Following close by, a roasted dry nuttiness. The finish is long and lingering, caking the tongue and back palate with dry black pepper, lightly charred wood and a smooth heated spiciness. Body within the first third is at the medium mark.
As this third begins, the creamy wood remains. The retrohale now carries the same creamy wood as well. At an inch in, the cream goes away and a bit of pepper joins to mix in with the woodiness. The retrohale has a more defined oak along with the pepper. At two inches in, the pepper goes away and a slight bit of cream returns with the woodiness still the primary note. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
The second thirds flavor profile smooths out. The flavors are now driven mainly by creamed dry roasted nuttiness, milk (light) coffee and slightly toasted wood. The black pepper is still a core flavor but takes a back seat from the aforementioned flavors. The retrohale is also less black pepper dominant, providing lightly charred wood and creamed nuttiness. The finish is still lingering but not to the extent of the first third with notes of creamed nuttiness, tapered black pepper and lightly charred wood. Strength and body continues to be medium-full and medium, respectively.
As this third begins, the general woodiness is up front with a slight bitterness in the background. A quarter inch in and the general woodiness now becomes more defined as a toasty oak while there is still some bitterness in the background. At an inch in, the toasty oak is now present on the retrohale. This is how the cigar finishes. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
The last third toys with me a bit. The black pepper spice increases in intensity in an intermittent fashion. Just when I think the intensity is here to stay again, the pepper dies off and on. Aside from that, a new tasty sharp baking spice note is detected towards the middle of the last third. Thankfully, this was a consistent note. The remaining profile remains unchanged from the second third, still providing creamed dry roasted nuttiness, light milk coffee and slightly toasted wood. Through the nose, still tapered black pepper, lightly charred wood and creamed nuttiness. The finish still lingers with creamed nuttiness, tapered black pepper and lightly charred wood. Strength and body finishes out medium-full and medium, respectively.
The burn was slightly wavy the entire time but never caused any issues. The ash held on in about half inch increments.
The burn was perfect in every way. Total smoking time clocked in at a very impressive 3 hours. Burn line was razor sharp throughout with no re-lights or touch ups needed. Ashes held on strong, averaging 1.5 inch increments.
The draw was just slightly tighter than I prefer.
The cigar started out with a nice complex profile and then settled into a primarily woody profile the rest of the way. With strength being slightly above medium, the cigar should be approachable to most smokers. Performance was really good, which is always appreciative, especially for a lancero. While this isn’t may favorite vitola for the Protocol, it’s still a good representation of the line and fans of lanceros should definitely seek it out. This was an enjoyable experience and one I will definitely revisit.
Perfect draw. Cutting the cigar at the bottom of the cap yielded the ideal draw.
The first third of the cigar is what I was expecting from the lancero format of the Protocol. A beefed up version producing greater intensities. The mouth watering body with oily cinnamon combined with deep spice and earth really hit its stride. Although the second and last third was still a flavorful experience, I was hoping the cigar didn’t leave the foot off full throttle. I still enjoyed the cigar quite a bit and am looking forward to smoking more of these down the road.
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