Team Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero

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Cigar Details: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero

  • Vitola: Lancero
  • Length: 6.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Connecticut
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
  • Blender: Robert Holt
  • Price: $9.35
  • Release Date: January 2018
  • Source: Southern Draw

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a light golden brown and has one slightly raised vein running down the side of the cigar. The seams are smooth going around the box press, but are easily visible. The head is finished with a double cap that is twisted off with a small flag while the foot is covered over with excess wrapper. The band is the traditional company design in a pink, gold and black color combination and the secondary band is the same color combination denoting the line. The aroma from the wrapper is a distinct hay note and the foot gives very much the same since it is covered. The pre-light draw is a light and sweet hay with a mild spiciness present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero comes in cellphone with a UPC and product description sticker sealing the cellophane. The cigar itself is box pressed with a closed foot, and a pigtail cap. I would describe the wrapper as silky smooth, with no imperfections, double banded in pink with the second band indicating “Rose of Sharon”. The wrapper on the Rose of Sharon Lancero noses of old barn wood, fresh hay and light musty earth. The hay is slightly intensified in the foot.

Pre-light Experience

The Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero has a spot on claro wrapper shade. The box pressed cigar is loosely packed with veins well pressed, seams tight and well applied triple cap. Aromas from the wrapper give hay, barnyard, mint and wet grass. Aromas from the foot tell tame black pepper and hay. Cold draw gives hay, wet grass and light dried nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with a heavy dose of black pepper, some wood and a slight amount of cream. At a half inch in, it’s hard not to think that the black pepper has become a bit more potent. The retrohale also has the zippy black pepper with a nice sting to my nostrils. At an inch in, the pepper finally begins to settle down some to allow the wood to shine through a bit more and show the presence of some hay. There is not really any cream at this point. As the third comes to a close, some bitterness joins the wood while the hay note is just behind and the black pepper is now a supporting note. The strength in this third was very close to medium-full.

First Third

The first few puffs on the Rose of Sharon Lancero produce powdered cocoa and baking spices on the retrohale that is joined by dry wood. The finish on the cigar is short and clean, with underlying notes of sweetness and faint spices. That initial powdered cocoa is intensified as the cigar settles into the first third. Several minutes in, some subdued hay comes through, and a light grass joins it several minutes afterwards. Halfway through the first third, the baking spices intensify to a medium strength level. The other flavors on the retrohale are unchanged, and the finish remains very clean and short on the palate.

First Third

First third’s flavor profile consists of sweet cream, burnt caramel, hay and a good amount of black pepper spice. Retrohaling deepens mainly the hay and black pepper notes. The finish is medium in length with hay, minerals and black pepper. Strength and body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, some slight sweetness joins the wood and hay while there is still some underlying bitterness in the background with the black pepper. At an inch in, the bitterness has increased a bit while the wood and hay remain up front and the black pepper has a long finish in the background. The retrohale now has a mix of slightly bitter wood and black pepper. As the third comes to a close, a slight amount of cream rejoins while the bitter wood and hay remain up front and the black pepper is very faint. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Second Third

The cocoa and spices are down in strength intensity going into the second third. However, I find the overall flavor profile on the Rose of Sharon Lancero to be balanced. As the second third settles in, the post draw hay and dry wood are up in intensity to a light plus level. The grass notes are almost at a background level at this point and don’t stand out against the rest of the flavors.

Second Third

The first third and the second third can’t be more different from one another. The sweet creaminess and burnt caramel is almost entirely gone. The cigar turns into a mineral, spice and slightly charred focused formula with the finish lengthening in minerals, black pepper and hay. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the bitter wood and hay are the primary notes while the black pepper increases slightly in the background and the cream has left. At an inch in, the cigar begins to warm up which brings a toasted wood to go along with the hay and bitterness. The retrohale is fairly warm with some wood that has a slight bite to it. A little further in, the heat subsides and a bit of chalky sweetness joins in with the toasted wood and bitterness. This is how the cigar finishes. The strength in this third bumped back up to medium-full.

Final Third

The Rose of Sharon Lancero doesn’t undergo any notable flavor transitions moving into the final third. Once the last third settles in, the cocoa moves up in intensity back to a medium minus level, effectively pushing the baking spice flavors to the background. There is a minor amount of bitterness, but after purging it falls away.

Final Third

The last third brings back the cream notes present within the first third but still doesn’t reach the sweetness levels. The cream note is surrounded by drier black pepper, hay and minerals. Retrohaling continues to deepen with black pepper and minerals. The finish picks up intensities in black pepper spice in addition to the same minerals and hay notes. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn was razor sharp the entire way and the ash held on in one inch increments.

Burn

The ash held on well, in half to 3/4 inch increments. No touch-ups were required, however in both samples smoked, the cigar went out at the end of each third, requiring three re-lights. I moved the second sample to a much lower humidor for the second smoking experience to rule out storage conditions, and waited 2 weeks for the second pass.

Burn

The burn performance was spectacular. Even burn, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

In having reviewed the Toro before this and now the Lancero, I had very different experiences with each. The Lancero was much fuller in strength and started out as a pepper bomb. The bitterness also came into the profile much earlier. Construction of this cigar was fantastic, but I just felt this cigar was out of balance from the start and never really recovered. I know there are lots of Lancero fans out there and they should try this, but to me, a larger ring gauge lets this profile shine a lot more. I’d like to smoke another one with some more time on it to see if it balances out, but at this point, I’d prefer the Toro or Robusto over the Lancero.

Draw

The draw on the Rose of Sharon Lancero is slightly towards the tight end, which is where I believe a Lonsdale or Lancero should be.

Overall

Southern Draw Cigars has consistently produced cigars landing in the top cigars of the year for multiple years running. The Rose of Sharon Toro was a spectacular example of a Connecticut cigar that pushed the complexity of the Connecticut profile. It never fell into the boutique trap of being spicy, or overly bold, which would run counter to traditional Connecticut blending. I didn’t find the Rose of Sharon Lancero reached the same level of complexity as the Toro blend, which I assume is a result of the reduced filler tobacco available in a 40 ring gauge vitola. I do believe that the flavor profile will very much appeal those who enjoy a traditional Connecticut profile, without even taking into account the Lancero obsessed cigar smokers out there.

Draw

The draw was perfect, striking the best balance between air flow and resistance.

Overall

The Lancero version of the Rose of Sharon brings less sweetness and cream, instead it is more so about spice, minerals and earth. So in a way, perhaps the lancero variant shows more of the sungrown portion of the Equadorian Connecticut and Dominican Republic Piloto Cubano (even though it doesn’t list this filler like the Toro does so this is based on assumption). I said in the Toro review I wish there was more representation of spice within the Piloto Cubano and Sungrown Connecticut but in this review, I wish there was more sweetness and creaminess from the Toro format (go figure). A good cigar to try if you want more spice and earth forward delivery of a Connecticut cigar, but if you are looking for more of the traditional sweetness and cream, I’d recommend the Toro.

Aaron
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
AmazingPre
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Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
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Good
AverageSecond
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AmazingBurnAverageBurnAmazing
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AverageOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$1.57

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.80

Cost/Point

$1.61

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.82

Cost/Point

$1.37

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero

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