This is a cigar i have been after for a while now, and finally found a shop that carries them! This lancero measures in at 7.5 inches X 38 ring gauge. This cigar is made for Pete Johnson (owner of Tatuaje) by Don Pepin Garcia (who rolls all of Petes cigars) is made up of a Nicaraguan filler and a really nice dark connecticut broadleaf wrapper. These are made in very small batches, and are blended exclusively for the lancero size. This cigar hit the market in a very sneaky fashion in September of 2008. Very few people knew about these cigars coming out, which is a rare thing in the cigar world. I like how Pete was sneaky about releasing this particular cigar, and that he chose to do it in a Lancero, a very classic size. Now, you can find them several places online and at select retailers, but who knows for how long.
Ok, onto the review! The wrapper is very dark and oily, with no imperfections at all. I like the simple brown band Pete did for these as well. The pigtail cap looks great, and brings to mind the traditional Cuban lanceros such as the Cohiba Lancero and Trinidad Fudadore that also sport this style cap. The predraw is slightly restrictive, but that is ok because a Lancero needs to be smoked very slowly, and if the draw was too open it would be easier to smoke this too fast and get it too hot, making it bitter. The prelight flavors are dark chocolate and a bit of leather.
The flavor upon lighting is more of the same from the predraw, dark chocolate, leather, and a bit of classic Nicaraguan spice. There is also a touch of a darker sweetness flavor that im guessing comes from the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. As ive said before, with a lancero, you need a great flavorful wrapper since the ratio of wrapper leaf is much higher on this size cigar. There is a nice complexity to this cigar, with loads of different flavors coming and going as you get into it. An espresso flavor joins the mix of chocolate and spice. This is a medium bodied cigar, just shy of being what i consider full bodied.
The lancero is such an elegant size, and unfortunately is not a very common cigar anymore. This cigar demands you to slow down and sip at it, and if you take your time, you will definitely be rewarded. So far this is one of the best Non Cuban lanceros i have had the pleasure of smoking.
Hats off to Pepin on rolling this lancero. This size is one of the harder cigars to roll because of its thin ring gauge. If it isnt rolled perfectly, the draw is usually tight, but all the lanceros ive had from Pepin are spot on. Overall, the El Triunfador is a great cigar. I had to drive an hour to get this cigar, and ill gladly do it again for a few more. I paid just under 9 bucks for this cigar, and it is definitely worth the price tag. The flavors are rich and complex, and the construction of this cigar is pretty much perfect. If you are a fan of the Pete/Pepin combo cigars, then you will really enjoy this one! The lancero shape isnt for everyone,but for those that havent had one, this is a great one to go out and try. This is one that might make people who think they dont like lanceros finally see the light on thin ring gauge cigars!