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2020 CA Report: 10 Top-Rated Lancero Cigars

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CA Report: 10 Top Lanceros

Updated January 2020

When I originally wrote this article in 2015, Lancero cigars weren’t exactly on the tip of the average cigar smoker’s tongue. There weren’t very many to choose from, either. Yet, today, more manufacturers are making the Lancero part of their regular production lines. As the great Manuel Quesada told me many years ago: “The Lancero is a very personal cigar.” And in fact, many of the Lanceros handed to me by a number of cigar makers over the years were made for their own personal use. It’s nice to see that this “very personal” vitola has now gone mainstream. – GK

Bigger isn’t always better…

The question is: are you willing to put down one of your chubby Churchills and try something in a 38 regular to prove it? I’m talking about Lancero cigars, or what I call, the cigar world’s supermodels. They’re slim, sexy, and look drop-dead gorgeous in perfectly-aged wrapper leaf.

Admittedly, Lanceros aren’t the bestsellers for online cigar retailers, nor are they any more popular at B&M’s, but they’re more popular than you think. Moreover, some of the biggest names in the cigar business have had a love affair with the Lancero for years:  Carlos “Carlito” Fuente of Arturo Fuente cigars, Pete (Tatuaje cigars) Johnson, and George A. Rico of Gran Habano STK cigars, to name but a few.

Lancero is Spanish for “lancer” and may have been named so because the cigar looked like the lances used by the knights of the Middle Ages; or, perhaps it was inspired by the lance Don Quixote carried in the famous Spanish novel.

Love Lanceros? Thank Cohiba.

The first Lancero cigar debuted during the 1960’s as part of the Cuban Cohiba cigars brand. Because they were rolled at the El Laguito factory, other Cuban cigar factories referred to a Lancero as an “El Laguito No. 1.”  Davidoff was next to follow with their Cuban-made “Davidoff No.1.”

The standard dimensions for a Cuban Lancero cigar are 7½ inches long with a 38 ring width, and a twisted pigtail-style wrapper cap. Most Lanceros rolled outside of Cuba have kept the 38 ring, but shortened the length to an even seven inches. (This could be an economic factor). Almost all of the 10 best Lanceros noted in this blog measure 7″ x 38, and some even have the classic pigtail.  Like all cigar sizes, the final dimensions are made at the sole discretion of the manufacturer.

Due to its size, the Lancero is also one of the hardest and most expensive cigars to roll. It can easily be under-filled or overfilled, so quality control is important. If the rollers do not have the proper experience, the rejection rate can be high. Too little tobacco and the cigar will burn hot; too much and the cigar may not draw well, or at all. Another reason Lanceros are more costly to make is because they have a higher wrapper-to-filler ratio, which can either make or break the blend.

Today, just about every major manufacturer offers at least one Lancero in their stable. Many of them always made the shape, but in 2008, the Lancero (like the now popular 60+ ring gauge giants), had somewhat of a cult following, and everybody got into the act.  So, without further adieu, let’s get to some of the best Lancero cigars on the market today…

 

Casa Fernandez Miami Lancero

Size: 7½” x 40
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Corojo (Nicaragua)

top lancero cigars casa fernandez miami cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

You’ll find some of the most flavorful Nicaraguan-grown Corojo wrapper hugging the all-Nicaraguan filler core on this puro. Notes of earth, leather, and a smack of pepper open the show via an impressively easy draw. The natural sweetness from the wrapper clearly stands-out among the supporting cast of cedar, nutmeg, and other sweet spices. With its medium-body, the Casa Fernandez Miami Lancero is accessible to every cigar smoker who wants to discover one of the best Lanceros at a very reasonable price. 

 

Don Tomas Special Edition Connecticut #400

Size: 7″ x 36
Strength: Mellow
Wrapper: U.S. Connecticut Shade

top lancero cigars Don Tomas Special Edition Connecticut cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

If you’ve followed me over the years, you may already know that this was the cigar that got me deep into premium cigars. This 7″ x 36 vitola offers a nutty, toasty and cedary smoke with a fantastic aroma. The wrapper flavor is especially appealing because it’s genuine U.S. Connecticut shade-grown, and when done right, it’s the best.

 

Herrera Estelí Habano Lancero Limitado 2019

Size: 7″ x 38
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador)

top lancero cigars Herrera Esteli Habano cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

If you think Willie Herrera is a master at making larger format cigars, wait until you settle-in with this slim Jim. Skillfully entubado-rolled in a plush Habano wrapper from Ecuador, the fillers are comprised of a Honduran binder and Estelí long-fillers. The smoke is rich, creamy, spicy, and markedly complex, but with more wrapper available to you, you’ll also notice a little extra zing! on the finish. These were also made in limited edition. So, if you’re in the market for building an excellent Lancero collection, keep that in mind.

 

Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Lancero

Size: 7½” x 38
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Dark Criollo (Nicaragua)

top lancero cigars Joya de Nicaragua Antano 1970 cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

Caressed by a dark Criollo wrapper, the sleek JDN Antaño 1970 Lancero is a dream for Nicaraguan puro hounds. Under the hood is a well-balanced, full-bodied mix of Nicaraguan ligeros that offer plenty of dense, creamy, and spicy smoke. Notes of leather, earth, pepper, espresso, and a trace of sweetness make up the ebb & flow throughout. Remember, the Lancero was designed for relaxing. So, take your time if you want to get the most enjoyment out of this beauty.

 

Laranja Reserva Lancero

Size: 7½” x 38
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Brazilian Laranja

top lancero cigars Espinosa Laranja Reserva cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

The Laranja Reserva selection from Erik Espinosa is one of my favorite blends for its balance, complexity, and savory assemblage of flavors. I usually go with the Caixa, but the Lancero is equally remarkable. You’ll also get a better idea of how much flavor resides in its rare Brazilian wrapper. A peppery start transitions into a well-balanced mix of cedar, some earthy, mineral-like notes, hazelnut, light citrus, and tangy spices. A complex, fanciful treat for cigar smokers of every experience, and reasonably priced.

 

My Father La Promesa Lancero

Size: 7½” x 38
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Habano Rosado Oscuro (Ecuador)

top lancero cigars My Father La Promesa cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

Based on my #nowsmoking review of the My Father La Promesa Petite, it’s clear that I found it a very impressive cigar. The Lancero. . . now, that’s a whole ‘nother story.  Capping an all-Nicaraguan filler blend, the Habano Rosado Oscuro wrapper grown in Ecuador casts a rosy visage. Once lit, this slender cylinder reveals plenty of bright spots along its well-balanced journey. Creamy smoke abounds as notes of white pepper, leather, cedar, nutmeg, and cinnamon shift gears from sweet to peppery, to tangy, and back. A superlative treat, especially when savored slowly.

 

Oliva Serie V Lancero

Size: 7″ x 38
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano

top lancero cigars Oliva Serie V cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

When I did my research on Lancero cigars for this piece, I discovered that the Oliva Serie V Lancero came up a lot.  This is one hot cigar, folks. According to a 2008 article Aficionado ran on it, José Oliva said: “The wrapper-to-filler ratio is so much in favor of the wrapper that it really has to be able to stand on its own, which is why we made [a lancero] for the Serie V. The [Nicaraguan Habano] wrapper is so unique and rich, we created a lancero so that people had a chance to really taste it.”  12 years later, the Lancero continues to be a serious contender. It scored an “outstanding” 94 last year, securing the #6 position in the Top 25 Cigars of 2019. It just goes to show you that this cigar hasn’t lost its mojo.

 

Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real “Porta Real”

Size: 7″ x 36
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade (Ecuador)

top lancero cigars Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

Also presented in a tubo, this is a great Lancero to contrast with the Don Tomás SEC #400. First of all, it has the same 7″ x 36 dimensions. The core blend is richer in flavor, more complex, and is rolled in an Ecuadorian-grown Connecticut wrapper.  The smoke is well-balanced, and like the DTC SE #400, offers a redolent aroma. However, depending on your palate, the finish may or may not taste sweeter than the U.S. Connecticut used on the #400.

 

Southern Draw Rose of Sharon Lancero

Size: 6½” x 40
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Connecticut Claro (Ecuador)

top lancero cigars Southern Draw Rose of Sharon cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

During one of his visits to our office, Southern Draw Cigars founder, Robert Holt, offered us some Lanceros. These weren’t just any Lanceros. They were made especially for him—something I alluded to in my introduction. But the Rose of Sharon Lancero – the line is named for Robert’s wife, Sharon – offers a labor of love you can actually buy. Graced by a plush Connecticut Claro wrapper over a Nicaraguan and Dominican core, this medium-bodied cigar is seductively creamy and well-balanced. Imparting notes of cedar, leather, earth, spice, and ripe berries, like some women, the Lancero has its capricious side, like an occasional outburst of pepper. As Winston Churchill, comparing cigars to women, once said: “You’re attracted by its shape, you stay for the flavor, and never let the flame go out.”  That’s the Rose of Sharon Lancero.

 

The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT #142 Lancero

Size: 7″ x 40
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Havana Seed No.142 Varietal (Connecticut)

top lancero cigars The Tabernacle Havana Seed CT 142 cigars lanceros at Famous Smoke Shop

Since I did a positive review of this cigar in November of 2019, I just had to include it here. You’re looking at one of Nick Melillo’s finest achievements – the use of an outstanding hybrid wrapper. Seamlessly rolled over a San Andrés binder, plus Nicaraguan and Honduran long-fillers, the result is a sweet n’ spicy masterpiece. Perfectly balanced, the #142 Lancero imparts a dense, creamy smoke smitten with complexity. Peppery spices, some earthy mineral notes, dark chocolate, mocha java, and white pepper on the finish make-up the overall profile. Blended for more experienced palates, if you’re already a Lancero smoker, you’ll want to add this arrow to your quiver.

 

24 Comments
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Harry Schultz
6 years ago

Ridiculous cigars at ridiculous prices! TRY AGAIN!

Bryan Phillips
2 years ago
Reply to  Harry Schultz

Size, cost and taste, are subjective to each individual.

Joel Atkins
6 years ago

Some lanceros that are, for a lack of better words, awesome.
– Illusionoe HL Maduro
– LFD coronado Lancero
– Hererra Esteli Lancero
– Davidoff Millenium Blend Lancero

Billie Bostic
6 years ago

I love Lanceros and I appreciate that you are promoting them. The big ring gauges are taking over and making it hard to justify the cost of producing a Lancero which is difficut to construct and it requires a higher proportion of wrapper.

Erik Molnar
6 years ago

One of the best cigars I’ve ever had was a Jericho Hill lancero–just an outstanding cigar.

Joan LeFosse
6 years ago

I’m with Erik the Jericho Hill 12 Honest Men Lancero is special; will try that La Palina tho

Mike Perkins
5 years ago

I buy them very infrequently because I MUST have a good draw and I have often been disappointed with lanceros in that respect. I have found coronas to be a good alternative.

Barak-Har Elkin
4 years ago

This selection really misses the boat. Maybe someone threw a lance…I mean a javelin through it & sunk it. Check out halfwheel.com reviews if you want a good line on lanceros, and SWCC if yo want an entire series of lanceros commisssioned from different boutique masters under the “H-Town” imprint. Why do I sound so negative? Because I worship two sizes of cigars: Lanceros (which began as “Panatela Finas” in 1966 as the only and first size of Castro’s Cohiba brand, a line not even sold to the public until 1982, but reserved for Diplomatic use prior to their replacement by Cuban Trinidad Fundadores, which began the 7″38 trend), and Marevas (curiously, for a cigar only 5.1″42, a Mareva won the “longest lasting smoke” contest en Cuba en 2016). Marevas have always been the perfect size, to cigar blenders, in which to test their blends; Lanceros have become the chief method by which vitolas with exceptionally tasty, rare, or fantastic wrappers show off their blends. Nowadays, domestic lanceros seldom have bad draws unless one buys the cheaper blends, & even those are often flawless (SWAG, @ $6 is an example of “great,” whicle Fonseca Cubano Lmitado, a cigar that excels in thicker RGs, is an example of “cut it in three because that’s the only way you’ll get a draw off of it.” Some Tremendous lanceros–Matilde Renacer [7″38], in boxes of 40 (smaoke em all day like a drug); RoMa Craft’s Atlatl lanceros in CroMagnon & CM-Aquitaine & their H-Town Neanderthal OM, Havana Montecristo Especiales #1 [7.5″38]; Tatuaje Miami Especiales, in boxes of 25; JRE Aladino Elegante [7.5″38]; Foundation’s The Tabernacle [(7″40, a RG growing very popular but perhaps more a Double-Club than a true Lance; and as said below, Jericho Hill’s “12 Honest Men,” if you get a box old enough to have allowed the truly supreme flavors to develop past the 1/2-way point. (Also really good are some panatelas like the Padron natural, Macanudo Portofino, and BLTC-BWS Rorschach). As for Petit lanceros, the Skinny Monster Hyde, Alec Bradley Coyol, Havana Montecristo Especiales #2, and Crux Connoisseur #2 are all awesome. The nice thing at this point is that people can actually try true Cuban lanceros thaks to Obama, instead of the 95% counterfeit sticks that often fool everyone, even the pros.

Bryan Phillips
2 years ago

Size, cost and taste, are subjective to each individual.

Douglas A Bryant
2 years ago

How can you guys tease us like this and not offer a 10 pack sampler? Soooooo bummed right now!!!

Bryan Phillips
2 years ago

Gary,

When you do these ratings, do you ever include the names of cigars that were also tested, but may not have made the top 10? I ask because the cigar that made me take notice of the maduro wrapper was the 6 7/8 x 42, Padron Ambassador maduro. Was that one of those that you tested?

Bryan
Aka Herfin Bigdog

TobaccoMan
2 years ago

Havana 142 was created by crossing Havana 38 and Page’s Comstock in 1916.

Follow this link to see an excerpt about it from the Registration of Tobacco Varieties: Agronomy Journal. November 1958:

https://fairtradetobacco.com/proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bettercodger.com%2Fimages%2FHavana142_Hx.jpg&hash=e113262b18ecf995ba197811314612a6

Nick even admits as much:

https://www.cigarjournal.com/foundation-cigar-co-announces-tabernacle-havana-seed-ct-142/

He is quoted as stating, “I’ve been working with particular farmers in the valley since 2014 to help optimize the plant’s overall health while maintaining the seeds unbelievable flavor characteristics. The culmination of these efforts involved combining the seed with Havana Seed #38 and Havana Seed #1207, also known as Page-Comstock-The end result is Havana #142.”

TobaccoMan
2 years ago
Reply to  TobaccoMan

Fixed. Go here, look at the preview of the Ag Journal, bottom of the first column:

https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/aj/abstracts/50/11/AJ0500110712?access=0&view=pdf

Bob Rutherford
2 years ago

Another worthy Lance is the Alec Bradley Coyol… a most unique and delicious stick! And relatively reasonably priced…

Elie
2 years ago

Nicely put .. many other decent lanceros are available in the market; but you covered it fairly well.
Long live the Lonsdale 🙋‍♂️

Benny Benjamin
1 year ago

Very nice list. The first lancero I had was a My Father La Promesa at a cigar bar. I saw several people on youtube smoking some Cuban lanceros looking like Gomez Addams.Just had to try one. I grabbed the most attractive stick in the humidor and boy it was so damn good.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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