Cigar Review: East India Company Classic Cigar Havana Blend Lancero

Cigar Review: East India Company Classic Cigar Havana Blend Lancero

Gurkha Cigar Group / East India Trading Co.  
Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Proprietary
Filler: Proprietary
Size: 7” x 42
Strength: full
Price: $8.00

Overall Rating: 8.8

When Gurkha announced the East India Trading Company brand it was with the intention of making cigars that were a bit “outside the box” from the traditional Gurkha fare. In the Classic Cigar Havana Blend Lancero they have managed to do just that. The blend was collaboration between Gurkha CEO Kaizod Hansotia and National Sale Manager Juan Lopez, and lends itself perfectly to the box pressed lancero vitola. The cigar is a really impressive release from a company that often gets little credit from hard core cigar enthusiasts.

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Pre-Light: The East India Trading Company Havana Blend Lancero is a really classic looking cigar with some great theming that makes it appear like something from the late 1700s. The 42 ring gauge box pressed lancero has a firm not-quite pigtail cap to top it off. The earthy brown San Andres wrapper is extremely dry to the touch with a paper bag like texture. The white paper East India Trading Co. band really stands out against the dark wrapper, and it fits really fits the cigar’s theming.

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Like many Gurkha cigars, there is a strong barnyard scent to the wrapper. The unlit foot of the cigar has chocolate, earth and barnyard notes. A slightly firm cold draw allows through very minimal earth and cocoa notes.

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Burn: The East India Trading Company Havana Blend Lancero is a pretty well constructed cigar. The draw is nice and easy, and allows through lots of earthy smoke. While the burn line is not the prettiest, the cigar burns even from start to finish. Toward the last inch or so of the cigar the wrapper did crack slightly on two out of the three cigars smoked for this review, but this was so minor it does not interfere with the cigar’s enjoyment.

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Flavor: A burst of toast as cocoa starts off the East India Classic Cigar Havana Blend Lancero. Cocoa, earth, cedar and spice all combine during the first third of the cigar. Some pepper occurs, but it is never at the forefront of the flavor profile. On the retrohale there is a good deal of cedar and spice. As the cigar begins its transition to the second third there is an uptick in the spice and black pepper notes which dominates the flavor profile by the halfway point. Spice, cocoa and pepper dominate the second third of the Havana Blend Lancero, while cedar, coffee, earth and hay remain in the background. At the transition to the final third of the cigar the pepper mellows out slightly, and there are hints of pine nuts and nutmeg that join the existing flavors for a short period of time. The last third of the Havana Blend Lancero ends with strong cocoa with background notes coffee, earth, hay and nutmeg.

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Overall: There are plenty of Gurkha haters out there, and even I’m guilty of underestimating the brand. Yet, under the East India Trading Company name, Gurkha has released a cigar that should cause doubters to reconsider their opinion of the brand. The Classic Cigar Havana Blend Lancero is an interesting departure for the company. Not only is the cigar a lancero, but it is a box pressed lancero. There’s a pleasing blend of earth, spice, cocoa, pepper, cedar and hay notes that make for a flavorful cigar. Despite the great flavor the cigar provides, it does lack some complexity, but the  While the Gurkha fan will obviously like Havana Bland Lancero, it’s the non-Gurkha full bodied cigar smoker that will find the cigar to be worth trying. Personally, I found I enjoyed the Havana Blend Lancero enough to put several in my lancero collection to age. After trying this blend in several sizes, I found the lancero vitola to be the most worthwhile. If it’s been a while since you tried a Gurkha this is the one to try.

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Pairing: The Havana Blend pairs extremely well with a cup of strong Cuban coffee or an espresso. For those looking for something stronger, a fine sipping rum such as the South Bay Rum or Zafra 21 will compliment the cigar quite nicely. The really adventurous should try the Bruichladdich Renegade Scottish Rum with the Havana Blend Lancero.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigars for this review were provided by Gurkha. While the generosity is appreciated, it does not alter the review of this cigar. At Toasted Foot we remain committed to providing high quality impartial cigar and product reviews.