Cigar Review: Protocol Lancero from Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano Oscuro)
Binder: Nicaragua (Habano)
Size: 7 1/2” x 38
Overall Rating: 9.2
When Juan Cancel and Bill Ive’s Cubariqueño Cigar Company launched with the Protocol it was one of the surprises of last year’s trade show. This year the boutique brand adds a lancero vitola to the core Protocol line. Coming from Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory in Esteli, the Protocol lancero is a full bodied cigar that is certain to please fans of the original as well as newcomers to the brand.
Pre-Light: The Protocol Lancero is a good looking lancero. It’s long length and thin ring gauge only add to the cigar’s visual appeal. The prominent blue “P” with a dark grey shadow, gives the cigar’s band a very original. There is a secondary band with the name of Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory where the cigar is made. There is a deep chocolate brown color to the wrapper, with just a hint of a reddish tint. The Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro is smooth to the touch with a few smallish bumps and no real prominent veins.
A musty wood aroma is noticeable from the wrapper of the protocol lancero. From the unlit foot of the cigar there are scent of wood, nuts and mild cocoa. The cold draw is fairly easy, especially for a lancero, and allows through flavors of cocoa, mellow cedar and natural tobacco.
Burn: The draw on the Protocol Lancero is very good, and allows through a massive amount of smoke for a lancero. This is an even burning cigar throughout. A nice white ash clings firmly to the foot of the lancero, but it can fall off with little warning.
Flavor: The Protocol Lancero begins with a near instant burst of cedar with a little bit of leather in the background. As the cigar begins to get going there is gradual build in pepper and chocolate notes, that seems to blend well with the existing cedar and leather. An inch or so into the cigar there is an interesting spice note that starts to linger on the tongue. There’s a good mix of chocolate, cedar and leather to the first third of the Protocol Lancero, as well as the pepper/spice mix. On the retrohale there is a definite black pepper that mingles with a dark chocolate background note. While the cigar burns into the second third there are light coffee and natural tobacco flavors that are met by chocolate, earth, leather and generic wood. At this point, the retrohale is a pleasing mix of coffee and pepper. During the transition to the final third of the Protocol Lancero there is a continuation of cedar, chocolate, earth and coffee notes in the forefront, while black pepper and mild spice remain in the background of the flavor profile. Near the end of the cigar there is a lot of coffee and earth flavors, that continue to mix with black pepper.
Overall: Juan Cancel and Bill Ives really had something with last year’s release of the Protocol, which seemed to appear in every other picture on Instagram and Cigar Dojo for a while. There aren’t a ton of lanceros coming from the La Zona factory, but the quite tasty Laranja H-Town Lancero was made there, so when the Protocol Lancero was announced this year I was excited to try it. The Protocol Lancero doesn’t dissapoint. With a good mix of cedar, chocolate, coffee, earth and black pepper flavors, the Protocol Lancero doesn’t lack in flavor. Full bodied, especially for a lancero, the new addition to the Protocol line will please fans of full bodied Nicaraguan cigars. Personally, I found the cigar to be one of those cigars that I wish I had more of when I ran out. (I’m hoping these arrive at Stogies or Smoke Inn in the near future, so I can buy some more.) The lancero lover will find this blend seems to work well in the vitola, and it definitely worth picking up if you see it on your local store shelves.
Pairing: The Protocol Lancero pairs very well with a full bodied glass of red wine. The rum drinker will find that a sipping rum such as the Zafra 21 will compliment the cigar nicely.
Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)