Thursday, October 2, 2008

El Triunfador (lancero)

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Well, the word is now out on Pete Johnson's new cigar, El Triunfador. He said he didn't want any buzz about it and he got his wish. I first heard about them on Cigar Aficionado's website. Then I asked my sponsor at Silo Cigars and he confirmed that they were in fact receiving a shipment of the cigars which have now quickly sold out.

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What isn't a surprise is that the cigars are made by Pepin Garcia at the Tabacalera Cubana SA factory in Nicaragua. The wrapper used on this cigar is a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro like that used on the La Riqueza. Both the filler and binder is from Nicaragua. The El Triunfador is only available in the lancero size which measure 38 ring gauge by 7.5 inches. Pete Johnson, in Cigar Insider (Cigar Aficionado), says that the blend used is specific to the lancero size and that if any future vitolas are added, they would have their own specific blend.

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Kevin, over at Silo Cigars was kind enough to send me a cigar to try out. I believe the cigars retail for about $9 a piece and they come in a slide top wooden box of 25 bound by a ribbon for just over $200.

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This difficult to make lancero is very Cubanesque in appearance. It has a neat three-seam pigtail cap and looks very similar to the Cuban Trinidad Fundadore. The wrapper is dark brown in color with a nice oily sheen. The "tooth" is very visible on the cigar and feels slightly coarse to the touch. The cigar has a nice earthy aroma and hints of spice.

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After clipping the cap, the tobacco looked to be moist. The draw was very firm and I'm sure this is from the tobacco leaves sticking together near the top of the cigar. The cigar was slow to light but once lit I was extremely happy with the medley of flavors. Notes of sweet vanilla, wood and spice hit my taste buds immediately. There was a nice balance of sweetness and spice. Several draws later, I taste hot cinnamon, roasted macademia nut, cedar and spice. Thankfully the flavors were incredibly tasty, otherwise I would have given up on the tight draw. The final third of the cigar showed charred wood, roasted nuts and rich leather. The finish was long and spicy throughout the smoke.

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My overall impressions of this cigar are positive. The cigar is constructed as well as a lancero could be. It looks and feels elegant, right down to the Cuban-like cigar band (similar to a Cuban Rafael Gonzalez band). The flavors are well balanced and strong and should age quite well in the humidor. I also think that aging will help improve the burn quality of the cigar and open up the draw a little better. I believe Pete Johnson once said, that in making Cuban style cigars, he wasn't trying to re-invent the wheel, he just wants to do it better than anyone else. The El Triunfador is certainly going to help him do just that.

1 comment:

berris said...

Thakns for the great review - I am looking forward to trying these out!

~Bill
The Berris Blog
http://berris.wordpress.com