Earlier this year, LH Premium Cigars announced it was adding a lancero vitola to its lines. LH (Lavida Habana) Premium Cigars is a company that was founded by tobacconists Nick Syris and Omar Nasr. The company started out offering cigars to Lavida Habana lounges in the Middle East and grew in popularity in that market. A little over a year ago, LH Cigars turned its sights to the U.S. market. The addition of the lancero is the first new vitola to be added into the portfolio since LH’s launch into the U.S.. Today, we take a look at the lancero for the LH Maduro blend. The LH Maduro blend has been one that has impressed me. With the lancero vitola, I found this really shines in the LH Maduro blend – taking this line to another level.
LH Cigars are produced out of the company’s factory in Costa Rica. They offer three blends: Claro (featuring an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper), Colorado (featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper), and a Maduro (featuring an Ecuadorian Criollo wrapper). A 7 1/2 x 42 lancero format has been added to all three lines.
Without further ado, let’s break down the LH Maduro Lancero and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Lavida Habana Maduro features an Ecuadorian Criollo maduro wrapper over a blend of tobaccos from Nicaragua, Peru, and Brazil.
The sizes across the three blends in the LH Cigars portfolio is consistent. The lancero becomes the fourth vitola in each of these lines.
The LH Maduro Lancero has a chocolate brown-colored wrapper. Depending on how the light hits it, there may be a slight colorado red tint to the wrapper. Upon closer examination, I detected some subtle darker marbling on the wrapper’s surface. There is a light coat of oil on the wrapper. While there were some visible veins, I found the LH Maduro Lancero to have a smooth surface. There were some visible wrapper seams, but they were quite thin and not very noticeable. The footer of the cigar is covered.
As a part of the strategy in the U.S. market, last year LH Cigars introduced new banding to all of its cigars. The new banding features a more intricate design than previously used and was designed to appeal to consumers in the U.S. The LH Maduro band now features a black, red, and gold foil color scheme. The center of the band has the LH logo which consists of a black shield with “LH” in gold. Above the logo is the text “LAVIDA HABANA” in small white font on a red colored semi-oval shaped background. Below the logo is the text “PREMIUM CIGARS” – also in white font on a red colored semi-oval shaped background. The remainder of the band is adorned with red, gold, and black adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting up the LH Maduro Lancero, I went with my usual choice of a straight cut. Once the cap was successfully clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw delivered a mix of chocolate, earth, and white pepper. I found the chocolate notes to really shine here. Overall, I found the pre-light draw of this cigar to excellent. At this point I was ready to light up the LH Maduro Lancero and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The LH Maduro Lancero started out with a mix of chocolate, earth, and white pepper. In the background I also picked up a slight wood note. The chocolate and earth moved into the forefront quickly. I found the white pepper to be a close secondary note, but was also quite prominent on the retro-hale.
During the first third, the wood notes increased and transitioned to more of a classic cedar note that provided additional sweetness and spice. The cedar notes joined the chocolate and earth in the forefront. While the cedar, earth, and chocolate were all primary notes, I found the chocolate developed a nice richness and had a slight edge over the other notes. The white pepper still remained a close secondary note.
During the second third of the LH Maduro Lancero, the earth and cedar notes were back on even par with the chocolate notes. Toward the end of the second third, I found the earth and cedar took the edge over the chocolate notes.
The last third saw more of an earthy and cedary profile. The pepper notes still remained close to the forefront. While the chocolate subsided and was more of a secondary note, it still demonstrated some rich qualities. This is the way the LH Maduro Lancero’s cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
The cigars in LH’s portfolio have consistently demonstrated excellent construction and the LH Maduro Lancero was no exception. This construction reflected on the burn and draw as both scored nicely. The burn path remained straight from start to finish. There was a slight jaggedness on the burn line from time to time, but overall I didn’t find this warranted any additional touch-ups above the normal amount. The resulting ash was s silver gray color with some darker speckling mixed in. I found the ash to be firm – coming off the cigar in clean chunks. Occasionally there was some minor flaking, but this didn’t prove to be problem-some. I also found the LH Maduro Lancero to have excellent combustion – delivering an ideal burn rate and ideal burn temperature.
The draw to the LH Maduro Lancero was excellent as well. This draw was not too loose, nor too tight. I found there was an abundant amount of smoke delivered from this cigar.
Strength and Body
Overall I found the LH Maduro Lancero to be one of the bolder cigars I’ve had from LH Premium Cigars. Strength-wise, the LH Maduro Lancero started out medium to full. There was a slight increase in strength along the way, but toward the end I still found this cigar to be medium to full strength. Meanwhile the LH Maduro Lancero started out medium to full-bodied, but by the second half was performing at a full-bodied level
In terms of strength versus body, both attributes were pretty close to even in the first half, but by the second half, I found the body had a slight edge.
While many hard-core cigar enthusiasts get excited over a lancero, to me it is a hit or miss vitola. With the case of the LH Maduro blend, this lancero is clearly a hit. I’ve enjoyed smoking the LH Maduro blend in the larger sizes, but with the lancero, I found things went to another level. This cigar is going to deliver big bold chocolate flavors and a nice amount of spice. While I found the LH Maduro Lancero ready to smoke, my gut tells me there is some longer term aging potential with this cigar.
This is a fuller cigar with a bit of a kick. It’s a cigar I would steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again. It easily earns a box worthy rating.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy