“With the Protocol, this is a blend that works extremely well with the lancero. Whatever adjustments were made to the blend provided the midas touch on an already excellent blend.”

Protocol Lancero by Cubariqueno Cigar Company

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (La Zona SA)
Lancero: 7 1/2 x 38
Price: $10.50
Review: Protocol Lancero by Cubariqueno Cigar Company
Brand Appearances on Countdown: 1 (2016)

Coming in at #25 is the Protocol Lancero by Cubariqueno Cigar Company. The Protocol was Cubariqueno Cigar Company’s debut release in 2015. In 2016, the company released a new line extension in the form of a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero offering – the company’s first lancero.

The Protocol Lancero lands Cubariqueno Cigar Company on the Countdown for the first time. The cigar is produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona factory and becomes the second La Zona cigar to make this year’s countdown.

The blend of the Protocol consists of an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler. This also includes the use of four ligero leaves in the filler. At the same time, the blend was tweaked for the lancero format.



The Protocol Lancero delivers notes of chocolate, natural tobacco, cedar, black pepper, and a slight grapefruit note. The flavors started out medium to full-bodied and by the last third, the cigar is full-bodied. This is countered by medium to full strength. Construction-wise, this cigar is excellent – delivering as good a draw and burn as has been seen on any lancero cigar in 2016.

Protocol and Cubariqueno Cigar Company were one of the true revelations in 2015. The addition of the lancero vitola took the Protocol line to another level – and it earns a spot on this year’s countdown. It’s definitely a “Box Worthy Thirty” cigar.


For details of the 2016 Cigar of the Year Countdown, see our 2016 criteria.

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop