In 2017, Cubariqueño Cigar Company announced its third regular production line, the Protocol Themis. The Themis added an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper offering into the company’s portfolio. The following year Cubariqueño would add a lancero vitola as the first line extension of Themis. This was a similar strategy the company took with its previous two lines, the Protocol and Protocol Probable Cause. As 2018 came around, it was no surprise when just prior to the 2018 IPCPR, Cubariqueño announced the Protocol Themis Lancero as the first line extension to those lines. Today we take a closer look at the new lancero offering under Protocol Themis.
The name of the cigar keeps to the company’s law enforcement motif as partners Bill Ives and Juan Cancel both serve as law enforcement officers. It also pays tribute to the Greek heritage of managing partner William Agathis. This is because Themis is the name of the Lady of Justice symbol who was the Titan goddess of divine law and order. According to Cubariqueño, the Themis was the brainchild of Agathis who worked closely with La Zona’s Hector Alfonso Sr. to create the blend. Coincidentally, Alfonso also works in law enforcement in addition to his duties at La Zona and Espinosa.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Protocol Themis Lancero and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper, the Protocol Themis utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: La Zona S.A.
The Protocol Themis is available in four sizes. Each is packaged in ten-count boxes.
The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper of the Protocol Themis Lancero had a light brown color to it. The wrapper did show a slight rosado tint depending on the angle and intensity of the light on it. There was a light coating of oil on the wrapper. There were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams. The wrapper surface was slightly on the bumpy side.
There are two bands on the Protocol Themis. Each of the two bands is a variant of the original Protocol banding design, but utilizes a different color scheme. The primary band has a metallic-colored background with charcoal gray trim. Prominently on the band are two interlocking modern-looking “P’s” that have a three-dimensional effect (both using a combination of gold and charcoal gray with a “shadowing effect”). The text “PROTOCOL” is placed on a gray section of a “P”. To the left of the “P” is the text “HANDMADE” in charcoal-colored font, while to the right is the text “LA ZONA” – also in charcoal-colored font. The remainder of the band has dark gray trim. On the far right of the band is the text “AGATHIS” in gold font positioned in landscape mode.
Just below the primary band is a secondary band. This is a thin band that is also metallic gray in color with charcoal gray trim. On that silver background is the text “THEMIS” in charcoal gray font. The footer is finished with a ribbon that has a butterscotch color.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Protocol Themis Lancero. After removing the cap, it was time for the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw delivered a classic Connecticut Shade profile of cream, wood, and citrus. I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Protocol Themis Lancero and move into the smoking phase.
The Protocol Themis Lancero started out with a potpourri of flavors including cream, orange rind, cedar, white pepper, and baker’s spice. It took a few minutes but the cedar and cream notes moved into the forefront. The orange rind and pepper settled into the background and there still were touches of baker’s spice in the distant background. Meanwhile, the retro-hale produced a mix of cedar and black pepper.
The second third saw the cream notes remain in the forefront. Some classic wood notes started to mix in with the cedar. These notes remained in the forefront but as the cigar experience progressed, the classic wood notes started to overtake the cedar notes. In the background, the orange rind morphed into to a citrus sweetness and the white pepper transitioned to a black pepper note. Later in the second third, the black pepper started to increase in intensity.
By the last third, the black pepper notes joined the classic wood in the forefront. The cream notes now were diminishing greatly and were gone by the end of the smoking experience. The citrus sweetness remained and there still were touches of baker’s spice. This is the way the Protocol Themis Lancero came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Protocol Themis Lancero scored very nicely when it came to burn. This was a cigar that had no problem maintaining a straight burn path and keeping a straight burn line. The resulting ash was firm with a mostly light grayish color. Meanwhile, both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal throughout the smoking experience.
The draw also scored very nicely. There was a pleasant touch of resistance to this lancero. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from. There also was an ample amount of smoke produced.
Strength and Body
Cubariqueño built a reputation early on for its bold smokes with the Protocol and Protocol Probable Cause. When Themis came out in the Robusto and the Toro, it was a more dialed back cigar as it was a classic medium when it came to strength and body. When it comes to the Lancero, it’s a very different story.
The Themis Lancero is a cigar that started out medium strength and medium-bodied. Both attributes increased in intensity throughout the smoking experience. By the last third, the Themis Lancero was in medium to full strength territory. Meanwhile, the body increased more rapidly – progressing to medium to full in the second third – coming close to full-bodied toward the end. One important note – if you don’t retro-hale, you won’t pick up the intensity this cigar offers.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
One thing I have said over and over again is that just because a blend is made into a lancero doesn’t mean its going to be the best representation of that blend. For Cubariqueño, the argument can certainly be made that the Protocol Lancero and Protocol Probable Cause Lancero were the best representations of their respective blends. While the Protocol Themis delivers a very nice smoking experience, it is not the best representation of the Themis blend as I would give the Toro and Robusto the edge.
On one hand, there is more complexity and boldness to the Themis Lancero. On the other hand, I found the Toro and Robusto sizes had a better balance and fusion of flavors than the Lancero. Still, the Protocol Themis Lancero is a very good cigar, but it’s up against two better vitolas in this line. Given this is a bolder Connecticut Shade cigar, I’d recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d certainly reach for and smoke again – and it’s worthy of buying multiples for the humidor.
Key Flavors: Cream, Citrus, Orange Rind, Cedar, Classic Wood, Pepper, Baker’s Spice
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st 1/3), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Cubariqueño Cigar Company Releasing Protocol Themis Lancero
Source: Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Cubariqueño Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop