In honor of José Seijas’ 40th year in the cigar business, his relatively new company—Matilde Cigar Co.—created a lancero vitola of its debut line, and did it in a slightly thicker 40 ring gauge.
The Matilde Renacer Lancero was shown off at last year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, but didn’t begin shipping until this past January. It is the fifth vitola for the line and the first limited size with a total production of 40,000 cigars. It measures 7 x 40 and keeping with the 40 theme, ships in 40-count boxes. Suggested pricing is set at $9.
Seijas is best known for his work as the head of Tabacalera de García, the largest premium cigar factory in the world. He spent over 30 years with Altadis U.S.A and its predecessors, but left in early 2012. He was not out for very long and by mid-2013 he was back with Matilde Cigar Co. and a unique praetorship with La Flor Dominicana.
His new company set up a small factory—Tabacalera La Matilde—in La Romana, Dominicana Republic. It served boatloads of cruise ships customers as they docked at the popular tourist town in the southeastern part of the country. The factory produced La Flor Dominicana Air Benders, but after a while, it decided to focus on its own line, Renacer, which debuted at the beginning of last year.
- Cigar Reviewed: Matilde Renacer Lancero
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera Matilde
- Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
- Binder: Dominican Republic
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $9 (Boxes of 40, $360)
- Release Date: Jan. 21, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,000 Boxes of 40 Cigars (40,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
I gave up on expecting Laguito No.2s a while ago. Traditionally, a lancero is 192mm (7 9/16 inches), 38 ring gauge and has a pigtail—this is none of it. instead, it’s the more modern and American 7 x 40 with no pigtail, something I’ve become accustomed to for better or worse. There’s lots of espresso, pepper, sweet cocoa, leather and a bit of barnyard from the Ecuadorian habano wrapper. The foot reminds me of a lot of a chocolate stout with muted sweet cocoa and a fair amount of red pepper and vanilla. Fortunately, the cold draw is similar to the foot with the familiar restrained cocoa, touches of root beer and meatiness, albeit none of the pepper.
I get leather, earth and some bits sweet cocoa as the Renacer Lancero begins. It’s medium with some great sweetness, but it recedes quickly and some saltiness makes its way to the tongue. There’s a lot of cedar with a floral sweetness, espresso and meatiness underneath. And that’s the good news. The bad news is that once the Matilde Lancero gets hot, which doesn’t take much, it gets harsh. That’s not terribly uncommon for any cigar, but the problem here is once it gets hot, a fair bit of harshness stays on the back of my tongue without any indication of leaving. In addition to the cigars getting warm, two samples have issues staying lit on all parts of the cigar while the other requires a minor touch-up. Other than that, there’s ideal smoke production for a lancero and a draw that is just slightly open for liking.
The cedar and floral note come back into the profile when I slow down dramatically, but the harshness does not go away. In addition, some big grassy notes have replaced most of the pleasant delicacies through the nose, which while not a foul flavor, it’s not my favorite. Fortunately, the burn issues of the Matilde have sorted themselves out and I’m able to get through the middle three inches of each sample without touching any of the three cigars up. Strength continues to be medium with a medium plus body and medium-full flavor.
Wet leather joins the cedar and remaining harshness as one of the core flavors of the final third. Honestly, and the picture below sums this up, the harshness becomes too much. It does not overtake the other flavors, but after spending over an hour and a half with the unpleasantness on the back of my tongue, I’ve had enough. On one sample I choose to smoke it below the one-inch mark, not something I plan on repeating. There is a noticeable uptick in strength, or at least the nicotine’s aggressiveness, has increased to medium-full.
- On looks alone, it’s easy to confuse this with the AVO Heritage Lancero from a distance.
- As for the branding, I don’t really understand it. I’ve never actually heard anyone refer to the cigar as “Renacer” including myself. There’s a big S on the box and band presumably for Seijas, Matilde is the second most prominent part of both packaging areas and Renacer doesn’t even appear on the band. While I don’t necessarily think that the name of the line needs to be on the bands, if it’s a debut cigar from a new company, things are a bit different.
- I have smoked the Corona, Robusto and Toro Bravo sizes of the Reancer line, the Toro Bravo is probably my favorite and the lancero is my least favorite, by a very wide and unfortunate margin.
- Strength is medium-plus ending at medium-full, definitely not a cigar for a novice.
- Even after some dryboxing, each sample that I smoked had issues with one part of the cigar not burning in the first inch. It’s an absolutely minor detail in most smoking environments, but is part of how we judge cigars at halfwheel.
- One of the reasons I like the lancero vitola so much is I feel like I have the most control of how the smoke flows and the burn rate, this didn’t happen here because of the major issues with burning evenness in the first third.
- It also contributed to the Renacer’s biggest downfall, the harshness. Once it started, there was no turning back.
- I will say the harshness never dominated the cigar at any one moment, other flavors were allowed to be a part of the mixture, but that much sustained harshness in the same place becomes taxing.
- Cigars for this review were purchased from site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. Both Serious Cigars and STOGIES World Class Cigars carry the regular Matilde Renacer line, but do not list the lancero in stock.
I’m a big fan of the lancero vitola and yet, I seem to be repeating myself like a broken record. It’s a great format, it can really show off of intricacies, changes and even a unique approach to strength, however, it doesn’t need to be made in every line. As with any vitola, in some blends it just does not work as well. The challenging part with the lancero format is that it’s unlikely anyone but the most knowledgeable consumers are ever going to pay for the higher prices for the longer and thinner vitola and as such, the expectations are much higher. The Matilde Renacer Lancero was fine, until it got hot—and then there was no turning back. I spent most of the last two samples focusing solely on not getting the cigar hot, knowing that I would be quickly punished, which ultimately happened.