Earlier this week, we posted info on the first official line extension to the Flor de las Antillas line from My Father, a Lancero made just for Dallas, Texas-based Up In Smoke. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s a particularly special cigar with a lot of tie-ins:
On October 8, 2012, Dallas-based Up In Smoke was sold to new owners. Acquiring the retail chain was something Dan Schmitt and his father, Louis Edward Schmitt, had been working on for some time. Unfortunately, the elder Schmitt passed away from complications due to head and neck cancer on April 7, 2013 at the age of 67.
The younger Schmitt had been working on a way to honor his father, who was too ill to ever visit Up In Smoke after the purchase, and he found a way with My Father. The company took its Flor de Las Antillas cigar, introduced last year, and made it in his father’s favorite size, a Lancero.
“Anytime there was success in the family, we celebrated with a cigar,” said Schmitt. “It’s a My Father cigar, and it his favorite size.”
“Every cigar that I sell, I’m going to give money back to the American Cancer Society,” said Schmitt. He expects around 50 cents of the $10.00 per cigar price to go to the organization and he hopes to direct it towards head and neck cancer efforts, the cause of his father’s passing.
“The maroon and off-white are the colors of head and neck cancer,” said Schmitt while pointing to the colors in the Flor de las Antillas.
As mentioned above, this is the first extension to the Flor de las Antillas line, bringing the number of vitolas to five. They are:
- Belicoso (5 1/2 x 52)
- Robusto (5 x 50)
- Toro (6 x 52)
- Toro Gordo (6 1/2 x 56)
- Lancero (7 1/2 x 38)
Boxes are set to arrive in about six weeks, but for now, the cigars are being offered in bundles of 20, which look like this:
- Cigar Reviewed: Flor de las Antillas Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Sun Grown
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $10.00 (Bundles of 20, $200.00)
- Date Released: June 8, 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 400 Boxes/Bundles of 20 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)*
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 4
*The release is not limited, but as of now only 8,000 have been made.
Up In Smoke was shipped 50 bundles of 20 cigars with the additional cigars coming in boxes later.
While the Lancero is missing the red foot ribbon, the Flor de las Antillas’ box-press is present. The Nicaraguan Sun Grown wrapper looks great with minimal veins and a great rosado color. There’s a mixture of cedar and leather from the wrapper, a bit stronger of an aroma than I’d expect. In addition, I get a faint citrus note from the cigar with an added mix of spices through the foot. I’ve always liked the packaging of the Flor de las Antillas, but I never spent as much time picking apart the intricacies of the band until Schmitt’s story; it’s a great old world band with a lot going on, but it works. The cold draw delivers sweet cocoa and pepper mixture that reminds of some of the García’s older cigars from their first run at Tabacalera Cubana S.A.
The Lancero begins the first third a lot different than I imagined. Each time there’s a gigantic mixture of pepper that completely overwhelms any other flavors both in the mouth and through the nose. It takes a second or two, but then you notice another surprise—a great amount of smoke. Eventually the pepper lightens a little, albeit still the dominant note, and some sweet tobacco and cedar notes emerge. It’s medium-full, well-developed, but there aren’t more than a handful of flavors. Another shocker: the strength and body are both on the heavier side of medium-full.
What happens in the second third is a lot more Flor de las Antillas-like. The flavor becomes a cedar-centered profile with secondary notes of grassiness and fruitiness. Fading in and out is a sweetness, sometimes akin to the first third’s tobacco sweetness and other times more candy-like. It’s a constant ebb-and-flow that helps the cigar, which is far from a Petite Corona, avoid monotony give the pepper’s near total departure. The draw remains a bit tight, but for a Lancero it’s definitely within the sweet spot and given the continued smoke production, there’s really no reason for any concern about the construction.
As the final third nears, a berry sweetness develops in both strength, but also consistency. It’s the only major change for the last two or so inches of the cigar, but it’s a developed flavor that adds to the Flor de las Antillas Lancero. While the strength is no longer what it was in the first third, the progressive decline over the last two thirds still puts this easily in the medium range. Body also decreases, which seems like a logical change given the strength and pepper levels.
- The first third of the Lancero was shocking. My Father makes a lot of cigars that are strong and pepper-heavy, the Flor de las Antillas line just isn’t one of them for me.
- This is not the first time the My Father factory has made a box-pressed Lancero. The Tatuaje Tattoo was released in 2011.
- While the company won’t confirm any additional Flor de las Antillas sizes, José Ortega indicated it was not out of the picture,
- particularly exclusive sizes. I imagine you’ll hear about the next one sooner rather than later.
- I can’t help but think how much more enjoyable this cigar would be with some creaminess midway through. It’s enjoyable in present-form, but I think it would be a dramatic increase for my enjoyment.
- My Father doesn’t have Drew Estate’s reputation for smoke production, but this cigar was a pleasant surprise. Definitely not on Liga Privada levels, but it’s a lot more smoke than most of the cigars on the market.
- There are some cigars that probably don’t need to be broke up into thirds, this could be one of them as the only real development between the beginning of the second third and the end of the cigar is the berry note.
- As most I’m sure know, the Flor de las Antillas Toro was Cigar Aficionado’s top cigar of 2012. It finished 14th on the Consensus Top 25.
- Schmitt stressed the importance of a true 7 1/2 x 38 Lancero given it was his father’s preference.
- I have not smoked the Toro Gordo, but at least amongst the other four sizes this is the strongest Flor de las Antillas. By the end of the cigar, the strength levels are similar to what I find on the Belicoso and Toro.
- For a Lancero, this has a decent bit of wiggle room in terms of smoking speed, that being said, smoke this like you would a 6 x 60 and it will get hot and harsh.
- Two years ago, I reviewed 50 Lanceros in 50 days.
- It’s been a while since I smoked four cigars as consistent as these—carbon copies of one another.
- This is the second cigar My Father has produced for a single retailer to benefit charity, the other is Casa de Montecristo’s 911 343, honoring firefighters who died during 9/11 and benefiting a charity for their families.
- I do think the strength in the first third will decrease over time, perhaps sooner rather than later. I’m interested to see if it’s for the better, but the early peaking in the first third of strength, body and pepper is really an interesting and enjoyable aspect of the cigar for me.
- Final smoking time was two hours and five minutes, a bit quick for me in a Lancero.
- Up In Smoke has the exclusive rights to these. They are taking phone orders at the MacArthur Park location (972.556.0115). The cigar is formally released for the first time at an event at the Irving store June 8.
Update (June 8, 2013): The release date was originally listed as May 8, instead of June 8. In addition, the original post indicated the Robusto was the size named number one cigar of the year by Cigar Aficionado, it was the Toro.
This is an enjoyable cigar, but it's neither challenging, nor particularly complex. It's an easy cigar, particularly after the first third, and there's something to be said for that. I don't think it has much of a wow factor, but if you like the Flor de las Antillas, I think it's worth trying to get your hands on a few. In many ways, particularly the first third its different, in other ways, it's similar—and I think better. I'm happy to have a quite a few more, there's a time and a place for these.