Today I’ll be taking a look at the latest Flor de Gonzalez limited edition that will be hitting shelves soon – the 90 Miles R.A. Nicaragua Lancero. The 90 Miles line was originally launched in 2010 with line extensions of the Reserva Selecta and the 1980, all with slightly tweaked blends.
Roberto Alonso, the company’s former director of sales and marketing, is credited as the creator of the line’s name which refers to the distance between the U.S. and Cuba. Having passed away last year, the company wanted to pay tribute to him with this limited edition lancero. It was Alonso’s favorite size, and in addition the company used a sketch he had done on a napkin on a trip to Nicaragua in 2011 as inspiration for the cigar’s box and band artwork.
- Cigar Reviewed: 90 Miles R.A. Nicaragua Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: AgroIndustrial Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $7.50 (Boxes of 20, $150.00)
- Release Date: August 15, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The medium brown wrapper is not perfect – there are some visible veins and a little bit of discoloration – however it feels incredibly silky smooth and soft, almost like velvet. There’s a bit of universal give to the cigar, though I’m not sure yet if it’s too much give.The band clearly says TEMP BAND on it, though for all the temporary bands I’ve seen out there, it’s actually pretty nice looking and probably wouldn’t have noticed unless that was on there. The aroma off the wrapper is one of hay, leather and a touch of earth. After clipping off the pigtail cap the cold draw produces notes of licorice, cocoa powder, sweet tobacco and a touch of spice.
The first third starts out with great notes of spice, leather, a touch of pepper and a little sweet dried fruit. The draw is good, though I guess I could describe it as being a little snug. The burn line is absolutely fantastic – razor sharp and even. Smooth white ash holds on easily to an inch, so far the whole construction of this cigar is impressive. Increasing with each draw the light pepper from before seems to be slowly taking center stage in the profile. The spice is still prominent, though the leather and sweet dried fruit have moved into the background notes. Nestled in the background notes is a new note of charred oak.
Moving into the second third the first thing I notice is the burn has gotten slightly wavy, though overall it’s still pretty even and I haven’t had to touch it up once. The charred oak, spice and sweet fruit notes are getting stronger while the pepper that had ramped up so much in the first third has mellowed out to almost nothing. The ash that was so tight before has become slightly flaky, but only for about an inch. A new note of sweet tobacco has appeared, though it’s more like a sweet pipe tobacco – unflavored, but still rich and sugary.
Final third continues much as the second, with more pepper, sweet dried fruit and oak. The burn isn’t as perfect as it was at first, but the ash isn’t flaky anymore either. Without any development or change in the final third, the cigar finishes out smooth all the way to the last inch.
- Out of the three samples I smoked, two were almost identical to the description above. One sample however was almost like smoking a completely different cigar – the ash was a dark gray instead of the white/light gray, it had a few bitter overtones throughout and construction was just ok.
- Roberto Alonso and Arnaldo Gonzalez were both immigrants from Cuba who started working together in the real estate business in the 1980s. In 1993 Gonzalez started Flor de Gonzalez and it wasn’t until 2008 that Alonso joined the company as their national sales manager.
- Flor de Gonazlez originally made its cigars in a small factory Hialeah, Fla. but moved the majority of its production to Condega, Nicaragua in 1997. Charlie Minato noted in his 90 Miles Reserva Selecta Gordo review that the AgroIndustrial Nicaraguense de Tabacos S.A. is one of the few factories not located in Estelí.
- You can see our coverage of the Flor de Gonzalez booth at the 2014 IPCPR trade show and convention here.
- The samples for this review were provided to halfwheel by Flor de Gonzalez at IPCPR 2014.
- Final smoking time averaged just under two hours.
The first sample I smoked was great, with seriously impressive construction and a delicious profile. The second sample really threw me for a loop, and as I noted was almost like smoking a completely different cigar. The third sample brought back most of the enjoyment of the first and overall I liked the Nicaraguan puro that Flor de Gonzalez put out. I understand that cigars are a handmade product and can vary from cigar to cigar, so I’m hoping that the second sample was just a fluke. Even with the odd variation, I can definitely recommend seeking a few of these out to try for yourself when they’re shipped in a couple of weeks.