While at the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in Las Vegas last month, I got a Tweet from Ian Hummel, regional sales manager for Oliva and the parent of STUDIO TOBAC, that he had something for me that I might like. After I met him—for the first time, despite all the Tweets we have traded back and forth—he pulled a few cigars out of his pocket.

Among them was the elusive and by now somewhat infamous Cain Daytona Lancero.

According to various people, these lanceros were made on a lark—as many cigars are, just to test a blend in a specific size—and people inside the company liked them so much, they decided to produce a few bundles in order to hand out to specific people at the 2011 IPCPR Show.

However, while everyone was at the show, the word spread that this prototype Lancero had somehow won Cigar Journal’s Nicaraguan Cigar of the Year, nobody knew what happened for a short time. There was controlled chaos in the booth, until the details were finally figured out.

Hummel explained:

Apparently, European Cigar Journal was in Nicaragua and they wanted to try something new. Carlos Oliva handed them a few cigars that we were working on. Those cigars happened to be the Daytona Lancero. He had no idea that they were going to go back and review them, much less put them in the running for any awards.


(photo by Dave Wagner)


  • Cigar Reviewed: Cain Daytona Lancero
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Jalapa Valley Ligero
  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 38
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: n/a
  • Release Date: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Released: 15-20 Bundles of 25 Cigars (375-500 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2

This is a wonderful looking cigar, with a cinnamon brown wrapper that smells very strongly of manure, leather and sweet hay. It is a just a bit spongy when squeezed, but that is not unusual for a lancero vitola. There is a bit of oil on the wrapper, but just enough to notice. Cold draw notes include the same sweet hay, cedar and leather.

The first third starts with strong flavors of leather, hay, cinnamon and a hit of black pepper. There is a bit of spice on the retrohale, but it is far from strong. I can feel the strength building, and by the end of the first third, it is already firmly in the medium-plus category.


The second third shifts profiles almost totally, with a great maple sweetness that combined great with the hay and leather notes from the first third. Also an interesting nutmeg note that comes and goes, but never all that strong.


The final third combines many of the afore mentioned flavors. Leather, nutmeg—stronger than in the second third—hay, sweet almost creamy cedar and just a touch of manure. The strength is still medium-plus as well, and the finish is quite dry on the palate.


Final Notes

  • Much like the Cain F Lancero, there is quite a bit more complexity in this vitola than in the other sizes in the line, most likely due to the change in blend for the size and the ratio of wrapper to filler.
  • Having said that, the strength of the lancero, while definitely present, is not as strong as the other vitolas in the line.
  • The ash was well formed, but did not stay on the cigar for longer than about half inch.
  • The burn and draw were perfect as a dream, just a joy to smoke.
  • Much like the Cain F Lancero, this cigar produces a copious amount of smoke. Really great to see.
  • The strength of the cigar is easily medium-plus for the entire cigar, and was pretty consistent for the entire cigar. Not as strong as a Cain F by any means, but it has an added sweetness and thus complexity that was really wonderful.
  • The final smoking time for both samples was one hour and 28 minutes and one hour and 35 minutes.
91 Overall Score

I was quite impressed with this cigar, to say the least. Just like the Cain F Lancero, while it is obviously shares quite a few of same profile characteristics, the lancero vitola in this line changes the profile totally from the other vitolas in the line. While I like most of the sizes in the Daytona line, this is easily the best out of all of them. How does it compare to one of our top 10 Cigars of last year, the Cain F Lancero? Honestly, I liked the Cain F Lancero more, but it is pretty close, and I would be perfectly happy to smoke either one of them at any point.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.