Over the last year, we’ve tried to be a lot more deliberate about what gets a redux review. When I opened the box that stores the cigars for future redux reviews and saw the Falto La Pureza Lancero, I was curious why it was in there.

After reading my original review from July 2020, it became obvious—I thought this cigar would get better:

The first Falto La Pureza Lancero was very good, the second was bad and the third was just good. I’m led to believe that the bookend experiences are more indicative of what this cigar is than the one with the bad draw, which is good news because it’s not only a good cigar now, but one that I think will get better. This reminds me of La Aurora’s old formula, the one that worked really well about a decade ago: full flavor cigars that are medium in body and strength. Furthermore, the price is nearly impossible to beat for any lancero-like cigar.

The La Pureza Lancero was one of two cigars that Falto created for its 25th anniversary. This one is offered in a 6 7/8 x 40 lancero sizes that uses an Ecuadorian HVA wrapper over a Dominican criollo 98 binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic. Like the rest of Falto’s portfolio, each blend is released in only a single size, which is a rather unique approach for a cigar company to take.

Also unique is the price, as at the time these were released they were priced at just $7.50 per cigar, about as affordable as a lancero is going to be these days.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Falto La Pureza Lancero
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: La Aurora Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Corojo)
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic
  • Length: 6 7/8 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 40
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $7.50 (Box of 20, $150)
  • Release Date: June 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

The first thing I notice is that the Falto La Pureza Lancero is shorter than the length of the traditional lancero vitola, a common thing for lanceros coming from the La Aurora factory. I am quickly reminded that this is a cigar that comes in the cheaper-feeling cellophane, something that’s a rarity for most cigars these days. Once out of the cellophane, the wrapper feels dry to the touch and I realize that this cigar is ever-so-slightly bent, something that isn’t concerning. The wrapper has a medium brown color with a moderate amount of discoloration and a lot of very obvious veins. While I like the pigtail, this is not a cigar that would win a beauty contest. The aroma of the wrapper is mild with scents of leather, card stock and saltiness. The foot is stronger—closer to medium-full—but I can’t say the scents are better. There’s a lot of an ammonia and raisin combination over some walnuts and leather. Cold draws are also concerning with an open draw and a medium-full flavor of that raisin and ammonia combination, something that makes me think of an artificial graham cracker flavoring and a touch of sharpness.

During the cold draw, I wrote “I am very concerned about what’s to come” in my notes. Color me surprised as the first puff starts with a touch of herbs and then is taken over by a sweet and fragrant cedar note that reminds me of Cuban cigars. It’s one-dimensional, but it is quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, pretty early on the flavor profile devolves. I don’t think it’s lifeless, but it feels like it’s missing a main flavor. There’s still cedar, but it lacks the vibrant quality from the first few puffs, along with some saltiness and sharpness—and that’s basically it. The finish has oak, earthiness and leather; it too feels like it’s missing a main character. Retrohales provide a profile that is closer to being a complete picture, toastiness leads nuttiness and cedar, but I still feel like a main star is missing. The finish is pretty much just saltiness and sharpness, which isn’t great. Flavor is full, body is medium and strength is medium. While the draw is open, I find the construction to be excellent, as both the smoke production and the ash formation are very good.

It takes about an hour to get to the halfway mark but there’s very little change from where the cigar was about an inch-and-a-half in. It tastes somewhat saltier, but that could just be an accumulation from the last 55 minutes. For a while, I felt like that was all I was going to have to say, each puff was pretty much the same as the last one, but right after I remove the band, things change. Nuttiness begins to build along with creaminess and a return of the vibrant cedar. It’s seemingly out of nowhere, just coinciding with the removal of the band or right at the start of the final third. I also find some touches of white pepper on the lips. The finish has hay, some toastiness, leather and a building mineral flavor. Unfortunately, retrohales don’t get the same sort of improvement, as there’s just some added toastiness. Flavor finishes medium-full, body jumps way up to medium-full and strength is medium. Fortunately, construction remains excellent.

77 Overall Score

While the cigar finished quite a bit better than the first two thirds, there’s no question that my prediction that the Falto La Pureza Lancero would get better did not come true in this one cigar. Oddly, the cigar continued to be very good at the bookends, but the bulk of the cigar was not particularly compelling. It’s been a while since I’ve smoked a cigar that had this sort of issue, but much of the middle parts of the cigar were monotonous and lacking in the flavor department. I wish I had another cigar from the original batch to see if this was a fluke, but I certainly am not holding out hope it’s going to get better. 

Original Score (July 2020)
Redux Score (September 2022)

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.