There are a number of well-known store exclusive series around the country, but one of the more famous is the H-Town Series at Houston-based retailer STOGIES World Class Cigars.
Store co-owner Jorge Ahued is known for his love of the lancero vitola and has commissioned different manufacturers to produce a lancero exclusively for his store starting in late 2013. While the series was originally scheduled to end after just 10 releases, it has continued past that point and now constitutes 13 different cigars, all in the same 7 x 38 lancero vitola.
The newest release in the series is the Guardian of the Farm Guapo H-Town Lancero, a collaboration between two different companies: AGANORSA Leaf and Warped Cigars. Like the other vitolas in the Guardian of the Farm line, the Guapo is named after a specific dog; in this case it is the dog of STOGIES’ longtime manager, Jenny Leigh Hayes. Each cigar retails for $8.90 with only 200 boxes of 10made in the first run.
Like the rest of the line, the Guapo H-Town Lancero is a Nicaraguan puro using a corojo 99 wrapper from Jalapa, as well as a corojo 99 binder and filler tobaccos made up of corojo 99 and criollo 98. The cigars were rolled at AGANORSA Leaf’s Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) factory in Estelí, Nicaragua and were put on sale at STOGIES on Nov. 8, 2018.
There have now been 13 releases in the H-Town Series.
- Room101 Namakubi Ecuador H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — Dec. 19, 2013 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Alec Bradley Nica Puro H-Town Lancero (7 x 40) — August 2014 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $7.95 (Boxes of 20, $159)
- Fratello H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — February 2015 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170)
- Quesada España H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — March 2015 — 300 Boxes of 20 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars) — $8.95 (Boxes of 20, $179)
- La Palina H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — June 2015 — 500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (5,000 Total Cigars) — $8.95 (Boxes of 10, $80.55)
- Tatuaje H-Town Lancero (7 x 40) — September 2015 — 500 Boxes of 20 Cigars (10,000 Total Cigars) — $10 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Four Kicks H-Town Lancero (7 1/2 x 38) — 500 Boxes of 12 Cigars (6,000 Total Cigars)
- Nomad H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Illusione H-Town Lancero (7 x 40) — 300 Boxes of 15 Cigars (4,500 Total Cigars)
- Laranja H-Town (7 1/2 x 38) — 200 20-count boxes and 200 10-count bundles (6, 000 Total Cigars) — $8.50 (Boxes of 20, $170; Bundles of 10, $85)
- Neanderthal OM H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — 333 Boxes of 15 Cigars (4,995 Total Cigars) — $9.50 (Boxes of 15, $128)
- Herrera Estelí Edición Limitada H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — 500 Boxes of 15 (7,500 Total Cigars) — $12 (Boxes of 15, $180)
- Guardian of the Farm Guapo H-Town Lancero (7 x 38) — 200 Boxes of 10 (2,000 Total Cigars) — $8.90 (Boxes of 10, $88.95)
- Cigar Reviewed: Guardian of the Farm Guapo H-Town Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaragua (Jalapa Corojo 99)
- Binder: Nicaragua (Corojo 99)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Corojo 99 & Criollo 98)
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $8.90 (Boxes of 10, $88.95)
- Release Date: Nov. 8, 2018
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The Guardian of the Farm H-Town Lancero is visually extremely attractive, with a cinnamon brown wrapper that is relatively smooth to the touch, albeit with very little oil present. It is a bit harder than I expected when squeezed—although not hard enough for me to think there will be any issues in that regard—and the covered foot is a nice touch. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of leather, manure, sweet cedar and vanilla beans while the cold draw brings flavors of peanut shells, dark chocolate, earth, hay, leather and slight maple sweetness.
Toasting the foot of the Guardian of the Farm H-Town Lancero brings some immediate flavors to the forefront of the profile, including a dominant combination of cinnamon and sweet cedar, followed by notes of leather, earth, baker’s spices, creamy almonds and rich espresso beans. There is a significant and somewhat surprising amount of spice on my tongue for the first 10 puffs or so, although it starts to recede a bit after that. I also pick up some nice white pepper and slight maple sweetness pulled over from the cold draw on the retrohale, but neither are overly strong just yet. While the draw is excellent, nearly out of the gate the burn has issues. Strength-wise, the Guapo easily hits a point between mild and medium as the first third comes to an end, but it does seem to be continuing to increase.
Although the profile becomes noticeably more creamy as the second third of the Guardian of the Farm H-Town Lancero begins, the main flavors remain the same: a combination of sweet cedar and cinnamon. Other notes flit in and out in various strengths as well, including fresh ground coffee, hay, yeast, leather, earth and a touch of floral to bring up the rear. The maple sweetness from the first third has increased in strength enough to really affect the profile, while the spice that was so prevalent on my tongue has thankfully decreased enough that I barely notice it. There is still some white pepper on the retrohale as well, but it seems content to stay where it is, neither increasing or decreasing in strength. Construction-wise, the Guardian of the Farm Lancero still features a burn that is far from razor sharp but also far from needing attention, while the draw remains excellent. Compared to the first third, the overall strength has increased, but the cigar still fails to reach the medium mark by the time the second third comes to an end.
The final third of the Guardian of the Farm H-Town Lancero is a virtual carbon copy of the second third: the same creaminess in the profile as well as the same sweet cedar and cinnamon combination as the dominant note. Additional flavors include bitter espresso, cocoa nibs, hay, anise and leather on the palate as well as white pepper and maple sweetness on the retrohale, all of which show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Finally, both the draw and burn continue to give me no major issues, while the strength finally reaches the medium point—and even goes a bit past that—before I put the nub down with a little less than an inch to go.
- While the construction on two of the samples was extremely good, the third cigar I smoked for this review had a much tighter draw than the other two, leading to multiple touch-ups and a much more muted profile.
- Editor’s Note: The poor performance of one sample dropped the overall score eight points compared to the other two cigars.
- It would be difficult to choose a favorite store exclusive series, but the H-Town Series would defiantly be in my top three, producing some really amazing cigars like the Illusione H-Town Lancero, the Neanderthal OM H-Town Lancero and the La Palina H-Town Lancero, all of which scored a 91 or above on halfwheel.
- If you are wondering what the other two store exclusive series would be in my top three, they are the Firecracker Series made for Two Guys Smoke Shop and the Federal Cigar Anniversary Series.
- I would have thought that the 2,000 total count of the Guardian of the Farm Guapo was the smallest release in the H-Town Series, but I would have been wrong: the Nomad H-Town Lancero featured the exact same production numbers.
- The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by STOGIES World Class Cigars.
- AGANORSA Leaf and STOGIES World Class Cigars advertise on halfwheel.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 31 minutes.
- If you would like to purchase any of the cigars, the only place you can get them is STOGIES World Class Cigars here.
The H-Town Series has featured some extremely enjoyable cigars over the years and at its best, the Guardian of the Farm Guapo H-Town Lancero can hold its own against most of them. Unfortunately, while two of the samples performed extremely well in just about all aspects, the third featured a tight draw that really affected not only the burn but also the profile, which was nowhere near as complex or as flavorful. It is unfortunate when poor construction brings down a score significantly, but that is exactly what happened with this cigar: having said that, when it is good, the Guapo H-Town Lancero is a nice addition to the H-Town Series and is well worth tracking down.