During the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, La Sirena announced it would be releasing a 7 x 42 box-pressed lancero vitola in the La Sirena line that was being produced at Erik Espinosa’s La Zona Cigar Factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Like the rest of the La Sirena line, the 7 x 42 Box-Pressed Lancero is composed of a habano oscuro wrapper covering a Nicaraguan criollo binder and filler made up of Nicaraguan Jalapa and Condega tobaccos. According to Danny Ditkowich, there were only 1,000 total cigars produced with each cigar retailing for $12.

This was not the first time that La Sirena has produced a lancero in its core line blend, after it released the Triton, a 7 1/2 x 38 lancero in two different wrappers: one was the habano oscuro that is on this newest release while the other featured a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. Each one of those versions was limited to just 50 boxes of 20 cigars, and they were an exclusive release for Silo Cigars in Knoxville, Tenn. in 2013.

La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero Box 1 copy
La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero Box 2 La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero Box 3

With the addition of the Box-Pressed Lancero, there have now been 10 different releases in the La Sirena line.

La Sirena Vitolas

  • La Sirena Prince (5 x 50) — 2010 — Regular production
  • La Sirena Divine (5 1/2 x 52) — 2010 — Regular production
  • La Sirena Trident (7 x 50) — 2010 — Regular production
  • La Sirena Sea Sprite (5 1/2 x 42) — 2010 — Regular production
  • La Sirena King Poseidon (6 x 60) — 2010 — Regular production
  • La Sirena A (9 1/4 x 48) — 2012 — 1,000 boxes of 10 cigars (10,000 Total Cigars)
  • La Sirena Triton (7 1/2 x 38) — 2013 — 50 boxes of 20 cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
  • La Sirena Triton Habano (7 1/2 x 38) — 2013 — 50 boxes of 20 cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
  • La Sirena Dubloon (7 1/4 x 56) — 2013 — 500 Boxes of 8 cigars (4,000 Total Cigars)
  • La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero (7 x 42) — 2016 — 100 Boxes of 10 (1,000 Total Cigars)

La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: La Zona Cigar Factory
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo
  • Filler: Nicaragua (Condega & Jalapa)
  • Length: 7 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Lancero
  • MSRP: $12 (Boxes of 10, $120)
  • Release Date: Dec. 1, 2016
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero is visually striking with a combination of dark chocolate wrapper, large metallic band and noticeable box press. There is a large amount of oil as well as a number of viens present, and the cigar is quite spongy when squeezed. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of espresso beans, manure, hay, leather and barnyard with a little pepper thrown in, while the cold draw brings flavors of grass, nutmeg, creamy oak, coffee, black pepper and raisin sweetness.

The first thing I notice on the La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero is the raisin sweetness, which is pulled over from the cold draw and is easily one of the dominant flavors in the profile followed by lesser notes of gritty earth, leather, oak, barnyard, hay and bitter coffee along with some slight floral. There is a small amount of black pepper on the retrohale that seems to be getting stronger as the first third progresses, as well as some spice on my tongue. Construction-wise, the draw is giving me excellent resistance after a simple straight cut while the burn is wavy but manageable and the smoke production is well above average. Finally, the overall strength is noticeable, but far from overwhelming, and ends up short of the medium mark by the time the first third ends.

La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero 2

Thankfully, the raisin sweetness remains a major part of the profile in the second third of the La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero, while other notes of creamy nuts,  bitter espresso, oak, hay, earth and barnyard flit in and out on the palate. The black pepper on the retrohale has become noticeably stronger, and there is a touch of spice on my lips as well as some faint floral on the retrohale. Thankfully, the burn has evened up nicely, and the burn remains quite good, while the smoke production continues to be higher than normal as well. Strength-wise, the La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero ends the second third firmly in the medium category, but I can tell it is still increasing.

La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero 3

A nice toasty popcorn note starts to become noticeable around the start of the final third of the La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero, although it never gets strong enough to become dominant in the profile. Other flavors flit in and out: creamy peanut butter, barnyard, earth, dark cocoa, hay and espresso, along with a slight decrease in the amount of black pepper on the retrohale. The raisin sweetness holds steady until the end of the cigar, while the spice from the second third is long gone. The draw has loosened up a bit, and the burn is still doing quite well, but the strength has not increased as much as I thought it would, ending the cigar just a touch above the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch to go.

La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero 4

Final Notes

  • It seemed like the faster or harder I puffed on the La Sirena Box-Pressed Lancero, the less sweetness there was in the profile overall. My suggestion is to take it nice and slow when smoking this cigar.
  • While the new cigars were sold at the show, they did not start shipping to retailers until Dec. 1.
  • In earlier reviews, I have mentioned how odd the large La Sirena band looks on some of the smaller violas in the line, but on this release it looks like it belongs.
  • Speaking of that, as with other vitolas in the core line, the main band comes off to reveal a smaller, more restrained band underneath.
  • This was an extremely slow burning cigar, and as a result the final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 49 minutes.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by La Sirena Cigars.
88 Overall Score

While I have always liked a couple of the vitolas in the La Sirena line quite a bit—most notably the A and Prince sizes—most of the other vitolas I have tried have fallen far short of those. The Box-Pressed Lancero falls firmly in the former category, due mainly to its wonderful raisin sweetness that increases the complexity in the profile throughout the cigar. Throw in some very good construction overall and some decent strength, and you easily end up with one of the better vitolas in the line.

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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.